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Omar Haque, PhD, MD

Lecturer on Global Health and Social Medicine

Omar Sultan Haque is a physician, social scientist, and philosopher who studies questions ranging across global health, anthropology, religion, social psychology, bioethics, and law. At Harvard Medical School, Dr. Haque is a faculty member in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, the Program in Psychiatry and the Law.

An honors graduate of Harvard, Brown, and Yale Universities, Dr. Haque's biomedical training includes degrees in neuroscience (Sc.B.), medicine (M.D.), board certifications from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and the American Board of Obesity Medicine, and training in noninvasive brain stimulation with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).  His humanities and social science training includes degrees in the study of religion, theology, social sciences, and philosophy (A.B., M.T.S., S.T.M, Ph.D.), and postdoctoral research fellowships at Harvard in anthropology/social medicine with Professor Arthur Kleinman, and social psychology with Professor Steven Pinker.  He was awarded the Peter J. Gomes, STB '68 Distinguished Alumni Honor from Harvard Divinity School.

Clinically, he has worked in inpatient settings for the state psychiatric hospitals of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and is the founder and medical director of two outpatient clinics based in Massachusetts.

At Harvard and Brown, Dr. Haque has taught across many disciplines, including in the Departments of Anthropology, Global Health and Social Medicine, Psychology, Religion, Political Science, Law, Neuroscience, and Medicine, and has received a number of awards for his teaching and mentoring, including receiving six times a Certificate of Distinction in Teaching from the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning at Harvard University, and for "Excellence in the Art of Teaching" for Supervision of a Thomas T. Hoopes Prize-winning Senior Thesis (Anthropology) awarded by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University.

He has been supported by a number of grants and fellowships, including from the National Institutes of Health Fogarty International Center (Malaria Research and Training Center, Bamako, Mali), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Americorps, Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, Nancy Lurie Marks Foundation, Tylenol Foundation, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Harvard Pluralism Project, John Templeton Foundation, USA Today, and the Harvard Mind/Brain/Behavior Interfaculty Initiative.


Harvard University
Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Department of Anthropology
21 Divinity Avenue
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138

Dr. Haque has published research on stigma and dehumanization in hospitals, disability rights and discrimination in healthcare; social factors underlying physician participation in the Nazi party; financial conflicts of interest between the pharmaceutical industry and clinical medicine; undue influence in online pharmaceutical marketing; clinical wisdom and evidence-based medicine; social and legal dimensions of violence in autism; brain mechanisms underlying vascular dementia; financial crime and forensic psychiatry; religious conceptions of personhood and death; informed consent amidst disorders of the self; the social functions of indirect speech; how common knowledge mediates social cooperation; the nature and extent of religious prosociality; vulnerabilities among young Westerners joining terrorist organizations; and cultural transmission of counter-intuitiveness in literary and religious representations.

He has published over 40 scholarly papers, including in the New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association, the Lancet Psychiatry, the American Journal of Psychiatry, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, as well as magazine articles for Scientific American, Wired Magazine, and The New Republic.

Dr. Haque's work and ideas have been presented at dozens of international scholarly conferences in the social sciences, medicine, global health, psychiatry, law, religion, and bioethics, and at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American Psychiatric Association, and, among others, at Harvard Medical School, Harvard Law School, Yale, Dartmouth, and Oxford.

Budd MA, Haque OS, Stein MA. Biases in the evaluation of self-harm in patients with disability due to spinal cord injury. Spinal Cord Ser Cases. 2020 May 27; 6(1):43. PMID: 32461546.

Haque, O.S. . Why Psychiatric Ethics and Social Science Should Be Friends. Philosophy, Psychiatry, & Psychology. 2020.

Haque, O.S. & Stein, M. A. . Humanizing Clinical Care for Patients with Disabilities. In I.G. Cohen, A. Silvers, M.A. Stein, C. Shachar (Eds.) Disability, Health, Law and Bioethics. Cambridge University Press. 2020.

Tanaka, G., Tang, H., Haque, O.S., & Bursztajn, H. J. How Catastrophe Can Change Personality: Why EPCACE Is a Clinically Useful Diagnosis. Psychiatric Times. 2019.

Bays-Muchmore, C., Shen, J., Lenfest, Y., Haque, O.S. Transient Ipsilateral Trigeminal Neuropathy After 10 Hz Left-Sided Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) for Major Depressive Disorder: A Case Study. Brain Stimulation. 2019; 12(4):E135-E13. View Publication.

