Harvard Appoints Vikram Patel as Chair of Global Health Department

Vikram Patel to take Chair position at Harvard

Mumbai-born psychiatrist and researcher Vikram Patel has been announced as the upcoming chair of the Department of Global Health at Harvard Medical School, commencing on September 1. Patel, recognized as a leading expert in global mental health, will succeed Paul Farmer in this role.

Harvard Medical School Dean expressed confidence in Patel’s capabilities and highlighted his distinguished background as an educator and charismatic figure within the field. The appointment of Patel coincides with a growing global awareness of the mental health crisis.

Within Harvard, Patel currently leads the interdisciplinary initiative Global Mental Health@Harvard and oversees the Mental Health for All Lab within the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine.

Internationally, Vikram Patel has been actively involved in various advisory committees of the World Health Organization (WHO) and has contributed to multiple Lancet commissions focused on global mental health.

Notably, he led the Lancet-World Psychiatric Association Commission on Depression. Patel co-founded Sangath, a community-based non-governmental organization (NGO) in India, which received the MacArthur Foundation’s International Prize for Creative and Effective Institutions in 2008.

Recognitions for Patel’s work include being named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2015. Furthermore, he received the esteemed John Dirks Canada Gairdner Global Health Award in 2019, widely regarded as one of the most prestigious accolades in the field of global health.

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