Membership Directory

Here is our AMHIG membership directory. Please check back often, as we are always adding new members!


Sadia Afrin


Keywords:  Maternal and reproductive health; mental health for reproductive age women; indigenous women’s health

Research Summary:  Ms. Afrin has a deep understanding on Bangladeshi women’s health, specially, maternal death at reproductive age. She has carried out some researches on abortion that has implication on women’s health policy practice. In future she want to put her attention on women’s mental health at their reproductive age.


Jill Priest Amati

Assistant Professor
SUNY Alfred

Keywords:  access to, perceptions of and experiences with mental health services; mental health services in public schools; rural mental health services

Research Summary: Jill’s research focuses on experiences with and perceptions of mental illness, mental health and related services.   Jill is interested in understanding how people perceive and experience mental health problems and how they make decisions about accessing and engaging in services to address mental health issues.   She has conducted research in Sri Lanka and the United States.   Much of her work has focused on child mental health services, particularly the role public schools play in referrals and delivery of services.  More recently, Jill has turned her attention to rural healthcare.  Currently, Jill is researching experiences with and barriers to health services, including mental health services, in rural Allegany County in New York.


Karen Besterman-Dahan, PhD

VA, University of South Florida

Keywords:  veterans, combat, trauma, reintegration, post-conflict mental health, North Africa, religion, TBI, deployment, health services, student veteran, stigma

Research Summary:  Experience in VA with post-combat health needs from multiple perspectives (patient, family, provider), focusing on reintegration. Engaged in ethnographic research related to caregivers, chaplains, and veterans with TBI. Also engaged in mental health services research in post-conflict North Africa.


William Bestor

Linfield College

Keywords:  clinical anthropology; teaching in health sciences programs; assessment

Research Summary:  community study mental health; Mexico, Portugal, assessment; collaboration with mental health professions during fieldwork; clinical anthropology (teaching); addictive disorders in cross-cultural contexts; relevant research methodologies, techniques, and instruments.


Marcelo Bogao

Antropólogo. Investigador. Profesor.

Keywords:  Antropología médica-Pluralismo médico-Interculturalidad


Lindsey Breitwieser

Indiana University

Keywords:  anorexia nervosa, eating disorders, psychological disability

Research Summary:  Broadly, Lindsey’s research involves various feminist subfields, including disability studies, fat studies, madness studies, and feminist science studies. Past projects emphasize the reevaluation of treatment ethics involved with inpatient treatment of anorexia nervosa and finding a balance between the cultural construction of madness and the therapeutic, economic, and affective realities of mental “illness.” Currently, Lindsey is examining neurological, psychological, and physiological scientific publications linking anorexia nervosa and autism spectrum disorder, as well as anorexics’ attitudes regarding the eating disorder as disability, disease, and/or lifestyle.


Amanda Rosso Buckton

Coordinator, Graduate Programs in Mental Health for General Practitioners and Master of Psychiatry/Postgraduate Course in Psychiatry
New South Wales Institute of Psychiatry

Keywords: psychiatry training, mental health education, culture and health, global mental health, anthropology and mental health, women and madness, Greece

Research Summary: Amanda’s anthropological research focused on non-medical understandings of madness taking an interpretive, phenomenological perspective in exploring the lived experiences of women in Greece who underwent exorcisms for demonic possession, locally understood as a form of madness.  Her work explored the social and cultural meanings attached to madness within modernity, including bodily and devotional healing practices, pilgrimage as a healing journey and the role of spiritual observances as redemptive practices. Amanda has worked in research on cultural diversity within Sydney children’s hospitals, in up skilling health workers to become researchers and more recently in mental health education and psychiatry training.  Amanda has taught qualitative research methods, medical anthropology and public health bringing critical anthropological approaches to the study of illness and healing.


Lesly-Marie Buer

Doctoral Student
University of Kentucky

Keywords:  Appalachia; substance use; women’s health

Research Summary:  Lesly-Marie Buer is working on her dissertation and is focusing her study on a program that provides women facing domestic violence and issues with family services substance abuse treatment in Central Appalachia.


Scott Catey, PhD, JD Catey, Scott

National Council on Crime and Delinquency
National PREA Resource Center
1970 Broadway Suite 500
Oakland, CA 94612

Keywords:  constitutional law; administrative law; prisons; corrections; penal state; public health; health disparities; sexual abuse; community-based interventions; restorative justice

Research Summary:  My research focuses on the ways in which systems (mis)manage individuals with mental health issues. These systems include the National Health System in England, Wales, and Scotland; and the prison system in the US, with a special focus on the victimization of persons with mental health issues in carceral settings. I am a practicing anthropologist with many years’ experience in the application of scholarly research and knowledge to policy fields.


Fernanda Claudio

Post-Doctoral Research Fellow
University of Queensland, Australia

Keywords:  refugee health; medically unexplained symptoms; pain; African refugees

Research Summary:  African refugees are a relatively new population in Australia and present with specific health needs associated with migration and resettlement experiences, and belief systems. Refugees’ encounters with the Australian health system can be unsatisfactory because practitioners are generally not familiar with techniques to understand symptoms beyond the biomedical which refugees present. In these cases, diagnoses related to mental health should be considered in a broader frame related to impacts of migration experience on minds and bodies of refugees.


Daina CrafaCrafa, Daina

PhD Student
Integrated Program in Neuroscience
Douglas Mental Health Institute
McGill University

Keywords: transcultural psychiatry, cultural neuroscience
Research Summary: Daina Crafa is interested in research methods for combining anthropology and neuroscience to study cross-cultural differences and similarities. Currently, her work focuses on approaches    for integrating brain-based research with medical anthropology and transcultural psychiatry and on exploring the theoretical implications contemporary neuroscience has for defining culture. She is also interested in theoretical models that describe the role the brain plays in the substantial behavioral variability observed across cultures and subcultures.


