Miraj U. Desai, PhD

Associate Research Scientist in Psychiatry

Departments & Organizations

Climate Change and Health

Connecticut Mental Health Center

Mental Health Services Research, Division of

Yale Program for Recovery and Community Health

South Asian Studies

Biography

Miraj U. Desai, PhD is an Associate Research Scientist at the Program for Recovery and Community Health of the Yale University School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry. At Yale, he is also a Resident Fellow of Pierson College, Affiliated Faculty in the Climate Change and Health Initiative (Yale School of Public Health), and a Member of the South Asian Studies Council. His research currently focuses on cultural, community, and social justice perspectives on mental health. His new book, Travel and Movement in Clinical Psychology: The World Outside the Clinic (with Foreword by Jeffrey Sachs) examines the relationship between mental health and social problems (e.g., racism, poverty, and climate change). Desai recently received the prestigious Yale Center for Clinical Investigation Scholar Award (NIH KL2) to conduct participatory research on depression and social determinants in partnership with local communities of color. He was previously awarded a NIMH Supplement for Minority Health and Mental Health Disparities Research for a study on culture and person-centered care among Latinx and Asian populations. Desai is a recipient of the Melba J. T. Vasquez Early Career Award for Distinguished Contributions in Research, from the American Psychological Association Minority Fellowship Program, and the Sidney Jourard Award, from the Society for Humanistic Psychology. He is also a Minority Fellow of the American Psychological Association and a Charter Member of APA Div 32’s Task Force for Indigenous Psychology.

Desai completed his postdoctoral fellowship at Yale and the VA Connecticut Healthcare System and his predoctoral fellowship at Yale and the Connecticut Mental Health Center/Community Services Network. He is a graduate of Fordham University (MA, PhD), where he completed his doctoral thesis on parental perspectives of autism spectrum disorders in India in collaboration with Sangath, a Goa-based NGO and leader in global mental health. He also received clinical training at Columbia University and the Bellevue/New York University Program for Survivors of Torture. At Miami University (BA, summa cum laude with Honors), he was a Benjamin Harrison Scholar, Phi Beta Kappa, and studied at Selwyn College, University of Cambridge. Desai is an avid practitioner of Zen meditation and is proficient in Gujarati, French, and Hindi.

Education & Training

PhD Fordham University (2012)
MA Fordham University (2008)
BA Miami University (2005)
Postdoctoral Fellowship Yale School of Medicine/West Haven VA
Predoctoral Fellowship Yale School of Medicine

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