JDere photoJessica Dere, Ph.D., C. Psych (Director)

I am an Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, in the Department of Psychology at the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC). I am also a faculty member in the Graduate Department of Psychological Clinical Science at UTSC, and am a licensed clinical psychologist with the College of Psychologists of Ontario. I teach a number of undergraduate courses within our department’s Mental Health Studies stream, and provide clinical supervision to our clinical psychology graduate students. I am passionate about promoting a culturally-informed approach to mental health and illness, which informs all aspects of my work with students and trainees.

My research work is driven by my fascination with the interplay between cultural factors and varied facets of mental health and illness. I am particularly interested in the role of cultural factors in emotional processes, and the clinical implications of the cultural shaping of emotional experiences. I am also interested in cultural variations in beliefs about mental illness, and the implications of such beliefs in the experience of mental illness and patterns of help seeking. I also conduct research on the cultural shaping of depressive and anxious symptom presentation, and on acculturation. As a practicing clinical psychologist, my teaching, research, and clinical work all serve to inform and enrich the others.

I completed my undergraduate studies at McGill University, obtaining a B.A. (Honours) in Psychology. I then obtained an M.Sc. in Cultural Psychiatry, also from McGill, which laid the foundations for my work in the area of culture and mental health. I received my Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Concordia University in 2012, following the completion of my pre-doctoral clinical internship in the Calgary Clinical Psychology Residency program. I then completed a post-doctoral fellowship in the Social Aetiology of Mental Illness (SAMI) training program based at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and the University of Toronto.


  • Wan (Michelle) Li (PSYD98 student, 2017-2018)
  • Luxana Ramesh (PSYD98 student, 2017-2018)
  • Duncan Green (Research volunteer, 2016; 2017-2018)
  • Meeraa Srikaran (Research volunteer, 2017-2018)
  • Julie Seydini (Research volunteer, 2017-2018)
  • Wei Liu (Research volunteer, 2017-2018)
  • Aneesah Bari (Research volunteer, 2017-2018)
  • Jennifer Castillo (Research volunteer, 2017)
  • Kevin Lai (PSYC90 student, 2015-2016; PSYD98 student, 2016-2017)
  • Argie Gingoyon (Research volunteer, 2016-2017)
  • Dharshie Vimaleswaran (Research volunteer, 2016-2017)
  • Alita Fernandez (PSYD98 student, 2016-2017)
  • Natasha Gill (PSYD98 student, 2016-2017)
  • Sarah Ahmed (Budding Scholar Research Extension Award student, Summer 2016)
  • Sinthuja Mahendran (Research volunteer, 2016-2017)
  • Jenna Pirmohamed (PSYD98 student, 2015-2016)
  • Sally Xie (PSYD98 student, 2015-2016)
  • Claire McGuinness (Research volunteer, 2015-2016)
  • Yasika Nesarajah (Research volunteer, 2015-2016)
  • Zhe (Ann) Feng (Research volunteer, 2014-2015)
  • Jonathan Tay (Research volunteer, 2014-2015)
  • Jie Chang (Co-supervised PSYD98 student , 2014-2015)
  • Antu Hossain (Co-supervised PSYC90 student, 2014-2015)
  • Amina Hussain (PSYD98 student, 2014-2015)
  • Shirley Yiu (PSYD98 student, 2013-2014)