Jai Shah, MD, FRCPC

Jai Shah




6875 Boulevard LaSalle
Montréal, QC
H4H 1R3

 Bureau:P-0107, Wilson Pavilion

 Telephone bureau: (514) 761-6131 x2465

 Fax: (514) 888-4458

Chercheur, Centre de recherche Douglas
Psychiatre, Programme d’évaluation, d’intervention et de prévention des psychoses (PEPP-Montréal), Institut universitaire en santé mentale Douglas
Professeur adjoint, Département de psychiatrie, Université McGill
Chercheur-boursier clinicien, Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé (FRQS), Junior 2

Nom du laboratoire: Early intervention, first episode psychosis, at-risk mental states, youth mental health, clinical staging in psychiatry

Groupe thématique: Santé mentale des jeunes et intervention précoce
Division: Santé mentale et société


Jai Shah’s research interests are in the early phases of psychotic illness (including at-risk populations), early intervention, and the design and delivery of mental health services for youth.  Projects span neurobiological, clinical, health services/policy and population health research, including:

  • The neurobiology of stress in early psychosis, including clinical and familial high-risk stages
  • Early signs and symptoms in the psychosis prodrome
  • The content of delusions in early psychosis
  • Impact of a family history of psychosis on trajectory of illness and outcomes
  • Staging models in youth mental health and their implications for service design and delivery
  • Health services utilization in early psychosis and youth mental health
  • Design and development of early intervention services and systems in youth mental health

Jai’s program of research is supported by his FRQS Clinician Scientist Award and takes place in two leading early intervention infrastructures: PEPP-Montreal, Canada’s leading program for early intervention in psychosis; and ACCESS Open Minds, a CIHR-funded pan-Canadian network designed to improve mental health services for youth aged 11-25.

Jai is interested in mentoring undergraduate and graduate students, psychiatry residents and fellows, and other trainees in these and related lines of research.

Jai Shah is a psychiatrist and researcher interested in the early phases of psychotic illness (including at-risk populations), early intervention, and the design and delivery of mental health services for youth.  He is an Assistant Professor in McGill’s Department of Psychiatry, a Full Researcher at the Douglas Hospital Research Center, and is supported by an FRQS Clinician-Scientist Award.

Jai is Associate Director of the Prevention and Early Intervention Program for Psychoses (PEPP-Montréal), Canada’s leading clinical and research program for early psychosis.  Based at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute, PEPP-Montréal’s research involves help-seeking populations at risk for psychotic illness and those experiencing a first episode of psychosis.  Jai’s current and emerging work includes projects on the neurobiology of stress in at-risk and first episode populations, the content of delusions in early psychosis, early signs and symptoms in the psychosis prodrome, and health services utilization in early psychosis. 

Jai is also a Principal Investigator with ACCESS Open Minds, a pan-Canadian network dedicated to developing, implementing and evaluating a transformation of youth mental health services for youth aged 11-25.  In this CIHR-funded infrastructure, which includes 13 sites across six provinces and one territory, Jai has made significant contributions to the ACCESS transformation in areas such as at-risk populations, health services and economic evaluation.

Trainees with Jai are currently pursuing projects in areas such as the neurobiology of stress response in populations at clinical high-risk for psychosis, disengagement and immigration/minority status in first episode psychosis services, and the linkage between treatment adherence and symptom remission. He is interested in mentoring undergraduate and graduate students, psychiatry residents and fellows, and other trainees in these and related lines of research.

Jai was trained as Fellow in Public Psychiatry at Yale University, following a Dupont-Warren Research Fellowship and psychiatry residency at Harvard Medical School, an MD at the University of Toronto, and graduate work 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).

