GMH@MHFAL Student Research Assistants

The GMH@MentalHealthForAllLab Student RA Program is based upon a cooperative three-party relationship between GlobalMentalHealth@MentalHealthForAllLab, Harvard faculty supervisors, and the Student RAs. GMH@MentalHealthForAllLab leadership and our student RAs are grateful to The Friends of Mewar Foundation for the generous gift which is being used to financially support these student research assistants in their work.

Focusing on law, sociology, culture, gender, trauma, public health – and more – our graduate and undergraduate students truly is truly representative of the cross-disciplinary nature of the GMH@MentalHealthForAllLab Initiative! Read about these incredible students and their work below.


Fall 2023 GMH@MentalHealthForAllLab Student Research Assistants


Yashika Parashar, MBBS is a general physician-scientist from India, with a distinguished focus in oncology, complemented by an ardent dedication to the field of mental health. Currently engaged in pursuing a Master of Medical Sciences in Clinical Investigation, she fervently advocates for mental health awareness and destigmatization, recognizing its integral role in comprehensive patient care. With an unwavering commitment to scientific inquiry, she aspires to work on clinical trials in the realm of mental health, seeking to revolutionize treatment methodologies and enhance patient outcomes. She is a fan of Bollywood movies and loves listening to old Hindi song. She enjoys reading classic novels. She plans to travel across US by car one day. During her time as a GMH@MentalHealthForAllLab Student Research Assistant Yashika will be working with Dr. Vikram Patel, Dr. John Naslund, and Dr. Julia Ruiz Pozuelo, on the NIMH funded clinical trial, OptimizeD.


Lintang Sagoro, MD is a general practitioner from Indonesia whose work focuses on tackling healthcare access barriers related to stigma. He creates and implements initiatives geared towards underserved populations, particularly in the areas of palliative care and HIV care, such as enhancing the availability of HIV care for key populations and establishing long-term care for elderly individuals in hospice settings. During his time as a GMH@MentalHealthForAllLab Student Research Assistant Lintang will be working with Dr. Ingrid Katz on the new Global Mental Health program for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.


Atlas Sanogo is a rising senior at Harvard College from Ottawa, Canada, concentrating in Psychology with a secondary in Women, Gender and Sexuality studies. On campus, he is the co-president for the Queer Students Association, a Peer Advising Fellow, and a tutor at the Writing Center. Atlas is really passionate about psychological research, and has been engaged in projects with the Embodied Social Cognition Lab and the Implicit Social Cognition Lab at Harvard, as well as the Affirm Lab at Boston College. In his spare time, he loves to meditate, work out, and attend concerts and basketball games. During his time as a GMH@MentalHealthForAllLab Student Research Assistant Atlas will be working with Dr. John Naslund and Katy O’Neill, MPH on the Coaching Online And Community Health (COACH) program. 


Maleeka Shrestha is a Master of Public Health student in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at HSPH. Maleeka’s interest in global mental health stems from her upbringing in Nepal. She is passionate about expanding access to culturally adapted mental health care in the global majority, particularly in rural communities. Within mental health, her research interests include grief and bereavement, end-of-life care, and mental health of caregivers of terminally ill individuals. During her time as a GMH@MentalHealthForAllLab Student Research Assistant Maleeka will be working with Dr. Vikram Patel, Dr. John Naslund, and Dr. Natali Carmio, on the EMPOWER program.


Saravanan Thangarajan, MDS, MBA, FICOI, FAD is a healthcare professional and clinician specializing in Maxillofacial Prosthodontics. As an Associate Professor, he provided mentorship to undergraduate and postgraduate students. As an academician, he published several research articles in esteemed international peer-reviewed journals and has been granted six research fellowships. His impact extends to his role as the State Public Health Consultant for Tamil Nadu, India. He successfully transformed the 104 Health Helpline into the State Covid Control Room, ensuring essential care for patients and disseminating WHO-approved Covid measures to 3.9 core residents. He led innovative digital training programs for ambulance paramedics, expanded mental health tele-counselling services, and improved the maternal and child health system. Recognized with numerous accolades including national and international invited guest lectures, appearances on prominent platforms such as YouTube and radio channels, and recognition from the Honorable Health Minister of Tamil Nadu for his efforts during the pandemic. During his time as a GMH@MentalHealthForAllLab Research Assistant Saravanan will be working with Dr. Sarah Morton and her lab at Boston Children’s Hospital. 


