Soumyadeep Mukherjee, Ph.D.

Deep

Soumyadeep Mukherjee aka "Deep" is a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Program in Public Health (PPH) at Stony Brook University. His work examines the risk factors of mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety, at a population level. Specifically, he is interested in better understanding the relationship between our past traumatic and stressful experiences, such as getting bullied in childhood, death or illness of a family member, loss of a job, witnessing or experiencing domestic violence, can impact our long-term mental health and well-being. Deep is also interested in understanding why certain sections of the population including racial/ethnic minorities experience worse health than others; and how their health can be improved. Deep is passionate about teaching and science communication.

Thanks largely to his parents' motivation, Deep went to medical school after high-school. After receiving his medical (MBBS) degree in India, he worked in tertiary-level hospitals for a brief period of time. The relentless patient-load in hospitals made him appreciate the adage, "Prevention is better than cure", in a whole new light! This is when he started developing an interest in Public Health, which aims to improve the health of the masses even before they are diseased. Thereafter, he pursued a 2-year Diploma in Public Health in All India Institute of Hygiene & Public Health located in Kolkata in India. In 2011, Deep received a Fellowship and arrived in the U.S. to start his PhD in Public Health, specializing in Epidemiology, from Florida International University in Miami, FL. The intense stigma associated with mental illnesses motivated him to focus on mental health issues. For his PhD, Deep examined how state-level socioeconomic status and stressful experiences interact with each other and affect depressive symptoms experienced by women during their pregnancy and after childbirth, the latter known as postpartum depression.

Imagine yourself living in New York City. Or maybe you actually live there! It is the last week of December and it is getting chilly with some snows already. But you can hardly contain your excitement! In a week, you and your parents are traveling to Miami for vacation.

You have heard Miami has wonderful beaches and you love the sea! While packing, your mom says: "No need to take your jackets and sweaters. You know that Miami has warm climate, right?"

What does she mean by “warm climate”? She is telling you that Miami is warm in general. It is warmer than New York. The funny thing is, Miami will be warm whenever you visit there! Whether it is January, March, May, August or December, you will not need a heavy sweater or a jacket.

When you reach Miami it is bright, sunny and warm. Your dad says: “It is nice today and tomorrow. In the news, I saw that day after tomorrow, it will be slightly cold and cloudy. Not cold like New York though, not even close!” he laughs. You were told Miami would be warm and sunny! Now you hear it can get colder and cloudy in two days. You think “This is not fair!”

This day to day change in how hot or cold, how sunny or rainy a place is, is the “weather.” Weather is restless. It is short-lasting! The weather may be hot one day, and cold and windy after a few days. Weather and climate are like close relatives. They have some similarities, but they are different!

Climate tells us how a place “feels” over a long time. Climate depends on where a place is located. If you go to the North Pole, it will be freezing cold even in the month of May! Science uses different names to describe different kinds of climate. The hot (and sometimes wet) climate in Miami is called “tropical climate”, the climate at North Pole is “Arctic climate”. New York City is usually colder than Miami, but warmer than the North Pole. It is sometimes called “temperate climate”.

Climate is generally long-lasting and steady. But now we know that any place on planet Earth is getting slightly warmer. Even the North Pole maybe a bit warmer today than it was 100 years ago! Icebergs are melting in places that have always been frozen. The seas are rising and overflowing!

Why is that? The cars traveling on the roads, the airplanes flying, the gas we burn, and pretty much anything that we do is leading to warming of our planet. Luckily, this change is very little and slow. It is not like the change from feeling cold one day and hot the next day. But science shows us that “climate change” is real and it is bad for the health of the earth. We can control this sickness only if we control the activities that are harmful for the health of planet Earth."