MITCHELL WEISS, M.D., Ph.D.
Mitchell Weiss, M.D., Ph.D. heads the Department of Public Health and Epidemiology at the Swiss Tropical Institute (STI) in Basel, where he also leads a research group in cultural epidemiology. A Professor at the University of Basel in the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, he teaches courses on cultural dimensions of international health. His teaching in the curriculum of STI includes the topics of international mental health and qualitative research.
Doctoral training at the University of Pennsylvania in the cultural and medical traditions of India preceded his medical training and specialty in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Based in the Departments of Social Medicine and Psychiatry, he acquired extensive field experience in India, worked on the faculty of the medical anthropology program, and developed courses on international health at Harvard. His research group at STI is currently engaged in research on mental health and tropical diseases with a network of collaborations in South Asia, Africa, and Europe. Key studies are supporting development of the rural mental health system of the Sundarban Delta, West Bengal, and a community urban mental health system in a low-income urban community in Mumbai. Additional mental health research collaborations studying deliberate self-harm, depression, schizophrenia, and chronic fatigue syndrome are underway in Pune, Bangalore, and Mumbai. In connection with interests in research and control of tropical diseases, Dr. Weiss chaired the WHO task force that initially developed the concept of community-directed treatment for onchocerciasis in Africa and lymphatic filariasis. Current research activities also include support for a group of WHO studies of gender and tuberculosis.