Fall 2021 GMH@MentalHealthForAllLab Student Research Assitants


Benjamin A. Barsky is a lawyer and Ph.D. student in health policy at Harvard University. He is also Legal Research Fellow at the Scattergood Program for Applied Ethics of Behavioral Health Care at the University of Pennsylvania. Ben researches in the areas of health law and justice, mental health policy, and disability rights. Before pursuing his doctoral studies, Ben clerked for a federal judge in Memphis, Tennessee, and occupied various positions in law and mental health policy. During his time as a GMH@MentalHealthForAllLab Student Research Assistant Ben will be working with Professor Michael Ashley Stein, co-founder and Executive Director of the Harvard Law School Project on Disability, and GMH@MentalHealthForAllLab Steering Committee Member.

Mari Sanchez is a Doctoral Student in Sociology. She is broadly interested in the intersection of culture and inequality, with a focus on how cultural narratives shape how we make sense of inequality and potential routes to address it. In addition to her work on how cultural tools shape experiences of resilience, Mari is also interested in how cultural narratives can shape perceptions of racial inequality. In other projects, she explores the diffusion of the category “people of color” (POC or also BIPOC), how the meanings of this category are contested and enacted, and what opportunities and challenges it creates for interethnic solidarity and collective mobilization. Before graduate school, Mari worked 9 years in the advertising world where she specialized in understanding how culture and identity shape consumption. While working, Mari spearheaded a study of the Latinos who voted for Trump and the role their perceived status played in their identity formation and political views. She graduated with highest honors from the University of Notre Dame. During her time as a GMH@MentalHealthForAllLab Student Research Assistant Mari will be working with Professor Michele Lamont, Professor of Sociology and of African and African American Studies and the Robert I. Goldman Professor of European Studies at Harvard University, and GMH@MentalHealthForAllLab Advisory Group member.

Johnathan Cook is a recent graduate from Harvard College and is currently pursuing a Masters in Education Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He has experience working in various fields including academia, education, international relations, faith and interfaith, and youth empowerment. Johnathan is excited to be working with Professor Michele Lamont in her research on contemporary challenges facing American society, many of which result in widespread mental health concerns.

Ariel Kim is a sophomore at Harvard College interested in the intersection between mental health, global health and health policy, and neuroscience. As part of the GlobalMentalHealth@MentalHealthForAllLab Student Research Assistant program, she will be working with Prof. Karestan Koenen and Dr. Kristina Korte on a range of projects related to trauma and mental health treatment. She has worked in Prof. Koenen’s lab since the beginning of the summer, assisting with NeuroGAP and the Nurses’ Health Study. 

Nayleth Lopez-Lopez (she/her) is a junior at Harvard College concentrating in Neuroscience on the Mind, Brain, Behavior Track with a secondary in Global Health and Health Policy. She is from Hyde Park, Massachusetts and the proud daughter of Venezuelan parents. On-campus, she is the president of Fuerza Latina, the college’s largest Latinx social organization, a Diversity Peer Educator at the Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations, Vice President of the Law and Nonprofits branch of Latinxs in Finance and Technology, and an incoming Indigo Peer Counselor. As a research assistant through the GlobalMentalHealth@MentalHealthForAllLab initiative, Nayleth is excited to work with Dr. Elizabeth Levey and Dr. Bizu Gelaye as her mentors. She looks forward to learning from and supporting her mentors in their mission as well as connecting with members of the global mental health community. In the future, she hopes to attend law school to expand on work at the intersection of the law and the brain, and advocate for the de-stigmatization of mental health.