Linmarie Sikich, MD, MA

Faculty in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences; Associate Director, Duke Center for Autism and Brain Development

Visit Scholars@Duke to view full bio, publications and affiliations

Dr. Lin Sikich, a child and adolescent psychiatrist, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Associate Director of the Duke Center for Autism and Brain Development. 

Dr. Sikich received her undergraduate degree, her masters in developmental neurobiology, and her medical degree from Washington University in St. Louis. Prior to completing her residency she completed a postdoctoral fellowship focused on basic neurodevelopment. She attended Yale University for her general psychiatry and child psychiatry residencies. She was on the faculty at University of North Carolina for 19 years, before joining the Duke Center for Autism and Brain Development as Associate Director. At UNC, she began the TEACCH Medical Consultation Clinic, whose goal is to facilitate the integration of biomedical, behavioral and educational treatments for individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), and led a research program focused on the development and evaluation of treatments for youth with psychiatric and developmental problems. 

She has previously participated in NIH, Cure Autism Now and Autism Speaks conferences examining appropriate outcome measures for autism intervention trials and emerging intervention strategies for ASD and Fragile X Syndrome. She has served as a reviewer of research proposals to the MIND Institute, Thrasher Institute, Autism Speaks, and was the chair of the National Institute of Mental Health Interventions for Children (ITVC) Study Section from 2010 - 2013. She is a member of the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network research advisory board and the Data safety and monitoring board for the NICHD rare diseases network. She has participated in many psychopharmacologic clinical trials for individuals with ASD, Fragile X, pediatric Bipolar Disorder and Early Onset Psychosis funded by foundations, the federal government and individual pharmaceutical companies. She also has conducted behavioral intervention studies designed to improve functioning in youth with psychosis and to help African American parents advocate more effectively for their children with special needs. 

At Duke, she is involved in research focused on treatments for autism, provides clinical care to individuals with autism and early onset psychosis, and provides training to physicians, social workers and psychologists interested in neurodevelopmental disorders. With Dr. Andrew Krystal, she is leading a new neuroscience medicines initiative at Duke. Her current research interests are in developing and optimizing new treatments for ASD that grow out of our increasing understanding of underlying biology of ASD and developing better outcome measures for assessing the benefits of potential ASD and neurodevelopmental treatments. She is currently the lead PI of an NIH Autism Center of Excellence Network focusing on the study of oxytocin in autism to improve reciprocal social behaviors (SOARS-B). She is also interested in rigorously evaluating efficacy and tolerability differences among pharmacologic agents from the same class. She has conducted additional research focused on reducing the adverse effects associated with treatments, such as reducing antipsychotic-associated weight gain. 



Representative Publications

1. Chandrasekhar, T., & Sikich, L. (2015). Challenges in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Depression in Autism Spectrum Disorders Across the Lifespan. Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience, 17(2), 219–227. PMID:26246795

2. Must, A., Curtin, C., Hubbard, K., Sikich, L., Bedford, J., Bandini, L., (2014).  Obesity Prevention for Children with Developmental Disabilities. Current Obesity Reports, 2014 June; 3(2) 156-170.

3. King, B.H., Dukes, K., Donnelly, C.L., Sikich, L., McCracken, J.T., Scahill, L., Hollander, E., Bregman, J.D., Anagnostou, E., Robinson, F., Sullivan, L., Hirtz, D. (2013).  Baseline Factors Predicting Placebo Response to Treatment in Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Multisite A Multisite Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Pediatr. Sept 23. PMID: 24061784

4. Findling RL, Kafantaris V, Pavuluri M, McNamara NK, Frazier JA, Sikich L, Kowatch R, Rowles BM, Clemons TE, Taylor-Zapata P.(2013). Post-Acute Effectiveness of Lithium in Pediatric Bipolar I Disorder. J Child Adolesc Psychopharmacol Mar 23(2):80-90. PMID: 23510444

5. Erickson CA, Veenstra-Vanderweele JM, Melmed RD, McCracken JT, Ginsberg LD, Sikich L, Scahill L, Cherubini M, Zarevics P, Walton-Bowen K, Carpenter RL, Bear MF, Wang PP, King BH. (2013). STX209 (Arbaclofen) for Autism Spectrum Disorders: An 8-Week Open-Label Study. J Autism Dev Disord. 2013 Nov 23. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 24272415