Christina Davey

University of Alberta
Department of Anthropology
13-15 HM Tory Building
University of Alberta
Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2H4

Keywords:  Postpartum Mental Health; Refugee Studies; Maternal Health; Ethnography ; Gender

Research Summary:  Christina Davey is currently near completion of a Master’s thesis focusing on the issue of postpartum mental health in refugee women. Working with the Bhutanese refugee community in her home city, she sought to determine how women understood and experienced pregnancy. Rather than focusing on the Western, clinical manifestations of postpartum depression, her focus is to explain and understand the complex intersections between health, gender, selfhood, family and community in women’s responses to childbirth and the ways in which those relationships change or persist in the face of migration.


Jocelyn Chua

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Keywords:  Globalization of Psychiatry; Mental Health; Suicide; Pharmaceuticals; Ontologies of the Body; Biomedicine


Constance CummingsCummings, Constance

Project Director
Foundation for Psychocultural Research

Keywords:  neuroscience, psychiatry, anthropology

Research Summary:  Project director at an academic nonprofit foundation. Twelve years experience organizing interdisciplinary international conferences and workshops and co-editing related book writing projects. Co-editor of Formative Experiences: The Interaction of Caregiving, Culture, and Developmental Psychobiology (Cambridge University Press, 2010) with Carol Worthman, Dan Schechter, and Paul Plotsky; and the forthcoming Revisioning Psychiatry: Cultural Phenomenology, Critical Neuroscience, and Global Mental Health (Cambridge University Press) with Laurence Kirmayer and Rob Lemelson. A third volume on culture, mind, and brain is in process, and planning for a sixth conference co-hosted by UCLA  (“A Critical Moment: Sex/Gender at the Intersection of Culture, Brain, and Behavior”) is underway.


Michael D’Arcy

UC Berkeley
Ph.D. Candidate

Keywords:  psychosis, antipsychotic drugs, adherence, subjectivity


Lisa Dikomitis, PhD

Hull York Medical School

Keywords:  health inequalities; mental health; deinstitutionalisation; history of psychiatry


Debora Diniz

University of Brasilia in Brazil
Anis: Institute of Bioethics, Human Rights, and Gender

Keywords: psychiatric offenders, psychiatric prisons, women and madness

Research Summary: Debora Diniz works with madness and crime. Her research on mental health wants to explore the overlapping between criminal law and madness. She has done an ethnographic study in a psychiatric hospital in Salvador/Brazil, which resulted in a film. Currently, she is working with women who committed infanticide and are confined to psychiatric prisons in Brazil.


Michael R. Duke, PhD Duke, Michael

Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology
University of Memphis
316 Manning Hall
Memphis, TN 38152
901.678.2467 (phone)
901.678.2069 (fax)

Keywords:  mental health, drug and alcohol use, HIV risk, intimate partner violence, labor, Latin American immigrants, Pacific Islanders

Research Summary: Michael Duke is a Social/Medical Anthropologist whose research focuses on the intersection of labor, substance abuse, migration, gender and masculinity, sexuality, violence, and mental health, particularly among Latin American and Pacific Islander populations. He is also an internationally recognized expert on qualitative and mixed method research, particularly with hard-to-reach populations, and has written and lectured extensively on this topic. Dr. Duke has served as Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator on multiple studies, including an investigation of mental health treatment barriers for Puerto Rican adolescents and a large, National Institute of Health-funded study of heavy drinking and sexual risk among New England-based farmworkers. This was followed by an investigation on the physical and mental health effects of migration on a rural sending community in Mexico. He also served as Co-Investigator of a study on syringe sharing and HIV risk among injection drug users in China’s Guangdong Province. Dr. Duke’s subsequent research focused on heavy drinking and their associated problems among blue collar populations, specifically construction workers, restaurant workers, and military personnel. During this period, he also served as Principal Investigator on two studies: one focusing on problem drinking and partner violence among California farmworkers and the other on stress and alcohol use among day laborers. Dr. Duke is currently beginning an ethnographic study focused on the physical and mental health of Marshall Islanders residing in the United States.


Melissa Fellin, PhD

Post-Doctoral Fellow
Centre for Research on Migration and Ethnic Relations
Faculty of Social Science
The University of Western Ontario
London, ON Canada

Keywords:  immigration/migration, refugee studies, children and youth, disability, autism spectrum disorder, mental health, health, education

Research Summary:  Melissa Fellin’s research has focused on the experiences of immigrant and refugee children and youth and their families’ experiences of education and health in North America. She has carried out research with Somali immigrant communities on their perceptions and experiences of autism spectrum disorder.


Jennifer Fiers

State College of Florida – Sarasota/Manatee

Keywords:  youth, sports, power, performance, well-being

Research Summary:  Jennifer Fiers’ doctoral research was on competitive youth athletes (tennis players) and their coaches and parents in Florida. She focuses on how performance enhancement rituals can both empower and debilitate youth and have physical, psychological, and social ramifications in the long-run. Jennifer is most concerned with abuse normalized as discipline, burnout and injury normalized as sacrifice, and longterm consequences of stress (i.e. PTSD, autoimmune disorder) and parent-coach-child relationships.


