Current Studies

  • OCS (Task control circuit targets for obsessive compulsive behaviors in children)

Principal Investigators: Rachel Marsh, PhD; Kate Fitzgerald, MD.
This research study examines brain functioning in children with and without OCD. For children with OCD, this study includes a thorough diagnostic evaluation, a full course of CBT (12 sessions), and an MRI scan before and after treatment. For children without OCD, this study includes a thorough diagnostic evaluation and 1-2 MRI scans. All study procedures, including the evaluation, treatment, and MRI scans are at no cost. In addition, your child will receive compensation up to $300 in the form of a gift card for participating in this study. 

For more information please see Brain Imaging Study for Children and/or contact Caroline Risdon (

  • INHIBITORY CONTROL (Intergenerational Transmission of Deficits in Self-Regulatory Control)

Principal Investigators: Marisa Spann, PhD; Rachel Marsh, PhD; Catherine Monk, PhD.
Self-regulatory deficits are common across a variety of childhood psychiatric disorders in which children have difficulty regulating their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. By leveraging previously collected prenatal and neonatal data and acquiring new data from mother-infant dyads, this study will identify brain-based markers of regulatory deficits that are passed inter-generationally and persist from infancy to childhood. This study includes pregnant woman and mothers between the ages of 14 and 45 years old. The children enrolled in this study will be given age-appropriate measures of regulatory control processes at 4 months, 14 months and again during preschool and school age. MRI data will be collected from neonates and school age children who were previously scanned as neonates. These measures will also be collected from the mothers, allowing us to associate maternal neonatal indices of self-regulatory control. Thus, this study will uncover trajectories of control processes and circuits from infancy to school age and the intergenerational transmission of regulatory deficits from mothers to children. For more information please contact Sydney Taylor (

  • COMBO (The COVID-19 Mother-Baby Outcomes Study)

Principal Investigators: Rachel Marsh, PhD; Catherine Monk, PhD; Dani Dumitriu, MD.
The COMBO study explores the hypothesis that prenatal SARS-CoV-2 exposure affects mother and child brain and behavior and demonstrates that the socioemotional health of each member of the mother-child dyad is intrinsically related to that of the other. COMBO tests this hypothesis through multimodal MRI as well as olfaction testing, wearable in-home physiological recordings, and observational mother-child assessments. PIs Dani Dumitriu, pediatrician, Dr. Catherine Monk, clinical psychologist embedded in Ob/Gyn, and Dr. Marsh lead the imaging portion of COMBO, which looks at socioemotional circuits (fronto-limbic) and behavior (caregiving and bonding) in 100 mother-child dyads from prepartum to 18 months postpartum. Detecting COVID-19-related mother-child neurobehavioral effects will provide insights into interventions for and contribute significantly to children’s developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD) and stress science. For more information please see the COVID-19 Mother Baby Outcomes Study and/or contact Charlotte Quincoses (

  • NOSI Maternal Health

Principal Investigators: Rachel Marsh, PhD; Catherine Monk, PhD; Dani Dumitriu, MD.

This project explores structural racism and discrimination, economic marginalization, and other social determinants of health as drivers of maternal mental health inequities.
 Our team at Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC) has pioneered a large multidisciplinary consortium, the COVID-19 Mother Baby Outcomes (COMBO) Initiative, to address the impacts of COVID-19 on mother-infant dyads in an understudied population (predominantly Latinx of low socioeconomic status [SES]). For more information please contact Diego Alvarez (