SCARF is actively involved in research, and in collaborations with national and international agencies, to help understand the mechanisms underlying various mental disorders and transform the findings into effective interventions for the MI.

The objective is also to develop and replicate innovative service delivery models and build capacities for research. SCARF’s contribution to research resulted in WHO recognizing us as a Collaborating Centre for Mental Health research and training.

Research Areas

First episode Psychosis, School & Youth mental health, Course & Outcome of Schizophrenia

Research Areas

  • Untreated Psychosis
  • Telepsychiatry
  • Biological research
  • Dementia research
  • Cognition in Schizophrenia
  • Development of instruments
  • CBR & Community interventions
  • Stigma
  • Disability & Functioning


Designated among the top 11 Medical Research Foundations in India


  • Ranked 4 on H-index
  • Over 100 projects completed
  • Over 400 publications-journals, monographs, book chapters
  • Ongoing research projects


NIMHANS, Bangalore, AIIMS, New Delhi & Many more


  • WHO, Geneva & WHO SEARO
  • University of Warwick, UK
  • Douglas Hospital, McGill University, Canada
  • Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College, UK
  • University of Queensland, Australia
  • Harvard University, US


  1. An assessment of post-tsunami psychosocial training programmes in Tamil nadu, India, Thara R, Rao K & John S , Inter. J of Social Psychiatry, vol.54 (3), 197-205, 2008.
  2. Strong Evidence for a Novel Schizophrenia Risk Locus on Chromosome 1p31.1 in Homogeneous Pedigrees From Tamil Nadu, India. Holliday EG, Nyholt DR, Tirupati S, John S, Ramachandran P, Ramamurti M, Ramadoss AJ, Jeyagurunathan A, Kottiswaran S, Smith HJ, Filippich C, Nertney DA, Nancarrow DJ, Hayward NK, Watkins WS, Jorde LB, Thara R, Mowry BJ. Am J Psychiatry. 2008 Oct 1.
  3. Anuradha S, Latha Srinivasan, Padmavati R. (March 2008) Neuropsychological functioning of children of patients with schizophrenia.
  4. Community mental health in India: A rethink. Thara R, Padmavati R, Aynkran JR, John S. Int J Ment Health Syst. 2008 Jul 14; 2(1): 11
  5. The Lancet’s series on global mental health: 1 year on. Patel V, Garrison P, de Jesus Mari J, Minas H, Prince M, Saxena S; Advisory group of the Movement for Global Mental Health. Lancet. 2008 Oct 11; 372(9646): 1354-7
  6. Genetic variation in South Indian castes: evidence from Y-chromosome, mitochondrial, and autosomal polymorphisms. WS Watkins, R Thara, BJ Mowry, Y Zhang, DJ Witherspoon, W Tolpinrud, MJ Bamshad, S Tirupati, R Padmavati, H Smith, D Nancarrow, C Filippich and LB Jorde. BMC Genetics 2008 December, 9: 86
  7. Psychotic Disorders and Schizophrenia. Thara R, API textbook of Medicine 2008, 8th Edition, Volume 2: 1327-1330, Editor: Siddharth N.Shah
  1. Global pattern of experienced and anticipated discrimination against people with schizophrenia: a cross-sectional survey. Thornicroft G, Brohan E, Rose D, Sartorius N, Leese M; INDIGO Study Group. Lancet. 2009 Jan 31; 373 (9661): 408-15. Epub 2009 Jan 21.
  2. The fine-scaled human genetic structure revealed by SNP microarrays. Xing J, Watkins WS, Witherspoon DJ, Zhang Y, Guthery SL, Thara R, Mowry BJ, Bulayeva K, Weiss RB, Jorde LB. Genome Res. 2009 May; 19(5): 815-25.
  3. Mental health in Tamil cinema. Mangala R, Thara R. Int Rev Psychiatry. 2009 Jun; 21(3): 224-8.
  4. Design and clinical characteristics of a homogeneous schizophrenia pedigree sample from Tamil Nadu, India. Thara R, Srinivasan T, John S, Nancarrow D, Chant D, Holliday E, Mowry B. Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 2009 Jun; 43(6): 561-70.
  5. Packages of care for schizophrenia in low- and middle-income countries. de Jesus MJ, Razzouk D, Thara R, Eaton J, Thornicroft G. PLoS Med. 2009 Oct; 6(10): e1000165. Epub 2009 Oct 20
  6. Subjective memory deficits in people with and without dementia: findings from the 10/66 dementia research group pilot studies in low- and middle-income countries. 10/66 Dementia Research Group. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2009 Nov; 57(11): 2118-24.
  7. Psychotic disorders and bipolar affective disorder. Thara R & Padmavati R, 2009 Contemporary topics in Women’s Mental Health. Ed. Chandra, Herrman et al John Wiley and Sons Ltd.
