Research & Publications
Mayur M. Desai (he/him/his), PhD, MPH, is an Associate Professor of Epidemiology and the inaugural Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) at the Yale School of Public Health. Professor Desai received both his MPH in health policy and his PhD in epidemiology from Yale. He then served for two years as an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Officer at CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, before returning to New Haven to join the Yale faculty.
Professor Desai’s expertise is in the application of epidemiologic methods to clinical and health services research. Most of his research effort is devoted to mentored, team-science projects in which he is leading or substantially contributing to the analytic and methodological aspects of the work. The overarching goal of his work – across various content areas – is to improve health equity in access, quality, and outcomes of care in a broad range of populations and settings. Professor Desai has extensive experience (1) conducting studies at the interface of mental health and primary care; (2) developing risk-adjusted quality-of-care measures for the Medicare program; (3) determining the incidence, trends, and outcomes of surgical procedures; (4) examining the health, health beliefs, and healthcare utilization of marginalized and stigmatized populations, including immigrants, refugees, and incarcerated individuals; (5) contributing to numerous projects in low- and middle-income settings on a range of topics, including child health, prisoner health, diagnosis and treatment of both non-communicable and infectious diseases, and health systems strengthening; and (6) examining DEI-related issues in the biomedical workforce.
Professor Desai directs the accelerated, 11-month Advanced Professional MPH Program and is a core faculty member in Yale’s National Clinician Scholars Program and Global Health Leadership Initiative. He has a long and sustained history of global public health capacity-strengthening, having developed and taught innovative short courses and workshops on a range of topics – including epidemiology, biostatistics, monitoring and evaluation, strategic problem solving, and research mentorship and leadership – in over a dozen countries. He received the 2022 Drs. Anvar and Pari Velji Global Health Award for Teaching Excellence from the international Consortium of Universities for Global Health and is a 4-time recipient of YSPH’s Distinguished Teaching Award.
Education & Training
- Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) OfficerCenters for Disease Control and Prevention (1999)
- PhDYale University, Epidemiology (1997)
- MPHYale School of Public Health (1994)
- BSUniversity of California San Diego (1992)
- Strengthening Public Health Education and Research in SudanKhartoum, Sudan (2020-2022)In collaboration with four leading Sudanese universities (Ahfad University for Women, University of Gezira, University of Khartoum, and Neelain University), as well as the Public Health Institute of Sudan and the Federal Ministry of Health, I am co-leading two grants (1) to develop a sustainable model for faculty and curriculum strengthening (beginning with creating our first online course that will provide participants with practical, hands-on training in data management and analysis); and (2) to develop, implement, and evaluate a faculty training program that will enhance junior and mid-level faculty members’ abilities to (i) be more effective mentors to their students, (ii) assume leadership roles within their institutions, and (iii) support their students to draft and submit peer-reviewed scientific publications.
- Short course: Analyzing Data in SPSSParo, Bhutan 2019In collaboration with Khesar Gyalpo University of Medical Sciences of Bhutan, trained ~20 medical faculty, Ministry of Health staff, and non-governmental organization (NGO) directors in applied data analysis using SPSS.
- Workshop: Working in Effective TeamsBengaluru, India 2019Trained ~12 health technology start-up founders participating in the Sustainable Health Initiative accelerator program, supported by a partnership between the Yale Institute for Global Health and The CoWrks Foundry in Bengaluru.
- Research Mentorship and Leadership Training Program in South AfricaJohannesburg, South Africa (2018-2019)In 2018-2019, I co-led the creation, implementation, and evaluation of a 9-month, certificate-level training program that was designed to strengthen the mentorship and leadership capacity of South African HIV/AIDS and TB researchers. This was done in collaboration with colleagues from the Yale Global Health Leadership Initiative (GHLI), the University of the Witwatersrand School of Public Health, and The Aurum Institute in Johannesburg.
- Workshop: Developing and Validating Multivariable Clinical Risk ModelsCali, Colombia 2017Trained ~15 medical faculty, residents, and research staff at Fundación Valle del Lili in Cali, Colombia.
- Yale-China Association, Chia Family Health Fellowship ProgramChangsha, China (2016-2023)Every year, the Chia Fellowship brings four Chinese women working in the health professions to Yale for 6 months, during which time the Fellows take courses and work with a faculty mentor to develop a research project that they will carry out in their local community after returning to China. Since 2016, I have mentored three Chia Fellows.
