Dr. Pushpal Desarkar is a Psychiatrist and the Medical Head of the Adult Neurodevelopmental Services (ANS) (formerly known as the Dual Diagnosis Program) at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). He is also a Clinician-Scientist with the Azrieli Centre for Adult Neurodevelopmental Disabilities and Mental Health, Temerty Centre for Therapeutic Brain Intervention and the Campbell Family Mental Health Research Institute at CAMH. He is a member of the Executive Council, Complex Care and Recovery Program at CAMH. He is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, and a graduate faculty at the Institute of Medical Sciences, both at the University of Toronto. Before coming to CAMH, Dr Desarkar received specialist training and worked in the field of child and adult neurodevelopmental psychiatry in Oxford, UK and Central Institute of Psychiatry, India. Dr Desarkar is a member of the Educational Committee, Ontario Working Group on Mental Health and Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
As a Clinician Scientist, Dr. Desarkar’s research has two overarching goals: 1) obtaining new knowledge related to neurophysiological underpinnings in neuropsychiatric disorders, especially autism spectrum disorder (ASD), across the lifespan; 2) developing novel therapeutic interventions for these conditions. Using innovative brain stimulation techniques, including transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and the combination of TMS and EEG (TMS-EEG), he is investigating evidence for aberrant neuroplasticity in the brains of individuals with ASD. He is also using a novel brain stimulation method to study if the aberrant neuroplasticity can be “reversed.” If aberrant neuroplasticity is found to underlie ASD, then modifying it could pave the way for developing robust treatments for this condition, which does not have any satisfactory medical treatment to date. Dr Desarkar is a scientist of the International Consensus Group of TMS Therapy for ASD. He has authored and co-authored over 55 peer-reviewed journal publications, book chapters and conference publications. He is a peer reviewer of many frontline Psychiatry and Neurology Journals. He is also on the Editorial Board of several journals, including Nature Publishing Group and Frontiers.