  1. WPA guidance on steps, obstacles and mistakes to avoid in the implementation of community mental health care. Thornicroft G, Alem A, Antunes Dos Santos R, Barley E, Drake RE, Gregorio G, Hanlon C, Ito H, Latimer E, Law A, Mari J, McGeorge P, Padmavati R, Razzouk D, Semrau M, Setoya Y, Thara R, Wondimagegn D. World Psychiatry. 2010 Jun;9(2):67-77.
  2. Preliminary findings from a study of first-episode psychosis in Montreal, Canada and Chennai, India: comparison of outcomes. Iyer SN, Mangala R, Thara R, Malla AK. Schizophr Res. 2010 Aug;121(1-3):227-33.
  3. Role of non-governmental organizations in mental health in India R Thara, Vikram Patel Indian Journal of Psychiatry, Year 2010, Volume 52, Issue 7 [p. 389-395]
  4. Low prevalence of obesity and metabolic syndrome in never treated chronic schizophrenia. Padmavati R., Tirupati S., McCreadie R.G Schizophrenia Research. 2010 Aug;121(1-3):199-202. Epub 2010 Jun 9. PubMed PMID: 20538429.
  5. Publications on community psychiatry .Thara R, Rameshkumar S, Mohan CG.. Indian J Psychiatry. 2010 Jan;52(Suppl 1):S274-7.
  6. Metabolic Syndrome in mental disorders. Commentary. Padmavati R Indian Journal of Med Res.131, January 2010 pp 11-13
  7. Social psychiatry in India. Thara R & Padmavati R. Principles of Social Psychiatry, second edition. Edited by Craig Morgan and Dinesh Bhugra 2010, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
  8. Dhwani Kumar, RachnaManek , VijayaRaghavan & Kevin K.Wang. Protein Characterization of Extracellular Microvesicles/Exosomes Released from Cytotoxin-Challenged Rat Cerebrocortical Mixed Culture and Mouse N2a Cells, MolNeurobiol DOI 10.1007/s12035-017-0474-x
  9. VijayaRaghavan. Role of exosomes in psychiatric disorders, Asian Journal of Psychiatry 28 (2017) 78–79
  10. Kevin K. Wang, Zhihui Yang, George Sarkis, Isabel Torres & VijayaRaghavan (2017): Ubiquitin C-terminal hydrolase-L1 (UCH-L1) as a therapeutic and diagnostic target in neurodegeneration, neurotrauma and neuro-injuries, Expert Opinion on Therapeutic Targets, DOI: 10.1080/14728222.2017.1321635
  11. Raghavan V, Prevalence of pathological gambling in patients with alcohol dependence syndrome attending a tertiary care center in South India. Asian J Psychiatr. 2017 Apr;26:92-93. doi: 10.1016/j.ajp.2017.01.007. Epub 2017 Jan 22.
  12. Raghavan V, Mohan G, Gopal S. Felt needs of primary caregivers of individualswith schizophrenia: A study from South India. Asian JPsychiatr. 2017 Oct;29:1-2. doi: 10.1016/j.ajp.2017.04.007. Epub 2017 Apr 13. PubMed PMID: 29061400.
  13. Sriram P, Raghavan V. Pheochromocytoma presenting as anxiety disorder: A case report. Asian J Psychiatr. 2017 Oct;29:83-84. doi:10.1016/j.ajp.2017.05.001.Epub 2017 May 2. PubMed PMID: 29061435.
  1. Tharoor H, Maran S, Gopal S. Role of novel dietary supplement N-acetyl cysteine in treating negative symptoms in schizophrenia: A 6-Month follow-up study. Indian J Psychol Med 2018; 40: 139-42
  2. Kurtz MM, Gopal S, John S, Thara R. Cognition, social cognition and functional disability in early-stage schizophrenia: A study from southern India. Psychiatry Research. 2018 Jul; 265: 231-237. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2018.03.091. Epub 2018 Apr 24.PubMed PMID: 29753255.
  3. Vijayakumar L, John S. Is Hinduism ambivalent about suicide? International Journal of Social Psychiatry. 2018 Aug; 64(5):443-449. doi:10.1177/0020764018777523. Epub 2018 May 22. PubMed PMID: 29783869
  4. Sudesh R, Thalamuthu A, John S, Thara R, Mowry B, Munirajan AK. “Replication of GWAS identified miR-137 and its target gene polymorphisms in Schizophrenia ofSouth Indian population and meta-analysis with Psychiatric Genomics Consortium”.Schizophrenia Research. 2018Sep; 199: 189-194. doi:10.1016/j.schres.2018.03.028. Epub2018 Mar 26. PubMed PMID: 29599094.
  5. India State-Level Disease Burden Initiative Suicide Collaborators (Dandona R, …. Rangaswamy T …. Dandona L) Gender differentials and state variations in suicide deaths in India: the Global Burden of Disease Study 1990-2016. Lancet Public Health. 2018 Sep 11. pii: S2468-2667(18)30138-5. doi: 10.1016/S2468-2667(18)30138-5. [Epub ahead of print]PubMed PMID: 30219340.
  6. Raghavan, V. (2018). First-episode psychosis research in India: A review. Indian Journal of Mental Health and Neurosciences, 1(1), 25-34.
  7. R P Bhandary, P S V N Sharma, H Tharoor. “Prediction of mental illness using Indian Astrology: cross-sectional findings from a prospective study”, Journal of Scientific Exploration, Vol 32, No.3, pp555-578, 2018
