Jai Shah, MD

As a psychiatrist and researcher, Dr Jai Shah has been deeply involved in and committed to early intervention efforts, initially in psychosis and now across youth mental health. He is Associate Director of the Prevention and Early Intervention Program for Psychosis (PEPP) and an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at McGill University, both in Montreal, Canada. He has engaged in an array of clinical research projects from neurobiology to health services and policy, with a particular focus on populations in the earliest phases of psychotic illness, clinical staging and stepped care models of mental illness, and youth mental health service transformation. Along with PEPP, his current contributions are as a PI in the pan-Canadian project ACCESS Open Minds, which takes place in 14 sites across 6 provinces and territories; McGill Site PI for the NIMH-funded Psychosis Risk Outcomes Network (ProNET); and a 5 year CIHR grant regarding data and measurement in youth mental health services. In all cases, he is concerned not just with research but also implementation in services and broader health systems.

Jai received the 2022 Research Excellence Award from the Schizophrenia International Research Society, and the 2018 Future Leaders Award from IEPA/Early Intervention in Mental Health Association. He has held consecutive clinician-scientist career awards from the Fonds de Recherche du Québec-Santé, and is an investigator on projects funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the National Institute of Mental Health (US), and the National Institute of Health Research (UK). He trained as a Fellow in Public Psychiatry at Yale University, following his psychiatry residency and a Dupont-Warren Research Fellowship in the Harvard Longwood Psychiatry Residency Training Program, an MD at the University of Toronto, and graduate studies in health and social policy at the London School of Economics where he was a Commonwealth Scholar. He has additional background in research policy (at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research) and ethics (at the Nuffield Council on Bioethics).

Dr Shah is interested in mentoring students in the following areas: delusions and insight, illness course and trajectory, philosophy of early intervention, clinical staging, and transdiagnostic approaches.


Key Publications

Shah JL, Moinfar Z, Anderson KK, Gould H, Hutt-Macleod D, Jacobs P, Mitchell S, Nguyen T, Rodrigues R, Reaume-Zimmer P, Rudderham H, Rudderham S, Smyth R, Surood S, Urichuk L, Malla A, Iyer SN, Latimer EA. Return on investment from service transformation for young people experiencing mental health problems: Approach to economic evaluations in ACCESS Open Minds (Esprits ouverts), a multi-site pan-Canadian youth mental health project. Frontiers in Psychiatry, in press.

Capon W, Varidel M, Prodan A, Crouse JJ, Carpenter JS, Cross SP, Nichels A, Zmicerevska N, Guastella AJ, Scott EM, Scott J, Shah J, Hickie IB, Iorfino F (2023). Clinical staging and the differential risks for clinical and functional outcomes in young people presenting for youth mental health care. BMC Psychiatry, in press.

Paquin V, Malla A, Iyer SN, Lepage M, Joober R, Shah JL (2023). Transsyndromic trajectories from pre-onset self-harm and subthreshold psychosis to the first episode of psychosis: A longitudinal study. Journal of Psychopathology and Clinical Science, in press.

Ferrari M, Pawliuk N, Boruff J, Pope M, MacDonald K, Shah J, Malla A, Iyer S (2022). A systematic scoping review of measures used in early intervention services for psychosis. Psychiatric Services, in press.

Shah JL, Jones N, Van Os J, McGorry P, Gülöksüz S (2022). Early intervention service systems for youth mental health: integrating pluripotentiality, clinical staging, and transdiagnostic lessons from early psychosis. Lancet Psychiatry, 9(5), 413-422. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2215-0366(21)00467-3

Grunfeld G, Lemonde A-C, Gold I, Iyer S, Joober R, Malla A, Boksa P, Shah JL (2022). “The more things change…?” Stability of delusional themes across 12 years of presentations to an early intervention service for psychosis. Social Psychiatry & Psychiatric Epidemiology, in press.

