Mitchell Gralnick Weiss
Mitchell Gralnick Weiss, M.D., Ph.D.
Corresponding Member of the Faculty of Global Health and Social Medicine

Mitchell G. Weiss is a cultural psychiatrist, medical anthropologist, and health social science researcher. He undertook residency training in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School from 1981 to 1985 and then joined the Department of Social Medicine. His training in cultural psychiatry and medical anthropology was mentored by Arthur Kleinman, MD and supported by an NIMH Research Scientist Development Award from 1987 to 1992. He was appointed instructor in psychiatry and instructor in social medicine from July 1985 to June 1988 and then assistant professor. He remained affiliated with the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine as lecturer after moving to the University of Toronto as associate professor in 1992 and then to Basel in 1995 as professor at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH, formerly Swiss Tropical Institute) and the University of Basel. He served as chair of the Swiss TPH Department of Public Health and Epidemiology from 1997 for the next 12 years. He established the Health Social Science Unit in that department, and he also developed a cultural epidemiology research group. His research collaborations over more than 35 years, have benefited from a network of partnerships primarily in India and also in Ghana, Kenya, and other countries of South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. Topical interests in mental health include cultural studies of various mental health problems, stigma, suicide, and relevant features of culture and cultural formulation in clinical practice. He became professor emeritus in Basel in July 2015, and he remains associated with the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine as a corresponding member of the faculty.

Weiss developed an interdisciplinary approach to cultural epidemiology based on integrated quantitative and qualitative research methods. The approach involves both linking illness narratives to quantitative data and quantifying essential features of ethnographic qualitative data. His work has applied principles gleaned from cultural studies in psychiatry and mental health to other topics and challenges in global health, especially cultural determinants of help seeking, access to services and timely treatment of tuberculosis, leprosy, malaria, onchocerciasis, and other neglected tropical diseases. Additional interests include study of the nature of stigma and its impact on illness experience and its implications for disease control. His work also addresses a set of research questions concerning the particular respective roles of cultural, community and health system factors limiting vaccine coverage. Weiss has trained 14 masters, 18 doctoral and 7 postdoctoral postgraduates at the Swiss TPH.

He has taught modules on global mental health and developed courses in the program there, and in cultural epidemiology training workshops in Australia, India, Tanzania, Kenya, and South Africa. He has served on the boards of major U.S. and global professional organizations for cultural psychiatry (e.g., Society for the Study of Psychiatry and Culture, Transcultural Psychiatry Section of the World Psychiatric Association and the World Association for Cultural Psychiatry), and he currently serves on WHO’s Technical Advisory Group on Leprosy, which guides the Global Leprosy Program. He also serves on WHO’s Immunization and Vaccines-Related Implementation Research Advisory Committee (IVIR AC).


  • Professor Emeritus, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Basel; and the University of Basel, Switzerland
  • Honorary Professor, King Edward Memorial Hospital Research Centre, Pune, India


Ochsengasse 14

CH4123 Allschwil


Facets of clinical stigma after attempted suicide in Mumbai, India.
Authors: Authors: Weiss MG, Parkar SR.
Anthropol Med
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Experiences and reactions of adolescent offspring to their fathers' heavy drinking: A qualitative study from an urban metropolis in India.
Authors: Authors: Nattala P, Murthy P, Weiss MG, Leung KS, Christopher R, V JS, S S.
J Ethn Subst Abuse
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Policy and socio-cultural differences between cantons in Switzerland with high and low adolescent vaccination coverage for hepatitis B and HPV.
Authors: Authors: Masserey Spicher V, Weiss MG.
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Pathways and associated costs of care in patients with confirmed and presumptive tuberculosis in Tanzania: A cross-sectional study.
Authors: Authors: Mhalu G, Hella J, Mhimbira F, Said K, Mosabi T, Mlacha YP, Schindler C, Gagneux S, Reither K, de Hoogh K, Weiss MG, Zemp E, Fenner L.
BMJ Open
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Explaining patient delay in healthcare seeking and loss to diagnostic follow-up among patients with presumptive tuberculosis in Tanzania: a mixed-methods study.
Authors: Authors: Mhalu G, Weiss MG, Hella J, Mhimbira F, Mahongo E, Schindler C, Reither K, Fenner L, Zemp E, Merten S.
BMC Health Serv Res
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Influenza vaccination of pregnant women: Engaging clinicians to reduce missed opportunities for vaccination.
Authors: Authors: Giduthuri JG, Purohit V, Maire N, Kudale A, Utzinger J, Schindler C, Weiss MG.
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Qualitative Analysis of Cultural Formulation Interview: Findings and Implications for Revising the Outline for Cultural Formulation.
Authors: Authors: Paralikar VP, Deshmukh A, Weiss MG.
Transcult Psychiatry
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Patient-Identified Priorities Leading to Attempted Suicide.
Authors: Authors: Stulz N, Hepp U, Gosoniu DG, Grize L, Muheim F, Weiss MG, Riecher-Rössler A.
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Public Health Policy and Experience of the 2009 H1N1 Influenza Pandemic in Pune, India.
Authors: Authors: Purohit V, Kudale A, Sundaram N, Joseph S, Schaetti C, Weiss MG.
Int J Health Policy Manag
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Feasibility, acceptability and clinical utility of the Cultural Formulation Interview: mixed-methods results from the DSM-5 international field trial.
Authors: Authors: Lewis-Fernández R, Aggarwal NK, Lam PC, Galfalvy H, Weiss MG, Kirmayer LJ, Paralikar V, Deshpande SN, Díaz E, Nicasio AV, Boiler M, Alarcón RD, Rohlof H, Groen S, van Dijk RC, Jadhav S, Sarmukaddam S, Ndetei D, Scalco MZ, Bassiri K, Aguilar-Gaxiola S, Ton H, Westermeyer J, Vega-Dienstmaier JM.
Br J Psychiatry
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