Omar Sultan Haque, M.D., Ph.D. | Director
Omar Sultan Haque is a psychiatrist and social scientist who studies questions ranging across global health, anthropology, social psychology, bioethics, law, and religion. 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, and is Co-Director, UNESCO Chair in Bioethics, American Unit.
Dr. Haque graduated with full-tuition merit scholarships from Harvard Medical School (M.D., with honors) and Harvard Divinity School (M.T.S.), and was awarded the Donald J. Cohen Fellowship in Child Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital, Michael Crichton Fellowship in Medical Anthropology, Louis E. Kirstein Fellowship from the Division of Medical Ethics, and the Richard C. Cabot Prize in the History of Medicine/Medical Education. He is a graduate of Brown University (Ph.D.; A.B., Sc.B., magna cum laude, phi beta kappa, sigma xi honors), where he was awarded the President James Manning Medal, and Harvey A. Baker Award for academic excellence.
Dr. Haque pursued postdoctoral research fellowships at Harvard in the the Departments of Anthropology/Global Health and Social Medicine with Professor Arthur Kleinman, and in the Department of Psychology with Professor Steven Pinker. He received clinical training at the Department of Psychiatry at Brown University, and at the Berenson-Allen Center for Noninvasive Brain Stimulation at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center at Harvard Medical School.
For over 15 years, 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.
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.
Dr. Haque’s has published research on stigma and dehumanization in hospitals, mental disabilities and human rights; 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; conceptions of personhood and death in Islam; 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 co-authored and co-edited two books published by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and he has published over 30 scholarly papers, including in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the American Journal of Psychiatry, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Journal of Clinical Ethics, 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), and, among others, at Harvard Medical School, Harvard Law School, Yale, Dartmouth, and Oxford.
Dr. Haque’s work and ideas have been covered in a number of international media venues, including Science Magazine, Harvard Magazine, Harvard Gazette, BBC, Atlantic Monthly, NPR, New York Magazine, ABC News, NBC News, USA Today, Bloomberg Businessweek, Forbes, Los Angeles Times, Psychology Today, Washington Post, and Radiolab. He was selected to participate in the Aspen Institute Health Forum, and he was profiled in the Boston Globe.
His website can be found at omarsultanhaque.com.
Selected Publications and Updates
- How to Cultivate Peace Amidst Religious Conflict: Insights from Social Science and Theology. December 7, 2018, Berkley Center Third Floor Conference Room, Georgetown University. Dr. Haque draws on social scientific literature to propose interventions for diffusing acute religious conflict and describes philosophical and theological concepts that are resources for peace from within religious traditions.
- The New Gods: Reforging Harvard Divinity School. Dr. Haque on the link between religious and ethical values and psychiatry.