MD/PhD, Washington University in St. Louis
Puneet Chawla Sahota is a cultural anthropologist and physician with research interests in mental health, the use of technology in medicine, and health disparities. She is currently a resident physician in psychiatry at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. She graduated in 2002 from Northwestern University summa cum laude with a degree in American Studies. She then studied the epidemiology of depression and diabetes among American Indians during a fellowship at the National Institutes of Diabetes, Digestive, and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) in Phoenix, AZ. Puneet completed her PhD in 2009 at Washington University in St. Louis, where she was the first MD/PhD student in anthropology. For her PhD dissertation, she examined the relationship between a Southwest American Indian tribe and biomedical/genetics research, including ethical, political, and cultural issues. She has applied the lessons learned from her dissertation to national contexts for advocacy and research. From 2009-2010, Puneet served as the first postdoctoral fellow at the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), which is the largest organization representing tribal governments in Washington, D.C. While working with the NCAI Policy Research Center, Puneet conducted a study on suicide prevention approaches being used across American Indian/Alaska Native communities and wrote policy papers on research regulation and health care reform (www.ncaiprc.org).