Examining biomarkers and novel treatment approaches in developmental disorders
Dr. Jacob received her AB at University of Chicago with honors in The College and in Psychology before completing an MD/PhD program in Neurobiology. Her research related to hormones, behavior and social chemosensory processing led to the organizing construct of modulator pheromones in the emerging field of social neuroscience. After doing general psychiatry training at UCLA and completing an extended clinical-research child psychiatry fellowship in Chicago, she received grant funding to do research in the Laboratory for Developmental Neuroscience and clinical work at the UIC Pediatric Stress and Anxiety Disorders. Dr. Jacob has focused on neurohormones because they are key modulators that influence social or compulsive behaviors through trait and state mechanisms. She is completing an investigation of a sample of children with autism (ASD) using clinical phenotype, plasma oxytocin (OT) and genotypes in order to identity biomarkers within ASD subgroups. She has an Investigational New Drug approval to study intranasal OT to target social behaviors in patients with ASD. Her goals include 1) examining mechanisms that underlie variation in social and rigid behaviors, and 2) developing novel treatments that augment social and behavioral learning approaches in order to improve functional outcomes.