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Miraj U. Desai, PhD

Assistant Professor of Psychiatry

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Miraj U. Desai, PhD


Miraj U. Desai, PhD is an Assistant Professor 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 Center on Climate Change and Health (Yale School of Public Health), and a Member of the South Asian Studies Council. He has been at Yale since 2011, completing his predoctoral and postdoctoral fellowships, prior to joining the faculty in 2015. His research focuses on cultural, community, and social justice perspectives on mental health.

His most recent work involves examination of institutional bias, racism, and inequity, particularly the hidden ways in which they proliferate. This research has led to the development of a novel concept of “implicit organizational bias,” published in the American Psychologist. His overall research on culture, community, race, and racism has been funded by a range of awards, including a K01 Award from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities/NIH; a Pioneering Ideas Award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; a KL2 Scholar Award from the Yale Center for Clinical Investigation/NIH (for research featuring African American communities); and a NIMH Supplement for Minority Health and Mental Health Disparities Research (for research featuring Asian and Latinx communities). Dr. Desai’s book, Travel and Movement in Clinical Psychology: The World Outside the Clinic (Palgrave), with Foreword by Jeffrey Sachs, examines the relationship between mental health and various forms of structural oppression.

Dr. Desai is a recipient of the Melba J.T. Vasquez Early Career Award for Distinguished Contributions (American Psychological Association Minority Fellowship Program); the Distinguished Early Career Contributions in Qualitative Inquiry Award (APA Division of Quantitative and Qualitative Methods); and the Sidney Jourard Award (APA Society for Humanistic Psychology). He is also a Minority Fellow of the APA. Dr. Desai is an avid practitioner of Zen and is proficient in Gujarati, French, and Hindi.

Education & Training

  • Postdoctoral Fellowship
    Yale School of Medicine/West Haven VA (2014)
  • Predoctoral Fellowship
    Yale School of Medicine (2012)
  • PhD
    Fordham University (2012)
  • MA
    Fordham University (2008)
  • BA
    Miami University (2005)

Departments & Organizations