6. Frazier JA, Giuliano AJ, Johnson JL, Yakutis L, Youngstrom EA, Breiger D, Sikich L, Findling RL, McClellan J, Hamer RM, Vitiello B, Lieberman JA, Hooper SR.(2012). Neurocognitive Outcomes in the Treatment of Early Onset Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders Study. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry May 51(5):496-505. Epub 2012 Mar 13 PMC 3337647

7. Dichter, G.S., Sikich, L., Song, A., Voyvodic, J. & Bodfish, J.W. (2012). Functional Neuroimaging of Treatment Effects in Psychiatry: Methodological Challenges and Recommendations.  The International Journal of Neuroscience 122(9) 483-493. PMID 22471393

8. Scahill L, McCracken JT, Bearss K, Robinson F, Hollander E, King B, Bregman J, Sikich L, Dukes K, Sullivan L, Anagnostou E, Donnelly C, Kim YS, Ritz L, Hirtz D, Wagner A. (2011).  Design and Subject Characteristics in the Federally-Funded Citalopram Trial in Children with Pervasive Developmental Disorders. J. Autism Dev Disord Epub 2011 Jun 11  PMC 21667200

9. Sikich, L., Bethea, T.C. (2011). Assessment and Treatment of Early-onset Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders.  In: Pediatric Psychopharmacology: Principals and Practice, Second Edition, Martin A., Scahill, L. & Kratochvil, C.J. eds., pp. 531-546. New York, NY; Oxford University Press, Inc.

10. Findling, R.L., Landersdorfer, C.B., Kafantaris, V., Pavuluri, M. McNamara, N.K., McClellan, J., Frazier, J.A., Sikich, L., Kowatch, R., Lingler, J., Faber, J., Taylor-Zapata, P., Jusko, W.J. (2010). First Dose Pharmacokinetics of Lithium Carbonate in Children and Adolescents. J Clin Psychopharmacol May 30(4): 404-410. PMID 20531219

11. Hooper, S.R., Giuliano, A.J., Youngstrom,  E. A., Breiger, D., Sikich, L., Frazier, J., Findling, R.L., McClellan, J., Hamer, R.M., Vitiello, B., Lieberman, J.A. (2010). Neurocognition in Early-Onset Schizophrenia and Schizoaffective Disorders. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry,49(1): 52-60. NIHMS 297122

12. Owen, R., Sikich, L., Marcus, R.N., Corey-Lisle, P., Manos, G., McQuade, R.D., Carson, W.H., Findling, R.L., (2009). Aripiprazole in the Treatment of Irritability in Children and Adolescents with Autistic Disorder. Pediatrics Dec;124(6):1533-40. PMID 19948625

13. King, B.H., Hollander, E., Sikich, L., McCracken, J.T., Scahill, L., Bregman, J.D., Donnelly, C.L., Anagnostou, E., Dukes, K., Sullivan, L., Hirtz, D., Wagner, A., Ritz, L.; STAART Psychopharmacology Network. (2009). Lack of efficacy of citalopram in children with autism spectrum disorders and high levels of repetitive behavior: citalopram ineffective in children with autism. Arch Gen Psychiatry. Jun;66(6):583-90.  PMID 19487623

14.  Sikich, L., Frazier, J.A., McClellan, J., Findling, R.L., Vitiello,B., Ritz,L., Ambler,D., Puglia, M., Maloney,A.E., Hunt-Harrison, T., Jackson, J.A., De Jong, S., Slifka, K., Noyes, N., Michael, E., Hlastala, S., Pierson, S.,  McNamara, N.K.,  Delporto-Bedoya, D.,  Anderson, R., Hamer, R.M.,  Lieberman, J.A.  (2008). Double-blind Comparison of Antipsychotics in Early Onset Schizophrenia and Schizoaffective Disorder. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 165 (11):1420-1431. PMID 18794207

15.  Findling, R.L., Frazier, J.A., Kafantaris, V., Kowatch, R., McClellan, J., Pavuluri, M., Sikich, L., Hlastala, S., Hooper, S.R., Demeter, C.A., Bedoya, D., Brownstein, B., Taylor-Zapata, P. (2008).  The Collaborative Lithium Trials (CoLT): Specific Aims, Methods, and Implementation.  Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health 2 (1):21. PMC2531078

16.  Bethea, T.C., Sikich, L. (2007)  Early Pharmacologic Treatment of Autism:  A Rationale for Developmental Treatment.  Biological Psychiatry 61(4) 521.37. PMC2553755