Ezra Susser, MD, DrPH

Scientific Co-Director of the Global Mental Health Program at Columbia

Programs:

Ezra Susser is on Faculty in the Departments of Psychiatry and Epidemiology. He has worked on program initiatives around the globe. His primary focus is currently on innovative treatments that increase capacity to treat individuals with severe and persistent mental illness in low-resource communities and advancing the civil rights of individuals with mental disorder.

Dr. Susser is also the director of the Imprints Center for Genetic and Environmental Lifecourse Studies, which promotes collaborative research and intellectual exchange among investigators studying developmental origins in birth cohorts around the globe. Dr. Susser is a member of a number of organizations such as the American Epidemiological Society, American College for Epidemiology, Society for Epidemiologic Research and the American Psychopathological Association. Dr. Susser is a Scientific Advisory Board Member of SHARE—Regional Network for Mental Health in South Asia and is the chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Genomic and Epigenomic Complex Disease Epidemiology Grant. He is involved in a lot of work with autism, including being a Scientific Advisory Board Member of Autism Speaks and a special advisor for the Global Autism Health initiative and is involved in international Autism cohort studies.

Dr. Susser focuses on examining the role of early life experience in health and disease throughout the life course. His work has focused on the relation of early nutritional deficiency to child and adult neurodevelopmental mental disorders, and the potential for periconceptional micronutrient supplements to reduce the risk of these disorders. He has also conducted investigations of other prenatal exposures (infectious, toxic) that may influence risk of neurodevelopmental disorders. Much of Dr. Susser’s early work focused on the course of schizophrenia and especially on social outcomes. In his early research career, he was involved in follow-up studies of psychoses in the United States and across the globe, including the WHO International Study of Schizophrenia. He also conducted studies of homelessness and its prevention among patients with schizophrenia. This work included the development and testing of the initial version of Critical Time Intervention (CTI) for prevention of recurrent homelessness.

Dr. Susser is editor of the International Journal of Epidemiology and on the Editorial Board for the Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders. He is lead author of the main textbook on psychiatric epidemiology, titled “Psychiatric Epidemiology”, published in 2006. Dr. Susser won the Rema LaPousse Award for outstanding contributions to psychiatric epidemiology in 2011, has been recognized as the Anna Cheskis Gelman and Murray Charles Gelman Professor and has served as the Chair of the Department of Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health in the past.