Dr. Scharf is a behavioral neurologist and neuropsychiatric geneticist who works at the interface between neurology and psychiatry, employing statistical and molecular genetics techniques along with clinical research tools to investigate the etiology and pathogenesis of Tourette Syndrome (TS), OCD and related disorders as model neuropsychiatric illnesses. Clinically, Dr. Scharf directs the Neurology Tic Disorders Unit within the MGH Division of Movement Disorders, and is Co-Director of the MGH TAA National TS Center of Excellence in partnership with Dr. Sabine Wilhelm in MGH Psychiatry.
His research lab is focused on identifying genetic and non-genetic risk factors that predispose individuals to TS and its co-occurring conditions, including OCD, and ADHD. He aims to understand how genetic variation contributes to the unique and overlapping features of these disorders which may provide novel insight into disease pathophysiology and ultimately lead to improved prognosis and treatment.
Dr. Scharf is co-Chair of the Tourette Association of America International Consortium for Genetics, and has served as the Contact PI of the Consortium’s multi-center NIH grant award since 2011. He serves on the Steering Committees of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium, the International OCD Foundation Genetics Consortium and the BFRB Precision Medicine Initiative.
Lastly, Dr. Scharf particularly values his mission within the HMS community to educate students, peers, and the public about TS and related disorders aimed at reducing stigma for patients and their families.