- Short course: Introduction to Clinical EpidemiologyTegucigalpa, Honduras 2015Trained ~30 medical students, residents, and faculty at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras (UNAH) in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
- Short course: Introduction to Clinical EpidemiologyCali, Colombia 2015Trained ~15 clinical and laboratory-based researchers from Centro Internacional de Entrenamiento e Investigaciones Médicas (CIDEIM) and local partner institutions in Cali, Colombia.
- Workshop: Southeast Asia Regional Senior Leadership Program for the International Committee of the Red CrossPhnom Penh, Cambodia 2015In collaboration with colleagues at the Yale Global Health Leadership Institute and Management Sciences for Health, conducted training on strategic problem solving methodology for ~35 high-level government and NGO staff (country teams from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Philippines, and Vietnam).
- Short course: Introduction to Clinical Epidemiology and Data Analysis Using SPSSSalvador, Brazil 2014Trained ~20 biomedical post-graduate students and clinical researchers at Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (Fiocruz) in Salvador, Brazil.
- Workshop: East Africa Regional Senior Leadership Program for the International Committee of the Red CrossDar es Salaam, Tanzania (2013-2014)In collaboration with colleagues at the Yale Global Health Leadership Institute and Management Sciences for Health, conducted training on strategic problem solving methodology for ~30 high-level government and NGO staff (country teams from Ethiopia, Sudan, Tanzania, and Zambia).
- Short course: Advanced Analytic Methods Using SASCharlotte Amalie, U.S. Virgin Islands 2013Trained ~10 public health graduate students and researchers from across the four sites (Barbados, Puerto Rico, Trinidad & Tobago, and USVI) of the Eastern Caribbean Health Outcomes Research Network (ECHORN).
- Short course: Introduction to Statistical Thinking & Analyzing Data in SPSSCave Hill, Barbados 2013Trained ~20 medical residents and faculty at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, in Barbados.
- NIH/Fogarty International Center Global Infectious Disease Research Training ProgramCali, Colombia (2012-2023)In partnership with Centro Internacional de Entrenamiento e Investigaciones Médicas (CIDEIM) in Cali, Colombia, this research training program is focused on mitigating the disease burden of leishmaniasis and other vector-borne and emerging infectious diseases in Colombia and the Latin American Region through basic, clinical, and translational research and training.
- Workshop: Cancer Research MethodsMwanza, Tanzania 2012Trained ~25 investigators and research staff at the annual meeting of the NCI-funded Epidemiology of Burkitt Lymphoma in East-African Children and Minors (EMBLEM) study in Mwanza, Tanzania.
- Master of Hospital and Healthcare Administration (MHA) Program at Jimma University and Addis Ababa University, EthiopiaAddis Ababa, Ethiopia (2008-2012)The students in the MHA program were chief executive officers or other senior managers of public-sector hospitals in Ethiopia who came from a broad range of clinical and non-clinical backgrounds. As part of the program, students were required to take foundational public health courses in biostatistics, epidemiology, and research methods. I developed the curricula and teaching materials for these subjects, and designed and taught highly engaging and interactive “executive-style” short courses, tailored to meet the specific goals and format of the program. This applied methods component of the MHA curriculum was essential in giving students the skills needed to design, conduct, and analyze quality improvement projects in their hospitals.
Honors & Recognition
|Drs. Anvar and Pari Velji Global Health Award for Teaching Excellence||Consortium of Universities for Global Health||2022|
|Guest Professorship||Central South University, Changsha, China||2018|
|Teacher of the Year Award||Master of Hospital and Healthcare Administration Program, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia||2012|
|Fellow||American College of Epidemiology||2012|
|Distinguished Teaching Award||Yale School of Public Health||2009, 2013, 2015, 2019|
|HHS Secretary's Award for Distinguished Service||U.S. Department of Health & Human Services||2000|
|Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee, Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health||Committee Member||2021 - Present|
|Provost Advisory Committee on Accessibility Resources, Yale University||Committee Member||2020 - Present|
|Diversity and Inclusion Subcommittee, Yale New Haven Health System's Wellness, Engagement, and Leadership Development (WELD) Council||Committee Member||2020 - Present|
|Health Committee, Yale-China Association||Committee Member||2020 - Present|
|Program Evaluation Committee, Yale Occupational and Environmental Medicine Program||Committee Member||2007 - Present|
|Residency Advisory Committee, Griffin Hospital Combined Internal Medicine/Preventive Medicine Residency Program||Committee Member||2007 - Present|
|Steering Committee, HAVEN Free Clinic||Committee Member||2007 - Present|
|South Asian Studies Council, The Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale||Committee Member||2004 - Present|