The UCI Kirkup Center

Gerald A. Maguire, MD, is an Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, the Kirkup Center Chair in Stuttering Treatment and the Senior Associate Dean for Educational Affairs at the University of California Irvine (UC Irvine) School of Medicine. He serves as the Director of the Kirkup Center for the Medical Treatment of Stuttering at UC Irvine - at present the only facility in the world devoted wholly to this specialized area of medicine.

Dr Maguire is a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and serves on the research advisory board for the National Stuttering Association. His research has been featured in many medical journals and TV programs, and he has presented at numerous conferences throughout the world. Dr Maguire is the principal investigator in the clinical trial for pagoclone, the first medication developed specifically for the treatment of stuttering.

More than two million adults stutter in the United States today.  Stuttering can be a significant disability, and people who stutter may often be discriminated against when seeking employment, in the workplace and socially.  Famous people who stuttered include Winston Churchill, Marilyn Monroe, Carly Simon, Charles Darwin, Lewis Caroll, and King George VI (father of Queen Elizabeth).

Some years ago, Dr. Maguire theorized that stuttering was connected with dopamine, an important neurotransmitter in the brain.  In a nutshell: if you don't have enough dopamine, you may get Parkinsons (remember 'Awakenings'?).  Too much dopamine and you may stutter or have tourettes.

Dr Gerald Maguire


Dr David Franklin, who has worked with Dr Gerald Maguire for many years.


The Kirkup Center is part of the UCI Medical Center Neuropsychiatric Center



More than ten years ago, Dr. Maguire conducted a Clinical Study on Risperdal (Risperidone, Jansenn LP) in the treatment of stuttering.  I met him at that time, and in 1999 made a significant donation to UCI Medical Center, Department of Psychiatry to continue and help to fund Dr. Maguire's work.

This was followed by a Clinical Study on Zyprexa in the control of stuttering, (Olanzapine, Eli Lilly and Company), which showed good promise. More recently, Dr. Maguire managed an extensive Clinical Study on Pagoclone (Indevus Pharmaceuticals, Inc).  He is assisted by Dr. David Franklin and others.

I don't want to summarize the results of drug trials, but my view is that most medications work for some people, but nothing works equally for everyone.  Drugs affecting the brain sometimes have side effects, such as weight gain and anxiety, and these may not be acceptable to some people.  However the overall outlook is strongly positive - many people have been greatly helped by Dr Maguire's work.

In December 2006, Sidney and I made a gift to The University Of California to endow the 'Kirkup Chair in Psychiatry and Human Behavior for the Treatment of Stuttering'.  The new chair will enable Dr Maguire to conduct further research into the treatment of stuttering.

We also helped to establish a new and successful UCI speech clinic, known as:

'The Kirkup Center for the Medical Treatment of Stuttering at UC Irvine.'

The Kirkup Center and Dr Maguire are the world's leading authorities in the medical treatment of stuttering. Click here to go to the Kirkup Center web site.

In 2010, Dr Maguire published a new book, 'Without Hesitation. Speaking to the Silence and the Science of Stuttering'. It is published by the National Stuttering Association, and profits will be used to further the educational and research endeavors of the NSA and the UCI Kirkup Center.

The book is available from the NSA and