Rajita Sinha PhD

Foundations Fund Professor of Psychiatry and Professor in the Child Study Center and of Neurobiology; Director, Yale Interdisciplinary Stress Center; Chief, Psychology Section in Psychiatry; Deputy Director, Yale Center for Clinical Investigation (Yale CTSA)

Departments & Organizations

Yale Medical Group

Office of Student Research

DAHRSNeurobiologyChild Study Center | Psychiatry: Connecticut Mental Health Center: Division of Substance Abuse; Psychotherapy Development Center; Stress & Addiction Clinical Research Program; Psychology Section; Yale Stress Center


Rajita Sinha, Ph.D. is the Foundations Fund Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Yale University and also Professor of Neurobiology and Child Study. She is also Chief of the Psychology section in Psychiatry and Deputy Director of Yale Center for Clinical Investigation (the Yale Clinical Translational Science Award). She is the Founding Director of the Yale Stress Center, a university wide center that focuses on understanding the effects of stress on emotions, mood and behavior, in order to improve health outcomes relating to choices and maladaptive behaviors. She has also served as the Director of Addiction Services at the Connecticut Mental Health Center. She is internationally known for her pioneering research on the mechanisms linking stress, emotions to addictive behaviors and health outcomes. Her research objectives are threefold: (a) to elucidate sex-specific neurobiological mechanisms underlying stress and stress management in humans; (b) to examine neurobiological alterations in stress and instrumental learning and reward circuits associated with maladaptive behaviors and addictive disorders; and (c) to develop effective prevention and treatment strategies that target stress and emotion regulation in individuals both at-risk for and those with addictive behaviors and chronic medical conditions. These objectives are being accomplished through a series of NIH funded research projects and she has published widely on these topics. She has served on many NIH special emphasis panels, review committees and workshops, presented at numerous national and international conferences, and her work is widely cited.


  • Ph.D., Oklahoma University Health Sciences Center , 1990
  • Ph.D. Clin, Yale University , 1992

Selected Publication

  • Seo D, Tsou K, Ansell E, Potenza MN, Sinha R (2014). Cumulative adversity sensitizes brain response to acute stress: association with current health symptoms. Neuropsychopharmacology Feb;39(3):670-80 (Sep 20, 2014.

Latest Honor and Recognition

  • American Association for Retired Persons (AARP) Bulletin and News story on Stress (2009) , AARP