Osiris Rankin, M.A.
Osiris researches ways that sociocultural and cognitive factors shape the development and spread of self-destructive behaviors, especially among members of traditionally understudied communities. Osiris’s work has recently focused on understanding the many different ways that people would prefer for their lives to end. This includes looking for patterns in these preferences and what predicts these preferences. Osiris suspects that the ways that we would prefer for our lives to end are socially and culturally informed. He also suspects that these preferences, and their related attitudes and beliefs, may partially explain a broad array of preventable early deaths and long-standing health disparities.
Osiris’s interest in the spread of harmful behaviors and our ideas about them led him to learn social network analysis. He has also recently become interested in the ways that mixed methods research may improve our understanding of suicide and related early deaths.
In his clinical training, Osiris has had the privilege of working with adults with severe obsessive-compulsive disorder at McLean Hospital, adults with anxiety and depressive disorders at Boston University’s Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders, and adolescents and young adults with co-occurring substance use and related disorders at Massachusetts General Hospital. This year, Osiris will be treating first responders and other adults with substance use disorders at McLean Hospital.
Osiris is deeply committed to ensuring that psychology serves all people. Issues of diversity, inclusion, and belonging are of great importance to him (and many other members of the Nock Lab). He is one of our department’s inaugural diversity and inclusion fellows, and he is an active member of our Departmental Committee on Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging. Osiris also serves on a related interdepartmental committee convened by the Dean of Social Sciences to improve the inclusion and belonging experienced by our graduate students at the Social Science Division level. Finally, Osiris serves as a member of the Harvard University Police Chief Search Advisory Committee.
Regarding community mental health efforts, Osiris served on our Departmental Task Force for Assessing Graduate Student Mental Health. He is also part of a team that conducts evidence-based stress management workshops for graduate students in other departments here at Harvard. As a resident tutor, Osiris lives with Harvard undergraduates where he provides support as a Consent Advocacy and Relationship Education, Wellness, and STEM tutor.
Osiris is a 2017 recipient of the Ford Fellowship from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.