Miraj Desai Yale University School of Medicine assistant professor died at 41

In Loving Memory of Miraj U. Desai, PhD - Yale School of Medicine. Learn more about Miraj Desai obituary and death...

Miraj Desai Ph.D. Death – Miraj Desai, an assistant professor at the Program for Recovery and Community Health (PRCH) in the Yale University School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry, has passed away. Miraj Desai was announced dead on Saturday, the 5th of November 2023. He died at the age of 41. No cause of death was reported.

Miraj will be remembered for his unwavering commitment to creating a better world. Within the Department of Psychiatry and the School of Medicine, his legacy is defined by dedicated mentorship, nurturing future scholars, and championing a mission that prioritizes community engagement and the fight against structural racism.

Who was Miraj Desai?

Miraj, an esteemed member of the Yale community, was an assistant professor at the Program for Recovery and Community Health (PRCH) in the Yale University School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry. His journey at Yale began in 2011 as a pre-doctoral clinical fellow, progressing through roles such as Resident Fellow of Pierson College, affiliated faculty in the Center on Climate Change and Health, and the Yale School of Public Health.

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An influential figure in the emerging field of “structural psychology,” Miraj made groundbreaking contributions by exploring the structural bases of health, equity, and inequity. His concept of “implicit organizational bias” was pivotal, earning him a K01 award from the National Institute on Minority Health and Disparities (NIMHD).

Miraj’s research on culture, community, race, and racism garnered recognition and funding through various awards, including a Pioneering Ideas Award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and a KL2 Scholar Award from the Yale Center for Clinical Investigation/NIH. His book, “Travel and Movement in Clinical Psychology: The World Outside the Clinic,” explored the connection between mental health and structural oppression.

Honors and recognitions adorned Miraj’s career, including being named a 40 under 40 Leader in Health by the National Minority Quality Forum in 2022. His engagements extended beyond academia, partnering with communities to address recovery and structural racism, exemplified by his collaboration with Beulah Heights First Pentecostal Church.

Miraj’s upbringing in Ohio, his academic journey from Miami University to Fordham University, and his commitment to diverse participatory projects reflected his dedication to holistic approaches to mental health. His profound impact on the field, extensive academic lineage, and commitment to community engagement define Miraj’s legacy in advancing mental health research and practice.

Survived by

Miraj is survived by his wife, Dr. Usha Reena Rungoo, and son, Indra, as well as his mother, Maya Desai, and his brother, Neil Desai, both living in Ohio.

An obituary is not available at this time for Miraj Desai.

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