Joseph J. Gallo Gallo, Joe

Department of Mental Health
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
624 North Broadway, Room 792
Baltimore, Maryland 21205

Keywords:  mixed methods; depression in late life; older adults

Research Summary:  Joseph J. Gallo, MD, MPH is a Professor in Mental Health. He was the Project Director for the 13-year follow-up of the Baltimore sample of the NIMH Epidemiologic Catchment Area Program. Prior work includes publications on risk factors, course, and epidemiology of psychiatric disorders, the form of depression in late life, health services research in mental health, the co-morbidity of depression and medical conditions, primary health care and mental health, cognitive impairment, and methodology. He was the PI for the “Spectrum of depression in late life,” a mixed methods study to investigate depression in late life, and for the PROSPECT follow-up (“Long term outcomes of depression in late life”). In recognition of his mentoring ability, he was awarded an NIMH Mid-Career Investigator Award in Patient-Oriented Research (K24) and in 2008 was the first recipient of the Steven Banks Award for mentoring in public mental health from the American Public Health Association. He co-wrote a chapter on funding and publishing mixed methods studies for the Second Edition of the Handbook of Mixed Methods in Social & Behavioral Research (Sage Publishers, 2010). Dr. Gallo is on the editorial boards for the American Journal of Geriatic Psychiatry, the International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine, and the Journal of Mixed Methods Research. He is expert in using qualitative and quantitative research methods to investigate the health of older adults. He provided mentorship and serves as an advisor for several K Awards.


Tine M. Gammeltoft, PhD

University of Copenhagen
Department of Anthropology
Øster Farimagsgade 5
DK-1353 Copenhagen K
(+45) 35 32 34 74

Keywords: global mental health; intersections between sexual/reproductive health and mental health; postpartum depression; subjectivity; phenomenological anthropology.

Research Summary: Together with colleagues from Tanzania, Vietnam, and Denmark, Tine Gammeltoft is currently undertaking a comparative and cross-disciplinary study of the connections between intimate partner violence and women’s reproductive health, including postpartum depression. They are working in Tanzania and Vietnam, combining a prospective cohort study with ethnographic research. A key focus in this research is the notion of postpartum depression; they explore how this notion is articulated in particular cultural contexts and how it engages with long-standing cultural concepts of self and subjectivity. This research builds on Gammeltoft’s previous work on biomedicine and subjectivity in Vietnam, published in her recent book, ”Haunting Images: A Cultural Account of Selective Reproduction in Vietnam” (UC Press 2014).


Beth Geglia

PhD Student
American University

Keywords:  collective trauma; trauma and recovery; sexual violence; domestic violence; narratives of power and powerlessness

Research Summary:  Beth Geglia is a documentarian and PhD student at American University with a history of working on issues of sexual and gender-based violence as well as community opposition to resource extraction, mega industrial projects, and neoliberal processes of dispossession in Central America.


Jeppe Oute Hansen

PhD student
LinkedIn profile: Jeppe Oute Hansen

Keywords:  social and medical anthropology; social welfare technology; psychiatry; antipsychiatric studies; user involvement; discourse and institutional analysis

Research Summary:  Jeppe Hansen is currently writing up papers from an anthroplogical fieldwork for his thesis in humanistic health studies. His thesis takes point of departure in the daily life experiences of people with depression and their relatives in order to understand consequences of the professional ethical codes and political ideals in psychiatric treatment ad rehabilitation today. It is his overarching goal to gain insight into how different types of institutionalized behaviors and ethical-political rationals structure the families everyday lives and their relations to professionals and thereby taking a critical approach to hegemonic ideals and theories in public health.


Andrew R. Hatala, PhDHatala, Andrew

University of Saskatchewan

Keywords: youth, resilience, mental health, healing, indigenous, ethnography, spirituality

Research Summary:  After completing his Ph.D., Andrew is now beginning   a CIHR post-doctoral research project in the Departments of Community Health and Epidemiology and Psychiatry. Along with his two supervisors Sylvia Abonyi and Caroline Tait, Andrew will work on a community mental health project entitled, “Identifying strategies of resilience and mental health among inner-city Aboriginal youth.” This project takes as its operating principle the fact that there are existing resources, capabilities and strengths within inner-city neighbourhoods. These strengths are drawn on by First Nations and Métis youth in order to prevent mental illnesses of various kinds and to support general well-being, resilience and mental health. From a mixed method research approach using both quantitative and qualitative methodologies, these community based strengths will be systematically investigated and translated to inform mental health interventions, deepen our understanding of resilience, and guide various health programs implemented by the Ministry of Health and Saskatoon Health Region. A project of this kind benefits First Nations and Métis youth living in Saskatoon’s inner-city contexts. The work may also be translated to other Canadian urban contexts where the mental health and well-being of First Nations and Métis youth unfortunately lags behind the generality of the Canadian population.


Kehli Henry

Graduate Student
Michigan State University

Keywords: medical anthropology, American Indian youth education and behavioral/mental health, collaborative and Indigenous research methods


Hsuan-Ying Huang

Australian National University
Australian Centre on China in the World
Coombs Building #9
College of Asia and the Pacific
Australian National University
Canberra ACT 2600, Australia

Keywords:  history of psychiatry/psychology/psychotherapy; subjectivity; profession; urban China

Emily Hildebrant Iffert

Green House Living for Sheridan/Green House Project

Keywords:  dementia, delirium, depression, Alzheimer’s, long term care, skilled nursing care, LTC, SNF, nursing home, nutrition, health, institution

Research Summary:  Nutrition in long term care and interaction between nutrition and dementia


Mahri Irvine, PhDIrvine, Mahri

Adjunct Professor
Department of Anthropology and WGSS Program
St. Mary’s College of Maryland

Keywords: sexual violence; child sexual abuse; trauma; advocacy; rape culture; incarceration

Research Summary: Mahri Irvine is a feminist anthropologist and an advocate for survivors of violent crime. She has three years of direct experience as a rape crisis counselor and eighteen months experience as a group facilitator for a women’s gender-based violence support group; she has served three different non-profit organizations that provide services for survivors of sexual violence. Mahri is currently writing her dissertation, which focuses on the relationship between rape culture and the legal system in the United States. Her research is based on women’s lives and experiences in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.


