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Lorena Fernandez De La Cruz


Department and organisational affiliation:

About me

I completed my PhD in psychiatry and clinical psychology and defended my thesis with honors in July 2013 at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. In my dissertation, I explored the clinical heterogeneity of OCD in children and adolescents. For four years, I worked at the Institute of Psychiatry (IoP), King's College London. During my last year at the IoP, I completed my first postdoc in the Mood & Development Laboratory at the Deparment of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. I moved to Stockholm in August 2014 for a second postdoc at the Anxiety, obsessive-compulsive and related disorders across the lifespan group at CPF, Department of Clinical Neuroscience (CNS), led by Professor David Mataix-Cols, where I started working with psychiatric epidemiology designs. I became an Assistant Professor in this research group in 2016.

I have been part of the Junior Faculty Steering Group at the Karolinska Institutet from the beginning of 2018, and I am also representing Junior Faculty at the CNS Department Council.

From September 2018, I am the Equal Treatment Representative / Ombud för Lika Villkor at CNS.

Research description

I currently lead a research program that has the aim to study the health outcomes, life expectancy, and causes of mortality – including suicide – in anxiety, tics, obsessive-compulsive, and related disorders. I mainly use epidemiological methods in order to respond to my research questions. I am also interested in the development of evidence-based treatments for the OCD-related conditions (including body dysmorphic disorder and hoarding disorder) and tic disorders. 


PhD in Psychiatry and Clinical Psychology, European Doctorate (cum laude), 2013.

Psychiatry and Forensic Medicine Department, School of Medicine, Autonomous University of Barcelona.

Specialist in Clinical Psychology (3-year training programme), 2010.

Terrassa Public Health Consortium. Health and Social Politics Ministry, Spanish Government.

MSc in Psychiatry and Clinical Psychology in Children and Adolescents, 2006.

Clinic Hospital of Barcelona. University of Barcelona.

BSc in Psychology (graduated with honours), 2004.

School of Psychology, Autonomous University of Barcelona. 

Academic honours, awards and prizes

Fellowships and stipendiums

Sept 2010 – Sept 2012   Advanced Training Fellowship

Alicia Koplowitz Foundation


June 2013 – Nov 2013   Short-Term Visiting Fellowship

Alicia Koplowitz Foundation


Jan 2015 – Dec 2016   Postdoctoral Grant

David and Astrid Hagelén Foundation


Research funding (as principal investigator only)

Jan 2016 – Dec 2019   Junior Researcher Grant

FORTE, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare 

Project: Suicide and other causes of premature mortality in obsessive-compulsive disorder


Jan 2017 – Dec 2018   ALF Medicin Project Grant

Stockholm County Council 

Project: Suicide and other causes of premature mortality in anxiety, trauma, and stressor-related disorders


Sept 2017 – Aug 2018   Research Award

Tourettes Action

Project: Causes of mortality in Tourette’s Syndrome and Chronic Tic Disorders: A Swedish total population, 40-year longitudinal cohort study


Sept 2017 – Aug 2018   Research Award

International OCD Foundation

Project: The impact of obsessive-compulsive disorder on education, labor market marginalization, and societal costs


Jan 2019 – Dec 2021   ALF Medicin Project Grant

Stockholm County Council 

Project: Health complications, suicide, and other causes of mortality in anxiety, trauma, and stressor-related disorders



May 2014  -  The Josep Toro Award to the best paper of the year awarded by the Catalan Society of Research and Behavior Therapy (SCRITC)


October 2015 - PhD Special Prize, awarded by the School for Doctoral Studies, Autonomous University of Barcelona


June 2017 - Professor Mary Robertson Award for Research Contribution endowed by Professor Robertson, Life President of the European Society for the Study of Tourette Syndrome (ESTSS)


Comissions of trust

Member (2006 – current) and board member (2009 – 2010) of the Catalan Society of Research and Behaviour Therapy (SCRITC)


Member (2016 – current) of the Association of Scientists in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Alicia Koplowitz Foundation


Member (2018 - current) of the Steering Group of the Junior Faculty at Karolinska Institutet

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