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faculty & directors

Founder and Director

Joseph (Joe) Loizzo, M.D., Ph.D., is a Harvard-trained psychiatrist and Columbia-trained Buddhist scholar with over thirty years' experience studying the beneficial effects of meditation on healing and learning. He is is Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry in Integrative Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College, where he researches and teaches mind/body health. He has taught science and religion, the scientific study of religious experience, and the Indo-Tibetan mind sciences at Columbia University, where he currently is adjunct Assistant Professor of Religion at the Columbia Center for Buddhist Studies.

In 1998, Dr. Loizzo opened the Center for Meditation and Healing at Columbia University's Presbyterian Hospital, the first mind/body center in the U.S. to offer programs in stress-reduction, self-healing and lifestyle change based on the Tibetan health and mind sciences.

In 2003, the Center for Meditation and Healing joined the Center for Integrative Medicine at Weill Cornell College of Medicine, to better test and refine the effectiveness of its programs. Nalanda Institute for Contemplative Science opened in 2005 to make these programs available to the public at large.

Raised in Switzerland and educated in a Marianist Catholic boy's school in New York, Dr. Loizzo was graduated summa cum laude in Independent Study from Amherst College. He completed his medical studies at New York University and his post-graduate training in psychiatry at Harvard. His Columbia Ph.D. is in Indo-Tibetan Studies. He also holds an M.F.A. from the Warren Wilson Program for Writers.

His academic honors include: phi beta kappa; the Father Chaminade Awards for English and Religion; the first Mosely Prize in Philosophy and Religion; the Herman Wortis Prize in Neuropsychiatry and Medicine; a Mellon Faculty Fellowship in Indo-Tibetan Studies; and a Columbia University President's Fellowship in Religion.

Beyond his teaching posts at Harvard, UC Davis, Columbia and Cornell, Dr. Loizzo has lectured internationally on the health benefits of meditation to a wide range of professional and lay audiences. He gives frequent public talks at Tibet House US on his work infusing the contemplative sciences and healing arts of India and Tibet into Western medicine, psychotherapy and health education.

Dr. Loizzo's meditation research has taken him from the Harvard Mind/Body Medical Institute and Harvard's Cambridge Hospital west to the Psychiatry Training Program at Napa, California and as far east as Drebung Monastic University in Mundgod, India. Now at the Weill Cornell Center for Integrative Medicine, he has just completed his second of two pilot studies funded by the Avon Foundation on the impact of Tibetan visualization and contemplative skills on the lives of women with breast cancer and other gynecologic cancers. The results of the first study were published in the May 2010 issue of Alternative Therapies.  

Dr. Loizzo has published numerous scientific articles and scholarly chapters on the challenges of researching Indo-Tibetan mind and health science, the role of mind-body methods in modern medicine and psychiatry, and meditative approaches to psychotherapy and health education. These include three articles in the recent New York Academy of Sciences volume, Longevity, Regeneration and Optimal Health, edited by Nalanda faculty Drs. Erin Olivo, Bill Bushell and Neil Theise. His translation study, Nagarjuna’s Reason Sixty with Candrakirti’s Commentary, was one of the inaugural volumes in the American Institute of Buddhist Studies Translation Series distributed by the Columbia University Press.

Dr. Loizzo's Sustainable Happiness: The Mind Science Of Well-Being, Altruism, and Inspiration was just published by Routledge. The meditation manuals and CD's used in his programs on stress, healing and life-change are available through the Nalanda Institute.

Dr. Loizzo lives in Manhattan with his wife Gerardine and sons, Maitreya Dante and Ananda Rowan.