Lorena Fernández de la Cruz

Lorena Fernández de la Cruz

Senior Lecturer | Docent
Visiting address: Gävlegatan 22B, plan 8, 11330 STOCKHOLM
Postal address: K8 Klinisk neurovetenskap, K8 CPF Mataix/Cols Fernandez de la Cruz, 171 77 Stockholm

About me

  • I completed my PhD in psychiatry and clinical psychology and defended my thesis with honors in 2013 at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. In my dissertation, I explored the clinical heterogeneity of obsessive-compulsive disorder (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 a one-year postdoc in the Mood and Development Laboratory at the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. I moved to Stockholm in 2014 for a second postdoc at the Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders Across the Lifespan research group at the Department of Clinical Neuroscience (CNS), led by Professor David Mataix-Cols, where I started working with psychiatric epidemiology designs. Currently, I am a Lektor / Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) at CNS. I am also the Equal Treatment Representative (Ombud för Lika Villkor) for the Department and the Dissemination and Outreach Coordinator for BUP Forsknings och Utvecklingscentrum (BUP FoUU) at the Stockholm Mental Health Services (SLSO), Region Stockholm. 


  • I am the team leader of the “Health consequences and lifestyle modification group”, within the larger Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders Across the Lifespan research group. My team aims to study health outcomes, life expectancy, and causes of mortality in OCD and related conditions, such as tic disorders and anxiety disorders. We also study societal outcomes (e.g., educational attainment, labour market participation) in these disorders. We mainly use epidemiological methods in order to respond to our research questions.

    Building upon the results from our epidemiological research on the association between OCD and health-related disorders, we have developed and are currently testing a lifestyle intervention to reduce cardiometabolic risk factors in individuals with OCD.

    I am also interested in the development and dissemination of evidence-based treatments for OCD and related conditions. We are currently recruiting participants to take part in a clinical trial for adolescents with 

  • body dysmorphic disorder.


  • I am a frequent lecturer on OCD and related disorders, as well as methodological aspects of clinical research, for undergraduate (psychology and medical programs), MSc, and PhD students at Karolinska Institutet and for psychologists and psychiatrists within the Stockholm healthcare services. I am the leader of the KI PhD course Clinical Research in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry: Methods and Practice.

    I am the main supervisor for one postdoc (Maral Jolstedt) and two PhD students (Anna Holmberg and Sofia Asplund), and co-supervisor for another four PhD students (Martina Gumpert, Sofia Jägholm, Anita Birovecz, and Moa Warnström) at Karolinska Institutet.

    Previous students that have already completed their doctoral studies under my supervision include Alba Vilaplana Pérez (2021), Laura Sevilla Cermeño (2021), Tianyang Zhang (2022), and Daniel Rautio (2024) for whom I was the main supervisor, and Per Andrén (2022), for whom I was a co-supervisor.


All other publications



  • Senior Lecturer, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, 2024-

Degrees and Education

  • Docent, Karolinska Institutet, 2021
  • PhD, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 2013

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