Nev Jones

DePaul University

Keywords:  psychosis; schizophrenia; anthropological theory of mind; participatory methods

Research Summary: Phenomenological psychopathology; cultural theory; early intervention in psychosis; usual experience in clinical and spiritual contexts


Afshan Kamrudin

PhD Candidate
Southern Methodist University

Keywords:  mental health; religion; progressive movements; transnationalism; Islam; public health; neuroanthropology


Hannah Kass

Mount Holyoke College

Keywords:  US identity politics; social violence; medical anthropology; mental health/illness; contemporary archaeology

Summary:  Migrant material culture in the Sonora desert


Mike Kaufman

Harvard University

Keywords:  Sociocultural influences on normal development and well-being, and on pathology and symptom expression; Narrative conceptions of the person; Psychological Anthropology; Psychoanalytic Theory


Nichola Khan, DPhil

School of Applied Social Science
University of Brighton
Falmer, East Sussex BN1 9PH, UK

Keywords:  Violence, war, migration, work, mental health, mobilities, affect, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Afghan diasporas.

Research Summary:  Nichola Khan is a Chartered Psychologist and Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Brighton, UK. She obtained a MPhil in Cross-cultural Psychology and a DPhil in Social Anthropology (2008) from the University of Sussex. She conducts research in social and psychological anthropology. Her writing focuses primarily on violence, war and migration, with emphasis on people across Afghan diasporas, and ethnic communities in Pakistan are affected by these processes. She is the author of ‘Mohajir Militancy in Pakistan’ (2010, paperback 2012, Routledge) which develops a psychological-cum-anthropological exploration of political violence amongst Karachi’s ‘Mohajirs’– the Indian Muslim migrants to Pakistan following partition in 1947. She has held teaching posts at the University of Sussex, South Bank University, and worked as a consultant on development projects on HIV transmission, cash transfers and social protection. At Brighton, she teaches critical, cultural and community approaches across the psychology programme, and co-ordinates the following modules: The Anthropological Psyche; Violence in Context; Personal and Social Transformations; Developmental Psychology. She is interested in supervising doctoral students working on topics relating to violence and subjectivity, migration, labour, affect and mental health—with regional interests in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Afghan diasporas, and the UK.


Katie Kilroy-Marac

Assistant Professor of Anthropology
University of Toronto Scarborough

Keywords:  transcultural psychiatry; cross-cultural psychiatry; memory and history; postcolonial institutions; DSM-V; hoarding

Research Summary: Dr. Kilroy-Marac’s research considers the social history of psychiatric thought, the naturalization of psychiatric categories, and the spaces in which local understandings of illness and suffering come into contact with—and even reconfigure—(Western) psychiatric models. She is currently working on a book manuscript entitled _An Impossible Inheritance: Postcolonial Psychiatry and the Work of Memory in a West African Clinic_ based fieldwork conducted at the Fann Psychiatric Clinic in Dakar, Senegal. Her latest ethnographic research examines the emergence of hoarding as both mental disorder and public health hazard in North America.


Anne Kohler

University of Connecticut

Keywords:  anthropology, cultural competency, depression, PTSD, medication branding, compliance, attachment therapy, reactive attachment disorder


Stéphanie Larchanché Larchanche, Stephanie

Centre F. Minkowska/IRIS-EHESS
Paris (France)

Keywords: mental health, immigration, transcultural psychiatry, role of psychosocial factors on physical health

Research Summary: Stéphanie Larchanché’s research has largely focused on mental healthcare access and mental healthcare provision to immigrant populations, in France in particular. She currently directs an observatory on immigrants’ and refugees’ trajectories to “specialized” mental healthcare centers in the Paris region. In parallel, through a collaborative research project on the experience of breast cancer among West African immigrants in France, she also explores the role of psychosocial factors on physical health.


George Laufenberg

Quin Morton Teaching Fellow :: Doctoral Candidate
Department of Anthropology
116 Aaron Burr Hall
Princeton University
Princeton, NJ 08544

Keywords:  Psychotherapy; Spirituality; Epistemology; Subjectivity; Community

Research Summary:  While the religious origins of the encounter between psychotherapist and patient are well-documented—practitioners of “the talking cure” have been compared to priests and shamans since Freud conjured the discipline—recent scholarship suggests that the relationship between ‘therapy’ and ‘religion’ appears to work both ways in the U.S: anthropologist Tanya Luhrmann’s decade of work with Evangelical Christians, for instance, foregrounds the decline of the fire-and-brimstone God of the old testament and the rise of an unconditionally loving, and profoundly intimate, friend and confidant. What has been described as “the problem of presence”—accounting, that is, for the ways in which the divine becomes real for people—is not confined to evangelicals, however: somewhere between one-quarter and one-third of Americans currently identify as “spiritual but not religious” (or ‘SBNR’). George’s research took place at the conjuncture of these categories: He conducted ethnographic fieldwork with a community of SBNR Americans—most of whom are licensed mental health professionals—who practice metaphysical healing techniques in spiritual ceremonies. His dissertation explores the milieux in which these healing practices are taught and learned, seeking to understand them as responses to what people experience as profound crises of presence—of the divine and the social—as well as opportunities to pose questions about the place of the sacred in contemporary American social life.