Haque OS, Lenfest Y, Peteet JR. From disability to human flourishing: how fourth wave psychotherapies can help to reimagine rehabilitation and medicine as a whole. Disabil Rehabil. 2020 Jun; 42(11):1511-1517. PMID: 31012337.

Qureshi AP, Stachler MD, Haque O, Odze RD. Biomarkers for Barrett's esophagus - a contemporary review. Expert Rev Mol Diagn. 2018 11; 18(11):939-946. PMID: 30345836.   

Tanaka G, Tang H, Haque O, Bursztajn HJ. Preserve Enduring Personality Changes After Catastrophic Events (EPCACE) as a diagnostic resource. Lancet Psychiatry. 2018 05; 5(5):e9. PMID: 29699745.   

Haque, O.S. & Bursztajn, H.J. Can Pragmatic Philosophy Restore Psychiatry’s Humanity in the Age of Neuroscience? 45 (4), 623-625. Psychodynamic Psychiatry. 2017.

Tanaka, G., Soonsawat, A., Haque, O.H., Bursztajn, H.J. The traumatized older individual and society. In Holzer, J.C., Kohn, R., Ellison, J.M., Recupero, P.R. (Eds.) Geriatric Forensic Psychiatry: Principles and Practice. Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press. 2017.

Brady, S., Rabin, E., Wu, D., Haque, O.S. & Bursztajn, H.J. Forensic Psychiatric Contributions to Understanding Financial Crime. In M. Dion, D. N. Weisstub & J. Richet (Eds.), Financial Crimes: Psychological, Technological, and Ethical Issues. 2016; 107-127.

Everett, J., Haque, O.S. and Rand, D. How Good is the Samaritan, and Why? An Experimental Investigation of the Extent and Nature of Religious Prosociality Using Economic Games. Social Psychological and Personality Science. 2016; 3(7):248-255.

Haque, O.S. and Yu, S.H. Vulnerabilities Among Young Westerners Joining ISIS. Brown University Child and Adolescent Behavior Letter. 2016; 32(2):1-6.

Haque, O.S., Lu, A., Wu, D., Cosgrove, L. & Bursztajn, H.J. Curing Financial Conflicts of Interest in Psychiatric Professional Organizations. In Sadler, J.Z., Fulford, B. & van Staden, C.W. (Eds.). Oxford Handbook of Psychiatric Ethics. Oxford University Press. 2015.

Haque, O.S., Choi, J., Phillips, T., Bursztajn, H.J. Why Are Young Westerners Drawn to Terrorist Organizations Like ISIS?. Psychiatric Times. 2015; 9(32).

Thomas KA, DeScioli P, Haque OS, Pinker S. The psychology of coordination and common knowledge. J Pers Soc Psychol. 2014 Oct; 107(4):657-76. PMID: 25111301.

Chakroff A, Thomas KA, Haque OS, Young L. An indecent proposal: the dual functions of indirect speech. Cogn Sci. 2015 Jan; 39(1):199-211. PMID: 25079674.

Purzycki, B.G., Haque, O.S. & Sosis, R. Extending Evolutionary Accounts of Religion Beyond the Mind: Religions as Adaptive Social Systems. In F. Watts & L. Turner (Eds.), The Evolution of Religion: Critical and Constructive Essays. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. 2014.

Rand, D.G., Dreber, A., Haque, O.S., Kane, R.J., Nowak, M.A. & Coakley, S. . Religious motivations for cooperation: an experimental investigation using explicit primes. Religion, Brain, Behavior. 2014; 1(4):31-48.

De Freitas J, Falls BA, Haque OS, Bursztajn HJ. Recognizing misleading pharmaceutical marketing online. J Am Acad Psychiatry Law. 2014; 42(2):219-25. PMID: 24986349.

Haque, O.S., De Freitas, J., Bursztajn, H., Gopal, A. Wolfman, S., Cosgrove, L., Shuv-Ami, I. The Ethics of Pharmaceutical Industry Influence in Medicine. 2013; UNESCO.

De Freitas J, Falls BA, Haque OS, Bursztajn HJ. Vulnerabilities to misinformation in online pharmaceutical marketing. J R Soc Med. 2013 May; 106(5):184-9. PMID: 23761527.