  8. Padmavati R 2018. Social dimension in Psychiatric Epidemiology. Pages 171-180. Chapter 16. In (Eds) Chadda, R K, Kumar V & Sankar S. Social Psychiatry-Principles & Clinical Perspectives. Indian Psychiatric Society Publication.
  9. Thara R, Lakshmi Venkatraman, Subhashini Gopal. Schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders Pages 195- 202, Chapter 18. In (Eds) Chadda, R K, Kumar V & Sankar S. Social Psychiatry-Principles & Clinical Perspectives. Indian Psychiatric Society Publication.
  10. Padmavati R 2018 Physical Comorbidity in Psychiatric Illness Pages 303-315 Chapter 28. In (Eds) Chadda, R K, Kumar V & Sankar S. Social Psychiatry-Principles & Clinical Perspectives. Indian Psychiatric Society Publication.
  11. R.Thara, Sujit John & Subhashini Gopal, “Severe Mental Disorders” in Psychology, Vol. 4, Themes In Contemporary Mental Health Research, Edited by GirishwarMisra, Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2018 (in press)
  12. L. Vijayakumar, Sujit John, A.T. Jotheeswaran, Suicide Among Refugees – The Silent Story (CHAPTER 61) in Oxford Textbook of Migrant Psychiatry, Editor – Dinesh Bhugra, Oxford University Press, London (in press)
  13. Srinivasan Tirupathi, Padmavati R , Shuba Kumar, Rani Mohanraj “Cross-cultural differences in recovery from schizophrenia: What to compare?” November 2018. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry. DOI: 10.1177/0004867418812677
  14. Sonal A, Raghavan V. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and suicidal behavior: A review of studies from Asian countries. Asian J Psychiatr. 2018Mar; 33: 128-132. doi: 10.1016/j.ajp.2018.03.004. Epub 2018 Mar 2. Review. PubMedPMID: 29525506.
  1. Kurtz MM, Gopal S, John S, Thara R Objective Psychosocial Function vs. Subjective Quality-of-life in Schizophrenia Within 5-Years after Diagnosis: A Study from Southern IndiaPsychiatry Research. 272 (2019) 419-424
  2. TM Luhrmann, B Alderson-Day, V Bell, JJ Bless, P Corlett, K Hugdahl, N Jones, F Larøi, P Moseley, Ramachandran Padmavati, E Peters, AR Powers, F Waters; Beyond Trauma: A Multiple Pathways Approach to Auditory Hallucinations in Clinical and Nonclinical Populations, Schizophrenia Bulletin, Volume 45, Issue Supplement_1, 1 February 2019, Pages S24–S31
  3. Malla A, Margoob M, Iyer S, Joober R, Lal S, Thara R , Mushtaq H, Mansouri BI. A Model of Mental Health Care Involving Trained Lay Health Workers for Treatment of Major Mental Disorders Among Youth in a Conflict-Ridden, Low-Middle Income Environment: Part I Adaptation and Implementation. Can J Psychiatry. 2019 Mar 27
  4. AparnaGoyal, Subhashini Gopal, Lakshmi Venkataraman, TharaRangaswamy, HemaTharoor Psychometric properties of Tamil version of Body Weight Image and self esteem questionnaire (BWISE) in severe mental illness in a South Indian. Population. Asian Journal of Psychiatry 41 (2019) 28-33
  5. Ganesh S, Chandan A, & Raghavan V (2019). What we learn about people’s perspectives on mental health and illness from tweets? Asian Journal of Psychiatry Vol.40 Pages 1-132, A1-A2 (February 2019)
  6. Raghavan V, Mohan G, Gopal S, Ramamurthy M & Rangaswamy T (2019). Medication adherence in first-episode psychosis and its association with psychopathology. Indian Journal of Psychiatry, 61(4), 342.
  7. Somasundaram O & Raghavan V (2019). The Romance of Radha: A Journey with Jayadeva. Journal of Psychosexual Health, 2631831819850413.
  8. Grover S, Padmavati R, Sahoo S, Gopal S, Nehra R, Ganesh A, Raghavan V & Sankaranarayan A (2019). Relationship of Metabolic syndrome and Neurocognitive deficits in patients with schizophrenia. Psychiatry Research.
  9. Raghavan V & Tharoor H. (2019). Effectiveness of transcranial direct current stimulation as an add-on treatment for persistent auditory hallucinations in individuals with schizophrenia: A naturalistic single center study. Brain Stimulation: Basic, Translational, and Clinical Research in Neuromodulation, 12(2), 408.
  10. Chandan A, Raghavan V (2019). Early use of electroconvulsive therapy in individuals with first episode psychosis: A case series. Indian Journal of Mental Health and Neurosciences, 2(1).
  11. Ganesh S, Chandan A & Raghavan V (2019). What we learn about peoples’ perspectives on mental health and illness from tweets? Asian journal of psychiatry, 40, 26.