Annette Leibing, PhD

University of Montreal

Keywords:  Brazil, aging, mental health, biotechnologies, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, psychiatry, medications

Research Summary: Annette Leibing is a medical anthropologist with a special interest in psychiatry, ageing (esp. Alzheimer, Parkinson), medications, and, more recently, the cultures of stem cells. From 1995–2000 she was a professor at the Institute of Psychiatry, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro where she founded the Center for aging and dementia (CDA). She is now a professor of medical anthropology at the Faculty of Nursing, Université de Montréal and a researcher of the research groups CREGÉS (Qc), MéOS (Qc), PACTE (France), and PEPAS (Brazil). Her most recent books are entitled Thinking about Dementia – Culture, Loss, and the Anthropology of Senility (Rutgers University Press, 2006; co-edited with Lawrence Cohen) , The Shadow Side of Fieldwork – Exploring the Blurred Borders between Ethnography and Life (Blackwell, 2007, co-edited with A.McLean), and a volume on ‘technologies of hope’ (PUL; in French; co-editor Virginie Tournay).


Shir LermanLerman, Shir

PhD Candidate
University of Connecticut

Keywords:  depression; chronic illness; Puerto Rico; diabetes; obesity; syndemics; ataque de nervios

Research Summary:  Shir Lerman looks at the way in which diabetes, depression, and obesity interact in Puerto Rico to create a new syndemic, and the way in which diabetes and obesity affect the etiology of ataque de nervios.


Andra le Roux-Kemp

Assistant Professor
City University of Hong Kong (School of Law)

Keywords:  Health Law, Medical Law, Forensic Law, Medical Anthropology, Public Health, Bioethics, Medical Ethics

Research Summary:  Andra’s primary research interest is in Medical- and Health Law and specifically on the intersect between the law and other disciplines (specifically the medical sciences), and how different perspectives and research methodologies (e.g. from medical anthropology and bioethics) can inform the law and ensure greater cohesion between the law and its social context. The interaction and interstices between the law, other disciplines, and its social contexts have also informed her work in Criminal Justice, specifically Forensic Law. Forensic Law refers to the application of scientific knowledge and methodology to criminal proceedings. Consistent with her primary focus in Medical- and Health Law, her interest in Forensic Law was sparked by the role that medical science plays in legal proceedings.


Haochu (Howard) Li Li, Haochu HowardLi, Haochu HowardLi, Haochu Howard

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Keywords: sexuality; men who have sex with men; people living with HIV/AIDS; mental health; sexual health; health service seeking

Research Summary:  Dr.Haochu Li has been trained in multiple disciplines of anthropology, health social sciencesm, and public health. His researches focus on sexuality, gay men, and HIV/AIDS prevention, intervention and care.


Peter LockeLocke, Peter

Lecturer in Public and International Affairs
211 Robertson Hall
Woodrow Wilson School
Princeton University
Princeton, NJ 08544

Keywords:  global health; humanitarian psychiatry; global mental health; Bosnia-Herzegovina; Sierra Leone

Research Summary:  Peter Locke is a Lecturer in Public and International Affairs at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School. Prior to this, he worked as a Postdoctoral Research Associate for Princeton’s Program in Global Health and Health Policy and earned his PhD from Princeton’s Department of Anthropology. He has conducted fieldwork on post-war mental health services, medical humanitarianism, and global health education in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Sierra Leone.


Gilberto Lopez 

Harvard School of Public Health

Keywords:  Migration and health, informal migrants, mixed methods research, medical anthropology, community based public health, men’s health, depression, stress, substance use, violence, STI

Research Summary:  Gilberto Lopez is a social scientist with a public health focus and interest in the intersections of migration, health, and power. More specifically, he is interested in how said intersections play a role in the formation of conceptualizations, attitudes, and behaviors of health and illness among migrants in sending and receiving communities. His research is driven by academic and applied goals. Academically, he hopes to add to the knowledge and understanding of the immigrant experience by “bearing witness” to the inequalities that effect the health of this community. In the applied field, his aim is to design and implement culturally appropriate public health programs that better serve immigrant populations in both receiving and sending communities.


Sue Gena Lurie, PhD Lurie, Sue Gena

University of Northern Texas Health Science Center (retired)

Keywords:  mental health and social policy; community support systems; homelessness; youth substance abuse prevention; program evaluation

Research Summary:  Sue Gena Lurie’s research on community mental health includes change in outpatient services, inter-organizational community systems, evaluation of inter-agency coordination of youth services and substance abuse prevention programs, and psychiatric emergency room use (North Texas).


Elliot Marks

Post-Bac Student
University of Vermont

Research Summary: Elliot Marks is new to this arena in a formal sense, but he has been interested for some time. He is now actively looking to more thoroughly familiarize himself.


Matt Maycock

Glasgow University
Investigator Scientist
Keywords:  Masculinity, gender, bonded labour, prisons
Research Summary:  Matt Maycock is currently working at Glasgow University in the Gender and Health Unit. Matthew’s current research focuses on masculinity and health, with a particular focus on a health promotion campaign delivered in a prison in Scotland.


Andrew McGrath

Homeless Outreach
Keywords:  Harm Reduction, Stigma Resistance, Schizophrenia, Dual-Diagnosis, Addiction, Transcultural Psychiatry, Ethnography, psychotropic self, Medical Anthropology, Psychological Anthropology
Research Summary:  Andrew McGrath’s research interests include the resistance to being stigmatized by marginalized persons and groups within the USA and how social professionals unknowingly contribute to the development of stigma in some circumstances.


Melanie Angel Medeiros

PhD Candidate
University of Arizona

Keywords:  global women’s health, idioms of distress, Brazil, West Africa.


