Carol Mathews, M.D.

Professor and Donald R. Dizney Chair of Psychiatry

College of Medicine

2023 Awardee

Carol Mathews is a clinician-scientist specializing in the study and treatment of obsessive compulsive and anxiety spectrum disorders, including OCD, hoarding disorder, tic disorders and grooming disorders.

Up to 10% of the population has at least one of these disorders, and some people have more than one. She studies genetic causes, possible environmental factors and treatment outcomes.

“I’m really interested in how the brain works with respect to these disorders and what might be different in the brains of people who have them,” Mathews said. “My work ranges from basic understandings of the genetic mechanisms underlying the risk for OCD, for example, all the way through clinical trials trying to improve the lives of people with these disorders.”

Mathews is director of UF’s Center for OCD, Anxiety and Related Disorders and interim director of UF Health’s Center for Autism and Neurodevelopment. A graduate of Cornell University, she found her passion for research while at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

“My first clinical rotation was for kids with severe genetic disorders,” she said. “It got me very interested in how genetics can really influence how diseases or disorders express themselves, and how people with the same genetic disorder can have very different symptoms. So it really started with asking questions that nobody could answer and thinking that maybe I wanted to be one of those people who helped to find the answers.”

Mathews completed her residency and two fellowships at the University of California, San Francisco, and was a clinician and research scientist at the University of California, San Diego, and UCSF for 15 years before moving to UF as a preeminent professor in 2015. In 2022, she was selected as department chair after a national search.

Mathews leads novel studies in basic and translational research groups with funding from the National Institute of Mental Health, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, Tourette Association of America and the International OCD Foundation. She is the author of over 150 peer-reviewed scientific articles and the book “Recognizing and Treating Hoarding Disorder: How Much Is Too Much?” In 2022, her research was cited over 2,400 times.

She enjoys interdisciplinary work with colleagues across campus from the law school to IFAS, as well as the McKnight Brain Institute, which she calls “a really stimulating intellectual environment.”