University of South Florida

USF included in southeast regional network designated one of 10 Tourette Syndrome Centers of Excellence

Tampa, FL (Oct. 2, 2014) — The USF Health Morsani College of Medicine’s Rothman Center was recently designated a Tourette Syndrome Association (TSA) Center of Excellence as part of the Southeast Regional Center of Excellence Network.

The Rothman Center, located on the All Children’s Hospital Johns Hopkins Medicine campus in St. Petersburg, was among 10 centers selected for the national award.

USF receives the TSA designation as one of five institutions across several states, which comprise the association’s Southeast Regional Center of Excellence Network.  The other network members are Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA; Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC; University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL; and the University of Florida, Gainesville, FL.

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Faculty and staff (some not pictured) at the USF Health Rothman Center for Pediatric Neuropsychiatry

“This designation recognizes our program as a national leader in Tourette syndrome research, treatment, education and advocacy,” said Rothman Center Director Tanya Murphy, MD, a USF Health professor of pediatrics and psychiatry who holds the All Children’s Hospital/USF Rothman Endowed Chair of Developmental Pediatrics. “The network will help us build collaborations for future research projects and fill in gaps for needed resources and training.”

The TSA Center of Excellence program works to improve or build high level-care for individuals living with Tourette syndrome and related tic disorders. Designated centers collaborate extensively to help develop high-quality, interdisciplinary approaches to care.  They also seek to advance research and to improve understanding and build awareness of the neuropsychiatric disorder among patients, care providers and the general public.

For more than 20 years Dr. Murphy and her colleagues have intensively engaged in clinical research and the diagnosis and care of children and adults with Tourette syndrome, which is often accompanied by other behavioral and psychological difficulties such as anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, learning disabilities and obsessive-compulsive disorder.  The multidisciplinary Rothman Center team conducts clinical trials testing new medications and cognitive-behavioral treatments for these and other conditions, including autism spectrum disorders, PANDAS and trichotillomania.

Tanya Murphy, M.D.

Dr. Tanya Murphy directs the Rothman Center.

A recent cooperative research project between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and USF, directed by Dr. Murphy, focused on improving the quality of life for children and adolescents with tic disorders and their families.  Dr. Murphy along with other USF Health faculty members had a lead role in developing evidence-based practice guidelines for assessing and treating youth with tic disorders.

Tourette syndrome, a neuropsychiatric disorder that typically begins in early childhood, is characterized by the presence of multiple physical tics and at least one vocal tic. The condition makes people perform repeated movements and sounds they cannot control such as jumping, throat-clearing and arm-thrusting. Symptoms can range from mild to severe and vary over time in reaction to stress or illness.

For a complete list of institutions hosting the 10 designated TSA Centers of Excellence, go to

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The Rothman Center is housed in the Child Development and Rehabilitation Center on the All Children’s Hospital Johns Hopkins Medicine campus in St. Petersburg.

 -About USF Health-

USF Health’s mission is to envision and implement the future of health. It is the partnership of the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, the College of Nursing, the College of Public Health, the College of Pharmacy, the School of Biomedical Sciences and the School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences; and the USF Physician’s Group. The University of South Florida is a Top 50 research university in total research expenditures among both public and private institutions nationwide, according to the National Science Foundation. For more information, visit

-About All Children’s Hospital-

All Children’s Hospital, a member of Johns Hopkins Medicine located in St. Petersburg, is the most advanced children’s hospital on Florida’s west coast and a U.S. News & World Report Best Children’s Hospital, ranking in the top 50 in three specialty areas. With over 50 pediatric specialties and 259 beds, All Children’s is dedicated to advancing children’s health through treatment, research, education and advocacy. Programs that include a Clinical and Translational Research Organization, pediatric biorepository and a new pediatric residency program are driving innovation in personalized pediatric medicine and child health. A network of 10 outpatient care centers in eight counties along with affiliate programs at regional hospitals makes All Children’s a leading provider of care for Florida’s children.


Media contacts:
Anne DeLotto Baier, USF Health Communications,  (813) 974-3303, or
Danielle Rotolo, All Children’s Hospital, 727-767-2897, or

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