Emily Mendenhall, PhD, MPH

Assistant Professor of Global Health
Science, Technology, and International Affairs Program, School of Foreign Service
Georgetown University

Keywords:  medical anthropology, syndemic suffering, syndemics, health inequalities, idioms of distress, ethnopsychiatry, women’s health, embodiment, co-morbidities and multi-morbidities, global mental health

Research Summary: Dr. Mendenhall has conducted cross-cultural research on the syndemics of poverty, depression, and diabetes in vulnerable populations residing in urban India, Kenya, South Africa, and United States. This research culminated in a book entitled “Syndemic Suffering: Social Distress, Depression, and Diabetes among Mexican Immigrant Women” (2012) and several peer review journals, such as Social Science and Medicine, Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry, and Medical Anthropology Quarterly. Currently Dr. Mendenhall serves as a Visiting Researcher at the Africa Mental Health Foundation in Nairobi, Kenya. Previously, Dr. Mendenhall was a Visiting Research Fellow at the Center for Global Mental Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.


Stephen Monteiro 

University of Chicago

Keywords: Biopolitics, Normative Theory, Ghana, Indigenous practice.

Summary:  Stephen Monteiro seeks to interpret contemporary developments in public health, employing Foucauldian methodologies (e.g. discourse and institutional analysis, history of science and philosophy). Currently he is studying the normative structures that have been formed as a result of Asante Witch-craft.


Daniela Navia

University of Calgary

Keywords:  Mental Health; Critical Research; Collaborative Ethnography; Postcolonialism; Indigenous  Methodologies


Michael Nunley

Coordinator of Research and Evaluation
Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Div
Community Services Branch
9201 W Watertown Plank Road
Milwaukee, WI 53226

Keywords: mental health; psychiatry; substance abuse; addiction; neuroanthropology; pharmaceuticals; psychology; moral reasoning; applied anthropology

Research Summary: Michael Nunley has done research on cross-cultural psychiatry in India and on pathways into mental health services among rural teenagers and American Indians. He also has eight years applied experience in public behavioral health services at a time of rapid and profound change in the service system.


Maureen O’Dougherty

University of Minnesota

Keywords:  mental illness narratives; communities of care; identity; gender

Research Summary:  Maureen O’Dougherty is interested in exploring understandings of mental illness, treatments and recovery held by people diagnosed with a mental health illness or condition. She examines narrative structure and genre in the analysis of the narratives. In a future project she would like to gather narratives/life stories of family members of persons diagnosed with serious, peristent mental illness.


Jessica Ott

Graduate Student
Department of Anthropology
Michigan State University

Research Summary: Jessica Ott is a graduate student in anthropology at Michigan State University. Jessica completed an MPH from the University of Michigan School of Public Health in 2009 before working for EngenderHealth in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and on a qualitative research team at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System. Her current research interests are related to the role of mental health diagnoses in asylum processes among Somali migrants in Kenya, therapeutic responses to addiction in East Africa, and the globalization of posttraumatic stress disorder. She is also interested in how US war veterans navigate the disability system and their conceptions of PTSD.


Nikki Petrovich

Deakin University

Keywords:  Depression, Anxiety, Anthropology, Australia, Emile Durkheim ‘suicide’.

Research Summary: Ms. Petrovich is currently undertaking an honor’s thesis in anthropology focusing on the social impacts of mental illness in Australia. If this is an area where anyone has completed a study/ fieldwork, she would love to get in touch and hear different ideas. She is very new to this and has only just started her thesis and would love to meet others working in the field.


Thao Theresa Pham, PhD, MSW

University of Maryland
Department of Anthropology
1111 Woods Hall
College Park, MD 20742

Keywords: Aging, Mental Health, Trauma, Social Suffering, Care, Clinical Ethnography, Ethnopsychiatry, Community Health, Family

Research Summary: Dr. Pham’s research area deals with the intersection of migration/immigration, mental health, and social stressors and suffering. As a trained clinical social worker and anthropologist, she is also interested in how cultural beliefs and practices inform the interaction between provider and patient/client and the delivery of services and care. Her work has spanned several countries, from the United States and Vietnam to Morocco and Spain, which contributes to her increasing attraction to global mental health issues, particularly as it relates to human mobility and (re)settlement.


Regina Pilotte

Keywords: occupational therapy, organizational impact, medical anthropology
Research Summary:  I am an occupational therapist of 16 years with an interest in mental health, anthropology specific to healthcare.


Sonya Pritzker

Assistant Researcher
Keywords:  Chinese medicine, alternative medicine, psychology, new age spiritual psychology, linguistic anthropology, medical anthropology, psychological anthropology

Research Summary:  Dr. Sonya Pritzker is a medical anthropologist and a licensed practitioner of Chinese medicine.  Her research focuses on the global translation and dissemination of Chinese medical knowledge, including the linguistic choices of specific translators as well as the transfer of research findings into clinical practice, the interpretation of textbooks by teachers, and the explanation of Chinese medical concepts to patients.  She is also currently involved in several research studies pertaining to the development and practice of integrative medicine and person-centered medicine in the U.S., and has previously researched the treatment of anxiety and depression with Chinese medicine in China.  She is fluent in Chinese and has extensive experience studying Chinese medicine and researching both Chinese medicine and psychology in Beijing, China.


Nonibala Rajkumari

Research Scholar
Department of Anthropology
University of Delhi

Keywords:  Insurgency; Mental Health; Drug Addiction; Health


Annie Maria Schmidt

Graduate Assistant, Department of Anthropology
Research Assistant, Department of Africana Studies
University of Cincinnati

Keywords: holistic and integrative therapy, yoga studies, traditional botanical knowledge, educational resource development, applied, medical, and cultural anthropology, Native America


Raymond Schwartz

Executive Director
Venture House
150-10 Hillside Ave.
Jamaica, NY 11432
718-658-7201 X 1509

Keywords:  Mental Health services, especially recovery & rehab services; Public Policy; Agency Management/administration; Advocacy


Lauren Sealy

University of Pittsburgh
PhD Student

Research Summary: Lauren Sealy is a PhD student in anthropology at the University of Pittsburgh and she also works in research at the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic. Her interests are loosely in social media, social networks, and adolescent depression. She is especially interested in how social media impacts mental health, particularly in young people, and across cultural contexts.


