Mario Incayawar, MD, MSc, PhD.






Professor Mario Incayawar is a physician-scientist, educator, and entrepreneur, interested in cultural neuroscience of pain and analgesia, pain experiences among the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas, traditional healers and global mental health, Amerindian medical knowledge, transcultural psychiatry, and the cultural brain.

Professional Background.  Professor Incayawar is the first Quichua (Inca) physician to graduate from an Ecuadorian medical school. He has an advanced, integrative, and interdisciplinary training in the biomedical sciences (Ph.D. in pain/analgesia across cultures, University of Montreal, Canada); cultural pharmacogenomics of psychotropic drugs (postdoctoral training at NIMH-Research Center on the Psychobiology of Ethnicity, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, California); social & transcultural psychiatry (Masters’, McGill University, Canada); and community medicine and mental health (D.E.S.S., University of Montreal, Canada).

Professor Incayawar is the recipient of the prestigious John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship 2006.  He is the founding director of Runajambi (Institute for the Study of Quichua Culture and Health) in Otavalo, Ecuador.  Dr. Incayawar held Henry R. Luce Professorship in Brain, Mind, and Medicine: Cross-Cultural Perspectives at Pitzer, Claremont McKenna and Harvey Mudd Colleges, California, and the William F. Quillian Jr. Visiting International Professor at R-MWC, Virginia , USA. He was re-elected (2008-2011) to the Executive Committee of the Transcultural Psychiatry Section of the World Psychiatric Association. He is a Founding Member of the Editorial Board of the World Cultural Psychiatry Research Review (WCPRR) journal, and Regional Advisor for Ecuador, and is the former Associate Editor, Transcultural Psychiatry Section, WPA Newsletter.

Research.  Currently Professor Incayawar is completing a study on the analgesic effects of daring words. He conducted research on the efficacy of Inca healers as psychiatric diagnosticians with funding from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, New York. In the past several years, he conducted research on “Llaqui” (depression), and pain experiences among the Quichua communities in the Andes. He also did a research on “Screening Clinically Promising Healing Practices among Native Americans of California,” a study supported by a Faculty Fellowship from the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation.

Academics. For five years, he was both a scientific consultant and editor of the Transcultural Medicine Section of l'Omnipraticien medical magazine, a publication (24 issues/year) targeting French speaking GPs and family practitioners of Quebec, Canada.  He has authored 60 papers, nine chapters, and delivered scholarly presentations at over 30 scientific meetings ( America , Europe, Asia ). Professor Incayawar has published two milestone books:

Culture, Brain, and Analgesia - Understanding and Managing Pain in Diverse Populations. Mario Incayawar and Knox H. Todd (eds). New YorK, NY: Oxford University Press, 2012. This book received a glowing review from Doody’s Notes which gave it a numerical score of 97 /100 and Five Stars.

Psychiatrists and Traditional Healers: Unwitting Partners in Global Mental Health. Mario Incayawar M, Ronald Wintrob, and Lise Bouchard (eds). London, UK: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009.

Upcoming book!!
Overlapping Pain and Psychiatric Syndromes - Global Perspectives
Incayawar M, Maldonado-Bouchard S, Clark M.

Professor Incayawar teaches the following courses:

Culture and Psychobiology of Pain
Pain and Mental Illness
Global Inequities in Pain Control & Opioid Epidemic
Amerindian Psychiatry
Indigenous Peoples & Community-Based Mental Health Research Methods
Healers, Doctors and the Brain
Traditional Healers’ Contributions to Global Mental Health
Pharmacogenetics & Precision Psychiatry
Blunting Implicit Bias - Fostering Inclusion, Diversity, and Equality

He was the organizer of the Luce Faculty Seminar Series at The Claremont Colleges, California. More information about the topics listed below could be found here

Healer-Physician Collaborations in the Americas: The Indigenous Peoples' Experience, Spring 2004
Mind-Computer Interactions, Spring 2003
Health Disparities in the USA, Spring 2002
The Science of Alternative Medicine, Spring 2001
Fine Arts, Brain, and Medicine, Spring 2000
Culture, Brain, Mind, and Medicine, Spring 1999