Linmarie Sikich, M.D.

Associate Professor and Director of the Adolescent and School-age Psychiatric Intervention Research Program (ASPIRE)


Sikich, Lin 2012


Phone: (919) 972-7500

Website: ASPIRE Research Program


B.A., English, Washington University
M.A., Neurobiology, Washington University
M.D., Washington University
Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, Psychiatry, Washington University
Resident, Psychiatry, Yale University
Clinical Child Psychiatry Fellowship, Psychiatry, Yale Child Study Center
Fellowship, Child Psychiatry Research Training Program, Yale Child Study Center


Research Interests:

Dr. Sikich’s research focuses on developing and evaluating interventions for severe neurodevelopment disorders such as autism and early onset psychotic disorders. She is also interested in rigorously evaluating efficacy and tolerability differences among pharmacologic agents from the same class. Additional research focuses on reducing the adverse effects associated with treatments, such as reducing antipsychotic-associated weight gain. In the past year, she has completed data collection for pilot studies of intranasal oxytocin and a computerized neuroplasticity-based neurocognitive intervention in youth with psychosis. She has also completed industry- sponsored studies in children with autism of a gastrointestinal enzyme and a blinded discontinuation study of aripiprazole. Dr. Sikich has begun studies of three novel agents—oxytocin, ar-baclofen and memantine. She hypothesizes that oxytocin will enhance social reward and social motivation and that ar-baclofen and memantine will influence excitatory neurotransmission to improve the signal to noise ratio of sensory input. Future research goals include developing new ways to assess target engagement of the social motivation network and more objective outcome measures in studies of social functioning in autism. She is collaborating with basic scientists in biomedical engineering, pharmacology, psychology and neurobiology to develop assessments that can be used in both animals and humans. In addition, she hopes to evaluate the efficacy of combined behavioral and pharmacological therapies. The long term objective of Dr. Sikich’s work is to improve the evidence base available to guide young people struggling with severe neurodevelopment disorders, their families and their caretakers as they make decisions about treatment.

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