Don Seeman

Department of Religion
Callaway Hall South
Emory University
Atlanta, GA 30322

Keywords:  Phenomenological Anthropology; Contemplative Studies; Religion and Psychology; Ethnography of Religious Experience, Suffering and Healing;Middle East, Israel; Africa;North America;Jewish Studies; Pentecostalism;

Research Summary:  Don Seeman’s research brings phenomenological anthropology into religious studies, with a focus on the complex, intersubjective nature of religious experience. He co-edited a special issue of Ethos on phenomenological and psychonanalytic anthropology and currently holds grant from the Mind and Life Institute and Social Science Research Council on the ethnography of contemplative practice in Chabad. He is the founder of the Forum for the Ethnographic Study of Religion at Emory  and co-editor of the Society for the Anthropology of Religion book series, “Contemporary Anthropology of Religion” at Palgrave-Macmillan.


Rebecca Seligman, PhD

Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology
Northwestern University

Keywords:  Embodiment, dissociation, suffering and healing, selfhood, spirit possession, Brazil, somatization, depression and diabetes, adolescent mental health,  immigration and mental health, anthropology of psychiatry, cultural neuroscience.

Research Summary:  Rebecca Seligman’s research centers on relationships of stress, social disadvantage, and cultural models of selfhood to outcomes such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), dissociation, somatization, diabetes, and depression. She is also engaged with current neuroscience research concerning these phenomena, and has published several articles on cultural neuroscience. Her past research has explored the relationship between self-narrative, embodiment, and mental health among possession mediums in Northeastern Brazil.  Seligman’s current project explores mental health disparities among Mexican American youth, examining how social and cultural influences on the ways in which youth conceptualize and experience their emotions, relationships, and ultimately, their sense of self, affect help seeking and the experience of mental health care. Seligman is author of the forthcoming book “Possessing Spirits and Healing Selves: Embodiment and Transformation in an Afro-Brazilian Religion.”


Beth Semel


Keywords:  professionalization; expertise; mental health care systems; clinical psychology; psychiatry; cultural competence; diagnostic categories; assessment; DSM


Jennie Simpson, PhD

Pathways to Housing DC>

Keywords:  criminal justice and mental health collaborations, veterans, PTSD, Assertive Community Treatment

Research Summary:  Currently, Jennie Simpson works as an applied anthropologist with an Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) team in Washington, D.C. that provides mental health social support services to veterans and homeless individuals with mental illnesses. Prior to this, she worked nationally with law enforcement agencies to develop and implement  specialized policing responses to people with mental illnesses. Her doctoral research focused on understanding interactions between police officers and homeless individuals with mental illness within the political economy of the mental health and criminal justice systems in D.C. (Ph.D., 2011, American University). Her areas of specialization include mental health service delivery, systems of care coordination, veterans and PTSD, homelessness, mental health and criminal justice systems collaboration.


Claire Snell-Rood

Postdoctoral Scholar
University of Kentucky

Keywords:  mental health; medical anthropology; South Asia; women’s health; health disparities; urban and rural health

Research Summary:  Dr. Claire Snell-Rood completed her B.A. in anthropology from U.C. Berkeley, her M.A. and Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Virginia, and has domestic and international experience working in low-income urban communities. She completed her doctoral research in an industrial slum in Delhi, India where she explored women’s care decisions and faith-based concepts of health at the family and community level. In particular, she examined the cultural variation of community social support, family and self-care in the context of abuse and neglect, attitudes toward community-level advocacy, and home-based management of the slum environment. As a post-doctoral scholar, she will examine how cultural beliefs about depression shape treatment-seeking in Eastern Kentucky. Her research interests focus on cultural variations of depression and stress, the family dynamics that shape health behaviors and treatment seeking, patterns of resilience, and qualitative and participatory methodologies.


Anubha Sood

Keywords: gender; religious healing; cross-cultural mental health; dissociation; possession; embodiment; transcultural psychiatry

Research Summary:  Sood’s research interests combine the fields of psychological, medical and psychiatric anthropology, the anthropology of religion, cross-cultural mental health and gender studies. She is broadly interested in understanding how individuals across cultural contexts experience psychological distress and the healing practices they engage in to resolve their suffering. Her doctoral research project, which she recently completed, is based on ethnographic fieldwork with female attendees in a Hindu healing temple in North India, popular for treating psychological ailments that manifest as spirit possession. In the study, she sought to understand how the women’s psychological and social suffering found expression in bodily possession in the temple’s therapeutic milieu and how these women worked to resolve their distress through participation in a range of ritualized bodily practices to induce dissociated states of consciousness. Sood’s research is driven by the question of how and why dissociation is actively employed as a therapeutic technique in a range of religious-spiritual healing settings in South Asia and elsewhere, and what that might tell us about the interconnections between the somatic, psychological, religious and cultural dimensions of mental health.


Daina Stanley

Department of Anthropology
McMaster University
Chester New Hall
1280 Main Street West
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
L8S 4L9
Keywords:  medical anthropology; mental health; chronic illness; Alzheimer’s disease; prison population; self; narrative; narrative medicine; public health; illicit drug use; HIV risk


Peter Stromberg, PhD

Department of Anthropology
University of Tulsa
600 South Tucker Drive
Tulsa, OK 74104

Keywords:  Psychotherapy; History of Dynamic Psychotherapy; Neuoranthropology

Research Summary:  Peter Stromberg’s current research concerns the history of dynamic psychotherapy in the United States, especially in terms of the relationship between psychotherapeutic practice and religion. He is also interested in the neuroanthropology of healing practices in dynamic therapy.