Banerjee K, Haque OS, Spelke ES. Melting lizards and crying mailboxes: children's preferential recall of minimally counterintuitive concepts. Cogn Sci. 2013 Sep-Oct; 37(7):1251-89. PMID: 23631765.

Haque, O.S. What is Islamic Enlightenment?. The New Republic. 2012.

Haque OS, De Freitas J, Viani I, Niederschulte B, Bursztajn HJ. Why did so many German doctors join the Nazi Party early? Int J Law Psychiatry. 2012 Sep-Dec; 35(5-6):473-9. PMID: 23040706.

Haque, O.S. & Rand, D. Religion Goes Into the Science Lab. Wired Magazine. 2012.

Haque, O.S., Shenhav, A. & Rand, D. Differences in Cognitive Style, Emotional Processing and Ideology as Crucial Variables in Understanding Meaning Making. Religion, Brain & Behavior. 2012; 3(1):222-225.

Haque OS, Waytz A. Dehumanization in Medicine: Causes, Solutions, and Functions. Perspect Psychol Sci. 2012 Mar; 7(2):176-86. PMID: 26168442.

Lerner MD, Haque OS, Northrup EC, Lawer L, Bursztajn HJ. Emerging perspectives on adolescents and young adults with high-functioning autism spectrum disorders, violence, and criminal law. Correction. J Am Acad Psychiatry Law. 2012; 40(3):445. PMID: 22960926.   

Lerner MD, Haque OS, Northrup EC, Lawer L, Bursztajn HJ. Emerging perspectives on adolescents and young adults with high-functioning autism spectrum disorders, violence, and criminal law. J Am Acad Psychiatry Law. 2012; 40(2):177-90. PMID: 22635288.

De Freitas J, Haque OS, Gopal AA, Bursztajn HJ. Response: Clinical wisdom and evidence-based medicine are complementary. J Clin Ethics. 2012; 23(1):28-36. PMID: 22462381.

Austad, K., Cosgrove, L., Haque, O.S., Bursztajn, H. Trust and Integrity in Biomedical Research: The Case of Financial Conflicts of Interest [Book Review]. The Journal of Pastoral Care and Counseling. 2011; 65:377-377.

Haque, O.S. The Paradoxical Pleasures of Human Imagination. Philosophy and Literature. 2011; (35):182–189.

Haque, O.S. & Waytz, A. Why Doctors Should Be More Empathetic—But Not Too Much More. Scientific American. 2011.

Haque, O.S. Brain Death and its Entanglements: A Redefinition of Personhood for Islamic Ethics. Journal of Religious Ethics. 2008; 1(36):13-36.

Perlin, M.L., Bursztajn, H., Gledhill, K., Szeli, E., Cosgrove, L., Haque, O.S., Paul, R., Zolovska, B.A. (Eds.). Psychiatric Ethics and the Rights of Persons with Mental Disabilities in Institutions and the Community. 2008; UNESCO.

Haque, O.S. & Bursztajn, H. . Consent to Treatment: A Practical Guide [Book Review]. Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). 2007; 298(13):1569-1571.

Haque, O.S. & Bursztajn, H.J. Counseling and Psychotherapy Essentials: Integrating Theories, Skills, and Practices. American Journal of Psychiatry. 2007; 6(164):984.

Haque OS, Bursztajn H. Decision-making capacity, memory and informed consent, and judgment at the boundaries of the self. J Clin Ethics. 2007; 18(3):256-61. PMID: 18051944.

Paul RH, Haque O, Gunstad J, Tate DF, Grieve SM, Hoth K, Brickman AM, Cohen R, Lange K, Jefferson AL, MacGregor KL, Gordon E. Subcortical hyperintensities impact cognitive function among a select subset of healthy elderly. Arch Clin Neuropsychol. 2005 Aug; 20(6):697-704. PMID: 15941646.

Gunstad J, Brickman AM, Paul RH, Browndyke J, Moser DJ, Ott BR, Gordon N, Haque O, Cohen RA. Progressive morphometric and cognitive changes in vascular dementia. Arch Clin Neuropsychol. 2005 Mar; 20(2):229-41. PMID: 15708732.

Davis Garrett, K., Cohen, R.A., Paul, R.H., Moser, D.J., Malloy, P.F., Shah, P., Haque, O. Computer-mediated measurement and subjective ratings of white matter hyperintensities in vascular dementia: relationships to neuropsychological performance. Clinical Neuropsychology. 2004; 1(18):50-62.