Cupo L, McIlwaine SV, Daneault J-G, Malla AK, Iyer SN, Joober R, Shah JL (2021). Timing, Distribution and Relationship Between Nonpsychotic and Subthreshold Psychotic Symptoms Prior to Emergence of a First Episode of Psychosis. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 47(3), 604-614. https://doi.org/10.1093/schbul/sbaa183

Lemonde A-C, Joober R, Malla A, Iyer S, Lepage M, Boksa P*, Shah JL* (2020). Delusional content at initial presentation to a catchment-based early intervention service for psychosis. British Journal of Psychiatry, 1-7. https://doi.org/10.1192/bjp.2020.157

McGorry P, Nelson B, Wood SJ, Shah JL, Malla A, Yung A (2020). Transcending false dichotomies and diagnostic silos to reduce disease burden in mental disorders. Social Psychiatry & Psychiatric Epidemiology, 55(9), 1095-1103. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00127-020-01913-w

Shah JL, Scott J, McGorry P, Cross SPM, Keshavan MS, Nelson B, Wood SJ, Marwaha S, Yung A, Scott E, Öngür D, Conus P, Henry C, Hickie IB; International Working Group on Transdiagnostic Clinical Staging in Youth Mental Health (2020). Transdiagnostic clinical staging in youth mental health: a first international consensus statement. World Psychiatry, 19(2), 233-242. https://doi.org/10.1002/wps.20745

Yung AR, Wood SJ, Malla A, Nelson B, McGorry P, Shah J (2019). The reality of at-risk mental state services: A response to recent criticisms. Psychological Medicine, 51(2), 212-218. https://doi.org/10.1017/S003329171900299X

Shah JL (2019). Bringing Clinical Staging to Youth Mental Health: From Concept to Operationalization (and Back Again). JAMA Psychiatry, 76(11), 1121-1123. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2019.2003

Abba-Aji A, Hay K, Kelland J, Mummery C, Urichuk L, Gerdes C, Snaterse M, Chue P, Lal S, Joober R, Boksa P, Malla A, Iyer S, Shah JL (2019). Transforming youth mental health services in a large urban centre: ACCESS Open Minds Edmonton. Early Intervention in Psychiatry, 13(S1), 14-19. https://doi.org/10.1111/eip.12813

Vallianatos H, Friese K, Martinez Perez J, Slessor J, Thind R, Dunn J, Chisholm-Nelson J, Joober R, Boksa P, Lal S, Malla A, Iyer SN, Shah JL (2019). ACCESS Open Minds at the University of Alberta: Transforming student mental health services in a large Canadian post-secondary educational institution. Early Intervention in Psychiatry, 13(S1), 56-64. https://doi.org/10.1111/eip.12819

Shah JL & Peters MI (2019). Early intervention in psychiatry: scotomas, representativeness, and the lens of clinical populations. Social Psychiatry & Psychiatric Epidemiology, 54(9), 1019-1021. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00127-019-01686-x

Malla A, Iyer S, Shah J, Joober R, Boksa P, Lal S, Fuhrer R, Andersson N, Abdel-Baki A, Hutt-McLeod D, Beaton A, Reaume-Zimmer P, Chisholm-Nelson J, Rousseau C, Chandrasena R, Bourque J, Aubin D, Levasseur MA, Winkelmann I, Etter M, Kelland J, Tait C, Torrie J, Vallianatos H; ACCESS Open Minds Youth Mental Health Network (2018). Canadian Response to Need for Transformation of Youth Mental Health Services: ACCESS Open Minds (Esprits ouverts). Early Intervention in Psychiatry, 13(3), 697-706. https://doi.org/10.1111/eip.12772

Rosengard R, Mustafa S, Malla A, Iyer S, Bodnar M, Joober R, Lepage M, Shah JL (2019). Association of Pre-onset Subthreshold Psychotic Symptoms with Longitudinal Outcomes During Treatment of a First Episode of Psychosis. JAMA Psychiatry, 76(1), 61-70. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2018.2552

Jordan G, Kinkaid M, Iyer SN, Joober R, Goldberg K, Malla A, Shah JL (2018). Baby or bathwater? Referrals of “non-cases” in a targeted early identification intervention for psychosis. Social Psychiatry & Psychiatric Epidemiology, 53(7), 757-761. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00127-018-1502-5

Shah JL, Crawford A, Mustafa S, Iyer S, Joober R, Malla AK (2017). Is the Clinical High-Risk State a Valid Concept? Retrospective Examination in a First Episode Psychosis Sample. Psychiatric Services, 68(10), 1046-1052. https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.ps.201600304

Shah JL (2015). Sub-threshold mental illness in adolescents: Within and beyond DSM’s boundaries. Social Psychiatry & Psychiatric Epidemiology, 50(5), 675-677. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00127-015-1015-4

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