Gala True, PhD

Core Investigator
Veteran’s Affairs

Keywords: Post Deployment Health; Moral Injury; Post Traumatic Stress; Narrative; Community Engaged Research

Research Summary:  Dr. True is a medical anthropologist and folklorist whose research focuses on understanding and reducing health disparities and access to care through a patient-centered focus. She employs community-engaged research approaches to identify and address barriers to mental health care for veterans returning from combat deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan. She is also part of a team funded by the VA to evaluate and foster innovation in implementation of the Patient-Centered Medical Home model. Dr. True collaborates with a number of investigators at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center and University of Pennsylvania to integrate qualitative and mixed-methods approaches to health service research.


John Tuskan

Assistant Professor of Nursing
Assistant Professor
Saint Josephs College
Standish, Maine

Research Summary: Professor Tuskan specializes and researches in a range of mental health topics, including: spirituality, suffering and trauma healing; prevention and clinical management of violence; refugee and transcultural mental health; and disaster mental health.


Ana Silvia ValeroValero, Ana

Doctoral candidate
Facultad de Ciencias Naturales y Museo, Universidad Nacional de La Plata

Keywords:  Interactions between Mental health and law institutions, mental  health and justice teams training, practices and meanings, human rights and trajectories of mental patients, social conditions and changes in mental health public care models, meanings and practices.

Research Summary:  Ethnography of mental health hospital and Justice civil system in Provincia de Buenos Aires. Research collaborative experience in Provincia de Santa Fe and Tierra del Fuego (Argentina).


Dirck van Bekkum, PhD candidate

Moira CTT (Culturele Transfer en Transformatie)
PO Box 209
6560 AE Groesbeek
The Netherlands

Keywords:  migrants and refugees in mental health; anthropology and transcultural family/system therapy; gender: developing and publishing complementing male and female perspectives; DSM V and integrating national & ethnic differences; co-creating rituals in therapy; young men in transcultural psychiatry

Research Summary: 10 years of clinical & fieldwork experience (occupational therapist) in mental health services; co-developer of innovative concepts and models in transcultural psychiatry (migration as transition, young men hospitalized and incarcerated); 20 years of lecturing and training experience mental health & youth care professionals; 15 years innovator in transcultural family and system therapy (bridging kinship and genogram concepts/theories); 15 years cooperation with transcultural female family therapists in complementing anthropological and family therapy theories; long term project with colleagues: how to introduce active ingredients of rituals in clinical and youth care practices; long term project with colleagues: how to implement male and father perspectives (complementary to female & mother perspectives)in mental health and youth care practices; Co-publishing applied anthropological concepts and models in mental health practices (5 in English, 15 in Dutch, 2 in German; PhD candidate: Anthropological redressing young men’s deviance and resistance behavior in educational, psychiatric and incarcerating institutions towards supporting their succesful coming of age in multicultural settings in The Netherlands?


Lesley Jo Weaver

Doctoral Candidate
Emory University
Keywords: comorbidity; chronic diseases; mental health; South Asia; South America


Thomas S. Weisner

Center for Culture & Health
Semel Institute
Department of Psychiatry

Keywords:  human development, children and families at risk, disability, ASD, disability, ADHD, family


Maja Wilhelmsen

PhD Student
Arctic University of Norway

Keywords:  mental health; depression; primary care; eHealth

Research Summary:  She is a general practitioner doing reasearch on implementation of bleded internetbased cognitive behavioural treatment treating depression in primary care.She uses in-depth interviews to explore experience made by both patients and general practitioners.


Harry Yi-Jui Wu, PhD

Centre for the Humanities and Medicine
9/F, Run Run Shaw Tower
The University of Hong Kong
Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong

Keywords:  history of psychiatry, public mental health, disease classification, medical humanities

Research Summary:  Harry Yi-Jui Wu is Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Humanitarian Studies at the Centre for the Humanities and Medicine, University of Hong Kong. He studied medicine in Taiwan and history in the UK. Harry’s DPhil in History of Medicine (Wellcome Unit, Oxford) focused on the transnational construction of psychiatric trauma and the history of psychiatric classification in the context of postwar global health (mainly World Health Organization). Currently, his work deals with the humanitarian intervention of psychiatric sciences regarding the aftermaths of the Second World War and the anxiety surrounding the indeterminable time of postwar worldwide rehabilitation.


Jing Xu

Washington University in St. Louis

Keywords:  child development, mental health, China

Research Summary:  Jing Xu’s research is situated at the intersection between cultural anthropology and developmental psychology. Jing uses both ethnographic and experimental methods to investigate child development (cognitive, social and moral) and early education in China, under the one-child policy and China’s rapid social transformations. Her theoretical interests include examining the nature and dynamics of enculturation and cultural transmission, the relationships between psychological dispositions and cultural dynamics. Jing’s geographic focus is China, and more broadly, East Asia. Her next project is intended to examine mental health issues of migrant children in China, at both rural and urban sites.


Kristin E. Yarris

Assistant Professor
Dept. of International Studies and Dept. of Women’s & Gender Studies
University of Oregon

Faculty Mentor
Mental Health Research and Training Program
University of Southern California and Benemerita Universidad Autonoma de Puebla

Keywords:  global mental health; transnational migration; caregiving; family health; embodied distress; gender and health; Latin America; Nicaragua; Mexico


Margaret Young

Social Worker

Keywords:  poverty; depression; family preservation; child abuse and neglect; mental health; mental illness