David Saunders, MD, PhD, BA

Clinical Fellow in the Child Study Center

Research Interests

Attention Deficit and Disruptive Behavior Disorders; Behavioral Disciplines and Activities; Buddhism; Child Behavior Disorders; Human Development; Neurosciences; Philosophy; Psychopharmacology; Psychotherapy

Extensive Research Description

David Saunders, MD, PhD attended Boston College as an undergraduate, majoring in theology. He spent four months living in a Tibetan refugee community in Kathmandu, Nepal, where he studied the history and philosophy of Tibetan Buddhism. After graduating from Boston College in 2007, David returned to the same Tibetan community in Nepal as a Fulbright Scholar, studying Tibetan religio-cultural perceptions of tuberculosis, which confirmed his desire to pursue a PhD in Buddhist studies alongside medical training. From 2008 to 2015, he matriculated at Weill Cornell Medical School (WCMC) and obtained a PhD in Religion at Emory University under John Dunne, with a specific focus on Buddhist meditation theory and the philosophy of mind and self.  For the last several years, he has taught mindfulness and compassion-based meditation in various settings—especially enjoying his time with children and teenagers. He is presently a clinical and research fellow in the Albert J. Solnit Integrated Training Program at the Yale Child Study Center at Yale University.  He is currently running a small clinical trial of a novel mindfulness-based intervention for elementary school children with ADHD under the mentorship of Hedy Kober.

Selected Publications

  • Being mindful of mindfulness: past, present, and future of mindfulness in child and adolescent psychiatry.

    Saunders DC. Being mindful of mindfulness: past, present, and future of mindfulness in child and adolescent psychiatry. Journal Of The American Academy Of Child And Adolescent Psychiatry 2015, 54:437-9. 2015

  • Introduction to Buddhism and Mindfulness-Based Interventions: Buddha-Nature and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction.

    Saunders, D. “Introduction to Buddhism and Mindfulness-Based Interventions: Buddha-Nature and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction.” American Journal of Psychiatry, Resident’s Journal, 2015, 11: 3, 7-8. 2015

  • Life, Death and Mind-Body Medicine Across the Lifespan

    Saunders, D. “Life, Death and Mind-Body Medicine Across the Lifespan.” American Journal of Psychiatry, Resident’s Journal, 2017, 12, 2:2. 2017

  • Peduncular psychosis.

    Andrews JP, Taylor J, Saunders D, Qayyum Z. Peduncular psychosis. BMJ Case Reports 2016, 2016. 2016

  • Neuroscience, Religion, and the Study of Mindfulness

    Saunders, D, Lavelle-Heineberg, B D. “Neuroscience, Religion and the Study of Mindfulness” in MacMillan Interdisciplinary Handbooks on Religion - Mental Religion: Brain, Cognition and Culture, edited by Clements, N. MacMillan Publishers, 2016, pp. 301-317. 2016

  • Book Review: Mindful America: The Mutual Transformation of Buddhist Meditation and American Culture, by Jeff Wilson

    Saunders, David C. Book Review: Mindful America: The Mutual Transformation of Buddhist Meditation and American Culture by Jeff Wilson. 2015. US Studies Online, May 6. 2015

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