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In Memorium of Dr. Jose A. Yaryura-Tobias

It is with deepest regret that we must share the sad news that Jose A. Yaryura-Tobias, MD, passed away on March 5, 2016, survived by his loving wife, children, and grandchildren. He will be greatly missed by his colleagues, students, friends from all over the world, as well as the countless patients whose lives were equally touched by his medical skills and great compassion. As everyone who got to really know him could attest, Dr. Yaryura-Tobias was a truly unique and special individual. He wore many hats throughout his long and distinguished career—pioneering psychiatrist, poet, and social activist were just a few. He was also extremely funny and danced a mean tango with his beloved wife and intellectual partner Dr. Fugen Neziroglu given the slightest opportunity. His incredible and varied body of knowledge was clearly evident in his decades of writings, which included literally hundreds of scientific articles. And, for a person born and primarily educated in Argentina, he had the most uncanny arsenal of English words that virtually no one but him had ever heard of before.

In 1979 in Ennis, Engald, Jose Yaryura-Tobias, MD, set up one of the first meetings ever about OCD along with Ciba Geigy Pharmaceutical (Novartis). In this photo, from right: Dr. Yaryura-Tobias seated next to Fugen Neziroglu, Issac Marks.
In 1979 in Ennis, Ireland, Jose Yaryura-Tobias, MD, set up one of the first meetings ever about OCD along with Ciba Geigy Pharmaceutical (now Novartis). Pictured here, from right: Dr. Yaryura-Tobias, Dr. Fugen Neziroglu, and Dr. Isaac Marks.

Dr. Yaryura-Tobias’s achievements in the field of psychiatry included seminal research in the dopamine theory of schizophrenia and the biological theory of obsessive compulsive and related disorders; pioneering the serotoninergic theory of OCD back in the 1970’s; recognizing the obsessive-compulsive aspects of Tourette’s Syndrome which, along with the book he co-authored in 1983 with Dr. Neziroglu, heralded the notion of the OCD Spectrum; tirelessly working to make needed medications, like Pimozide, available in the US; and conducting the first double blind placebo studies in the world using clomipramine followed by subsequent vigorous advocacy for its approval by the FDA, which finally came through in the 1990s.

His passion for translating research into groundbreaking clinical applications was exemplified by his courage in challenging the then conventional wisdom that OCD was not a common enough disorder to study, let alone require a clinical specialty. This vision came to fruition in 1979 when he co-founded the Bio Behavioral Institute with Dr. Fugen Neziroglu. Together, they dedicated their efforts to establish a facility to conduct research, train professionals, and provide evidence-supported treatment for OCD, including an intensive CBT program at a time when other such programs did not exist. Today, Bio Behavioral continues to support this mission and has trained many practitioners and researchers who continue to make significant contributions to OCD research and treatment.

In addition to his achievements in psychiatry, Dr. Yaryura-Tobias was the author of several books of poetry and prose, in both English and Spanish, including “The Integral Being” and his short story collection, “Dios de Dios de Dios.” His poems were featured in the 1975 anthology New Voices in American Poetry, and in 1984 he received an honorable mention for the Federico Garcia Lorca International Poetry Prize and won the American Psychiatry Association Prize for Poetry in 1990. He also established the Latin American Poetry Group, Circular, and was on the board of the Long Island Poetry Collective for many years.

Dr. Yaryura-Tobias was an accomplished dancer and played witness to the rise of the greats of modern tango, having danced to Astor Piazzola, Aníbal Troilo and others in Buenos Aires during the 1950s.

Finally, Dr. Yaryura-Tobias was a member of numerous national and international societies, including the International Obsessive Compulsive Foundation. He was a founding member of the International College of Psychosomatic Medicine, the Argentine Society of Biological Psychiatry, and the World Federation of Biological Psychiatry.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Jose A. Yaryura-Tobias Research Fund to support research into treatments for OCD here:

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Parent Workshop for Anxiety in Children & School Refusal

Caregivers are invited to a Free Presentation to learn about the variety of anxiety disorders in childhood, as well as the behavior of school refusal as a symptom of anxiety. Have your questions answered directly by the experts.

Thursday December 3rd, 2015


Bio Behavioral Institute

935 Northern Blvd. Suite 102

Great Neck, NY

Seating limited so please RSVP or call (516) 487-7116



Loren Packer-Hopke, Psy.D. & Sony Khemlani, Ph.D.

Licensed Psychologists

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Free Screenings for OCD at Columbia

The Center for OCD Treatment and Related Disorders at Columbia University Medical Center/New York State Psychiatric Institute will be conducting screenings for OCD, at no cost! The center, led by world renowned Dr. H. Blair Simpson, an Attending Psychiatrist and Professor at Columbia University Medical Center, is committed to helping those who suffer from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. During OCD week, Columbia will have experienced therapists and clinicians on stand by to answer your call for your free screening.If you, or anyone you know is suffering from OCD, please call us at 646-774-8062 for a FREE, CONFIDENTIAL screening.

For more information, you can visit our website at:

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Living With OCD Podcast

Listen to a podcast from this year’s conference.

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NBC Covers Annual OCD Conference

This year’s OCD Conference held in Boston was the largest yet with over 1700 attendees including professionals, families, and individuals with OCD! It was the 22nd annual conference.

NBC News covered the event. Check out the article at

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IOCDF Launches New BDD Website

IOCDF launched a website dedicated just for Body Dysmorphic Disorder. The website has numerous articles, resources, and information for both sufferers, professionals, and families!

Click here to learn more


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Free Groups in NY Area

NYC and NY State facilities offer many opportunities for group therapy and support for sufferers, families, and parents of children with OCD. For a comprehensive list of all groups near you, please click here.

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OCD New York, an official affiliate of the International OCD Foundation