Person Details

Mitchell G. Weiss, Professor emeritus, MD, PhD, MA, Group Leader
+41 61 284 82 90
+41 61 284 81 05
Department -> Unit
Epidemiology and Public Health -> Society, Gender and Health -> Cultural Epidemiology


Main function
Professor Emeritus, Social Scientist and Mental Health Specialist


Professional activities at Swiss TPH
  • Guiding development of cultural epidemiology in the framework of health social sciences research and training
  • Developing research and training partnerships in India
  • Leading research in cultural psychiatry, mental health, suicide, stigma, and community determinants of disease control and vaccine acceptance

Higher education and qualifications
  • 1977 PhD in South Asia Regional Studies (University of Pennsylvania)
  • 1981 MD University of Pennsylvania
  • 1982-1985 Residency training in psychiatry, Harvard Medical School (Cambridge Hospital)
  • 1987-1992 Fellowship in cultural psychiatry and medical anthropology, Harvard Medical School, Dept of Social Medicine and Health Policy (NIMH Career Development Award)
  • 1988 Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School, Depts of Social Medicine and Psychiatry
  • 1985 Instructor, Harvard Medical School, Depts of Social Medicine and Psychiatry
  • 1992 Associate Professor, University of Toronto
  • 1993 Lecturer, Harvard Medical School, Dept of Social Medicine and Health Policy
  • 1996 Professor of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Basel
  • 2013 Adjunct faculty, Datta Meghe Institute of Medical Sciences, Nagpur, India
  • 2014 Honorary Advisor and Visiting Professor, KEM Hospital Research Centre, Pune, India

Past professional activities
  • 1997-2009 Head of Dept of Public Health and Epidemiology, Swiss TPH
  • 2007-2011 Head of Health Social Sciences Unit, Dept of Epidemiology and Public Health, Swiss TPH
  • 2001 International Visiting Fellow, Institute of Social Research, Dept of Sociology, University of Surrey, UK. Research capacity of computer-assisted qualitative analytic software.
  • 1985 Fulbright Fellow, research in India on tropical diseases and mental disorders
  • Research primarily in India and also sub-Saharan Africa on social and cultural aspects of tuberculosis, malaria, cholera, leprosy, other neglected tropical diseases and non-communicable diseases
  • Research in cultural psychiatry and the social and cultural determinants of suicide and community mental health with cross-cutting interests in stigma, gender and the health impact of cinema
  • Research on social, cultural and community determinants of vaccine acceptance and coverage
  • Research, training, courses and workshops for cultural epidemiology and research capacity to integrate qualitative and quantitative methods for global health and use of Android tablet technologies
  • Chair of jury of the biennial Frame of Mind Film Festival for public awareness of mental health and promoting collaboration of filmmakers and mental health professionals (SCARF, since 2010)
  • Chair of Swiss TPH Informatics Task Force (1997-2001)

  • 135 original papers in peer-reviewed journals, 22 book chapters and encyclopaedia entries, 11 works as individual or corporate author or editor of books, monographs, and journal special issues or sections; and 41 editorials, reviews, proceedings and other publications.



  • Initiative for the Prevention of Suicide in Switzerland - Ipsilon research group
  • Scientific Advisory Board, Indo-Swiss Bilateral Research Initiative (Swiss State Secretariat for Education and Research, 2007-2009)



  • Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry, Cultural Psychiatry Committee
  • American Psychiatry Association’s DSM-5 Study Group on Gender and Cross-Cultural Issues (2010-2013)
  • World Association of Cultural Psychiatry (Board of Directors, 2006-2012)
  • Partnership for Social Sciences in Malaria Control (Steering Committee, 2005-2011)
  • International Consortium for Research and Action against Health-Related Stigma - ICRAAS (Steering Committee, 2004-2010)
  • Society for the Study of Psychiatry and Culture (Board of Directors, 2002-2011)
  • World Psychiatric Association, Transcultural Psychiatry Section (Executive Committee, 1999-2011)



  • WHO Immunization and Vaccines-Related Implementation Research Advisory Committee (IVIR-AC)
  • WHO/TDR Thematic Reference Group on Social Sciences and Gender (2008-2010)
  • WHO/TDR Task Force on Community-Directed Treatment for Onchocerciasis and Lymphatic Filariasis (Chair, 1997-98)


Editorial Boards

  • Anthropology and Medicine
  • Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry
  • Health Policy and Planning (1998-2002)
  • Indian Journal of Psychiatry (2005-2006)
  • Infectious Diseases of Poverty
  • Transcultural Psychiatry
  • World Cultural Psychiatry Research Review