  • FRSQ Clinician-Scientist Award, Junior 1 (2015-19)
  • Department Fellowship Award, Department of Psychiatry, McGill University (2013)
  • Invited Participant, 4th NIMH-sponsored “Brain Camp”, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (2013): Workshop hosted by NIMH Director and senior leadership for selected physician-scientists in training
  • Dupont-Warren Research Fellow, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School (2011-12)
  • Livingston Fellowship Award, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School (2011-12)
  • Joseph Schildkraut Award for Excellence in Research, Harvard Longwood Psychiatry (2011)
  • Solomon Award Finalist, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School (2011)
  • Eric Fonberg Award for Health Systems Leadership, University of Toronto (2008)
  • Peter Isaacs Memorial Scholarship in Psychiatry, University of Toronto (2008)
  • Junior Fellow, Massey College at the University of Toronto (2005-08)
  • Brian Abel-Smith Prize, London School of Economics (2002)
  • Commonwealth Scholar (2001-02)
  • Sir James Lougheed Graduate Award of Distinction, Alberta Heritage Scholarship Fund (2001-02)
  • CIHR/Burroughs Wellcome Undergraduate Research Award (2001)

Anika Maraj, MD: Psychiatry Resident, Research Track
Sarah Mcilwaine: MSc Student, McGill University
Laura Morrison: MSc Public Health Student, McGill University

The larger team also includes clinical and research staff at PEPP-Montréal, which Jai co-leads; and staff at ACCESS Open Minds central office, for which Jai is a Principal Investigator.

Both PEPP-Montréal and ACCESS Open Minds are located at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute, where Jai has active collaborations with Drs Srividya Iyer, Ashok Malla, Mallar Chakravarty, Shalini Lal, Martin Lepage, Ridha Joober, and others. Jai also collaborates with other national and international researchers through the PEPP-Montréal and ACCESS Open Minds infrastructures.

We are accepting inquiries for a Research Assistant. We are also interested in mentoring undergraduate and graduate trainees along with psychiatry residents and fellows who are interested in the above and related projects. Please contact us (Jai.Shah@douglas.mcgill.ca).

Shah JL, Chakravarty MM, Joober R, Lepage M. Dynamic endophenotypes and longitudinal trajectories: capturing changing aspects of development in early psychosis. J Psychiatry Neurosci. 2016 Apr;41(3):148-51.

Pruessner M, Faridi K, Shah J, Rabinovitch M, Iyer S, Abadi S, Pawliuk N, Joober R, Malla AK. The Clinic for Assessment of Youth at Risk (CAYR): 10 years of service delivery and research targeting the prevention of psychosis in Montreal, Canada.Early Interv Psychiatry. 2015 Nov 23. doi: 10.1111/eip.12300.

Shah JL, Tandon N, Howard ER, Mermon D, Miewald JM, Montrose DM, Keshavan MS. Pituitary volume and clinical trajectory in young relatives at risk for schizophrenia. Psychol Med. 2015 Oct;45(13):2813-24.

Keshavan MS, Mehta UM, Padmanabhan JL, Shah JL. Dysplasticity, metaplasticity, and schizophrenia: Implications for risk, illness, and novel interventions. Dev Psychopathol. 2015 May;27(2):615-35.

Shah JL. Sub-threshold mental illness in adolescents: within and beyond DSM’s boundaries. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol. 2015 May;50(5):675-7.

Shah JL, Malla AK. Much ado about much: stress, dynamic biomarkers and HPA axis dysregulation along the trajectory to psychosis. Schizophr Res. 2015 Mar;162(1-3):253-60.

Shah JL, Tandon N, Keshavan MS. Psychosis prediction and clinical utility in familial high-risk studies: selective review, synthesis, and implications for early detection and intervention. Early Interv Psychiatry. 2013 Nov;7(4):345-60.

Tandon N, Shah J, Keshavan MS, Tandon R. Attenuated psychosis and the schizophrenia prodrome: current status of risk identification and psychosis prevention. Neuropsychiatry (London). 2012;2(4):345-353.

Shah J, Eack SM, Montrose DM, Tandon N, Miewald JM, Prasad KM, Keshavan MS. Multivariate prediction of emerging psychosis in adolescents at high risk for schizophrenia. Schizophr Res. 2012 Nov;141(2-3):189-96.

Srihari VH, Shah J, Keshavan MS. Is early intervention for psychosis feasible and effective? Psychiatr Clin North Am. 2012 Sep;35(3):613-31.

Tandon N, Montrose D, Shah J, Rajarethinam RP, Diwadkar VA, Keshavan MS. Early prodromal symptoms can predict future psychosis in familial high-risk youth. J Psychiatr Res. 2012 Jan;46(1):105-10.

Shah J, Mizrahi R, McKenzie K. The four dimensions: a model for the social aetiology of psychosis. Br J Psychiatry. 2011 Jul;199(1):11-4.