Ashok Malla, MD, FRCPC

Ashok Malla, MD, FRCPC



6625 Boulevard LaSalle
Montréal, QC
H4H 1R3

 Office:29-1110, ACCESS Pavilion

 Office phone: (514) 761-6131 x6220

Researcher, Douglas Research Centre
Full Professor, Department of Psychiatry, McGill University
Adjunct Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McGill University
Lead Investigator, ACCESS-Canada
Commentaries and Editorials Editor, Journal of Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology

Lab name: First Episode, High Risk for Psychosis and Early Intervention and ACCESS Open Minds

Theme-Based Group: Youth Mental Health and Early Intervention
Division: Clinical Research


My research encompasses both the Psychosis as well as the Mental Health and Society platforms.

Briefly, my research has concentrated on the following domains within the psychosis field:

  • Early case identification and early intervention;
  • investigations examining predictors of and interventions to improve outcome in psychotic disorders;
  • Randomized controlled studies of early intervention models of service delivery;
  • Neuro-cognitive and neuro-biological aspects of negative symptoms and outcome;
  • Studies of cross-cultural differences in outcome in Psychosis;
  • State of ultra-high risk for psychosis (service delivery to prevent onset of psychosis; the role of stress and protective factors);
  • Global Mental Health and application of low cost models of service delivery and evaluation;
  • Research in transformation of youth mental health services in Canada

Dr Ashok Malla is a tenured Professor of Psychiatry at McGill University, with an adjunct appointment in Epidemiology and Biostatistics. He holds a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Early Psychosis and Early Intervention in Youth Mental Health and is a recipient of an honorary doctorate from l’Université de Montréal (2015). He has been a leader in early intervention in psychosis since the mid 1990s, having founded two leading Programs in Montréal and London, Ontario and the Canadian Consortium of Early Intervention Programs for Psychosis. He has led many clinical and service based research projects investigating the neurobiological, psychosocial, and cross-cultural aspects of multidimensional outcomes in early phase of psychotic disorders and early intervention. He has also led two global mental health projects: understanding differences in outcome in first episode psychosis in India and Canada, and application of a low-cost lay health worker model of mental health service delivery in rural parts of armed conflict-ridden Kashmir, India. Since 2014, he has been the nominated principal investigator of a $25M, CIHR funded national research project on transformation of youth mental health services (ACCESS OPEN MINDS Canada). He has published several hundred peer-reviewed articles, held numerous peer-reviewed research grants, supervised many graduate and post-doctoral students, residents and fellows, has been an advisor on program development and research in early intervention in psychotic disorders in several countries. He has worked tirelessly as an advocate for high quality care for the seriously mentally ill, especially at the beginning of their care. He is also the editorial and commentary section editor of Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology.

Cleghorn award for excellence in clinical research (2003);
Exemplary Psychiatrist award from Ami-Québec;
RO Jones awards for best papers (1995; 1996; 2011)
CNP Medal 2015

Drs Ridha Joober; Martin Lepage; Srividya Iyer; Jai Shah; Shalini Lal; Patricia Boksa; Marita Pruessner; Norbert Schmitz; Rebecca Fuhrer (all part of research in PEPP and ACCESS) plus all members of research staff at PEPP-Montréal (especially Sherezad Abadi coordinator) and at ACCESS.

1. Malla AK, Norman RM. Prodromal symptoms in schizophrenia. Br J Psychiatry 1994; 164:487-93. (PMID: 8038937)
2. Malla AK, Norman RM, Manchanda R, Ahmed MR, Scholten D, Harricharan R, et al. One year outcome in first episode psychosis: influence of DUP and other predictors. Schizophr Res 2002; 54:231-42. (PMID: 11950548)
3. Malla AK, Norman RM, Manchanda R, Townsend L. Symptoms, cognition, treatment adherence and functional outcome in first-episode psychosis. Psychol Med 2002; 32:1109-19. (PMID: 12214790)
4. Malla AK, Norman RM, Takhar J, Manchanda R, Townsend L, Scholten D, et al. Can patients at risk for persistent negative symptoms be identified during their first episode of psychosis? J Nerv Ment Dis 2004; 192:455-63. (PMID: 15232315)
5. Malla A, Norman R, Scholten D, Manchanda R, McLean T. A community intervention for early identification of first episode psychosis: impact on duration of untreated psychosis (DUP) and patient characteristics. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol 2005; 40:337-44. (PMID: 15902403)
6. Malla A, Payne J. First-episode psychosis: psychopathology, quality of life, and functional outcome. Schizophr Bull 2005; 31:650-71. (PMID: 16006593)
7. Malla A, Norman R, Schmitz N, Manchanda R, Bechard-Evans L, Takhar J, et al. Predictors of rate and time to remission in first-episode psychosis: a two-year outcome study. Psychol Med 2006; 36:649-58. (PMID: 16515734)
8. Malla A, Schmitz N, Norman R, Archie S, Roy P, Zipursky R. A multisite Canadian study of outcome of first-episode psychosis treated in publicly funded early intervention services. Can J Psychiatry 2007, 52(9): 563-71. (PMID: 17953160)
9. Béchard-Evans, L., Schmitz, N., Abadi, S., Joober; R., King, S., Malla, A.* (2007) Determinants of help-seeking and system related components of delay in the treatment of first-episode psychosis. Schizophrenia Research, 96(1-3): 206-14.
10. Iyer; S.N; Boekestyn, L; Cassidy, C; Joober; R; Malla, A.* (2008) Signs and symptoms in the pre-psychotic phase: description and implications for diagnostic trajectories. Psychological Medicine, 38(8): 1147 -56.
11. Cassidy, C.; Norman, R.; Manchanda, R.; Schmitz, N.; Malla, A.* (2009).Testing definitions of symptom remission in first episode psychosis for prediction of functional outcome at 2 years; Schizophrenia Bulletin, Schizophrenia Bulletin, (PMID: 19321629).
12. Anderson, K.K., Fuhrer, R., Malla, A.K.* (2010) The Pathways to Mental Health Care of First-Episode Psychosis Patients: A Systematic Review. Psychological Medicine.
13. Béchard-Evans, L., Iyer, S., Lepage, M., Joober, R. and Malla, A. (2009). Investigating cognitive deficits and symptomatology across pre-morbid adjustment patterns in first-episode psychosis. Psychological Medicine, (PMID: 19732482).
14. Bourque, F., van der Ven, E., Malla, A.* (2010). A Meta-analysis of the Risk for Psychotic Disorders among First and Second-Generation Immigrants. Psychological Medicine, (PMID: 20663257).
15. Malla, A.K., Bodnar, M., Joober, R., Lepage, M. (2011) Duration of Untreated Psychosis is associated with Orbital-frontal Grey Matter Volume Reductions in First Episode Psychosis. Schizophrenia Research. (PMID: 21059482).
16. Windell, D., Norman, R., Malla, A.* (2012). The personal meaning of recovery among individuals treated for a first episode of psychosis. Psychiatric Services, 63(6), 548-53. (PMID: 25549829).
17. Jordan, G., Lutgens, D., Joober, R., LePage, M., Iyer, S., Malla, A.* (2014). The relative contribution of cognition and symptomatic remission to functional outcome following treatment of a first episode psychosis. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 75(6), e566-72. (PMID: 25004197).
18. Malla, A., Jordan, G., Joober, R., Schmitz, N., Norman, R., Brown, T., Goldberg, K., Loohuis, H., Vracotas, N., Rochford, J. (2014). A Controlled Evaluation of a Targeted Early Case Detection Intervention for Reducing Delay in treatment of First Episode Psychosis. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology. (PMID: 24902532).
19. Malla, A; Joober, R; Garcia, A (2015). ‘Mental illness is like any other medical illness: A critical examination of the statement and its impact on patient care and society’. J Psychiatry Neuroscience, (40), 147-150.