Improving care. Changing lives.

Claudio O. Toppelberg, M.D.

Principal Investigator, Child Language & Developmental Psychiatry

Dr. Toppelberg is a child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist on the faculty of Harvard Medical School. He is a member of the research committee, Harvard Department of Psychiatry, and director of continuing education, Judge Baker Children's Center. Together with Kerim Munir, MD, DSc, he directs the Harvard Medical School-accredited Child Mental Health Forum.

Dr. Toppelberg's research in child/adolescent psychopathology has two foci:
1.) the relations of language, neurocognitive, and emotional/behavioral development
2.) the development of immigrant children

His work has been published in several peer-reviewed publications, including the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Harvard Review of Psychiatry, and Child and Adolescent Mental Health. He has received several national and Harvard awards and significant funding from the National Institute of Mental Health, including a grant supplement for junior faculty in 2001 and a prestigious five-year Scientist Development Award (K01) for New Minority Faculty in 2002.

Dr. Toppelberg graduated with a Diploma of Honor (magna cum laude) from the University of Buenos Aires School of Medicine. Prior to immigrating to the United States in 1990, he trained as a psychiatrist in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and after his training he founded and directed a residency training program in psychiatry, and directed an adolescent psychiatry department with inpatient and outpatient services. Once in Boston, he completed his clinical training at two Harvard Medical School-affiliated programs, in psychiatry at Massachusetts Mental Health Center/Brockton-West Roxbury VA where he was the Administrative Chief Resident, and in child and adolescent psychiatry at Cambridge Hospital. After completing his training, he stayed on staff at Cambridge Hospital as a child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist and was the director of the Latino child psychiatry services. In terms of his career as a scientist, he completed two NRSA research fellowships funded by the National Institutes of Health--the American Psychiatric Association's PMRTP and Harvard's Clinical Research Training Program-- under the mentorship of Catherine Snow, PhD, Kerim Munir, MD, DSc and Stuart Hauser, MD, PhD. Following his research interests, in 1999 he moved to the Judge Baker Children's Center to work closely with Dr. Hauser.

In addition to his research, Dr. Toppelberg is a practicing child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist. He is a seasoned psychopharmacologist and psychotherapist, who regularly conducts treatment of adults, children and adolescents and comprehensive child diagnostic psychiatric evaluations for school purposes and clinical clarification. Dr. Toppelberg has been asked to give expert opinions on court-related matters in areas of his clinical and research expertise. In addition, he is the consulting psychiatrist for the New England Center for Children, a large, internationally-recognized residential and day school for severely autistic, developmentally delayed and behaviorally disordered children and adolescents.

Dr. Toppelberg is an active member of several societies, including the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the New York Academy of Sciences, the American Psychiatric Association, the Symposium on Child Language Disorders, the International Association for the Study of Child Language, the Massachusetts Psychiatric Society and the New England Council of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry