About Us

Lab Director

Rania Awaad, M.D.

Rania Awaad, M.D., is a Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the Stanford University School of Medicine where she is the Director of the Stanford Muslim Mental Health & Islamic Psychology Lab and its community nonprofit Maristan.org, Associate Chief of the Division of Public Mental Health and Population Sciences, and Co-Chief of the Diversity and Cultural Mental Health Section. She is currently a Senior Fellow at Yaqeen Institute and ISPU. In addition, she serves as the Director of The Rahmah Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating Muslim women and girls. She has previously served as the founding Clinical Director of the Khalil Center-San Francisco as well as a Professor of Islamic Law at Zaytuna College. Prior to studying medicine, she pursued classical Islamic studies in Damascus, Syria and holds certifications (ijaza) in Qur’an, Islamic Law and other branches of the Islamic Sciences. Follow her @Dr.RaniaAwaad. We’re so happy to have her leading our lab!

Lab Manager

Mona Midani

Mona Midani is the manager of the Stanford Muslim Mental Health and Islamic Psychology lab. She is a senior at Palo Alto University studying Psychology and Social Action. She holds a diploma in Professional Counselling and a certificate in Family and Youth Support. After completing her undergraduate degree, she plans on pursuing a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. Her research interests include the mental health of youth, parenting and substance use and addiction. Currently, in the lab, Mona is working on assisting with the substance use and Islamic psychology branches of research. Mona loves coffee, camping, traveling and reading.

Lab Members

Aneeqa Abid

Aneeqa Abid is an undergraduate student at Stanford studying Human Biology. She helped write the historical chapter of Applying Islamic Principles to Clinical Mental Health Care (Routledge, 2020) and reported cultural & religious competency in the clinical setting. She is currently working on the suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention toolkit project, an adaptation of the HEARD Alliance toolkit for Muslim community leaders. Aneeqa is also co-leading a research project on Stanford Muslim student mental health needs, in collaboration with the Stanford Markaz Resource Center. The project’s goal is for the data to guide the direction of the lab’s initiative, including programming and Islamically integrated psychological services.

Zainab Hosseini

Zainab Hosseini is a Ph.D. candidate in Developmental and Psychological Sciences at the Stanford Graduate School of Education and an associate clinical social worker. Her research focuses on building culturally relevant and trauma-informed social-emotional learning programs for children impacted by emergencies, specifically refugees. She currently collaborates with community partners across multiple refugee contexts in Greece, Lebanon, and Iran to explore how refugee caregivers define adaptive social and emotional skills and resilience in their children. Zainab leads the Refugee and Global Issues team at the lab.

Sara Ali, M.D., MPH

Sara Ali, M.D., MPH, is a child psychiatry fellow in the Stanford Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Department. Dr. Ali completed her psychiatry residency and Master of Public Health at the University of New Mexico. She is a graduate of Cairo University School of Medicine. Her research and public health initiatives focus on spiritual and cultural considerations of Muslim Americans’ mental health care. She co-launched the Stanford Muslims and Mental Health Lab in 2014. Since then, she has worked at the lab in multiple capacities, including lab manager, post-doctoral researcher, and current physician-researcher. Dr. Ali spearheaded various projects within the lab, including the "historical representations of Mental Health in the Muslim world" and "Islamic Framework for Mental Health." She leads collaborative initiatives with Muslim mental health organizations, including the Muslim American Society - Social Services Foundation (MAS-SSF), and the Muslim Community Association of Santa Clara. Dr. Ali is passionate about designing mental health community participatory research projects for Muslim communities and developing culturally and religiously sensitive evaluation strategies.

Mahnoor Hyat

Mahnoor Hyat is a senior at Stanford studying Psychology and Economics. She aspires to become a clinical psychologist with a focus on providing culturally relevant care to underserved communities. In the lab, she is co-leading a research project on the mental health needs of Stanford Muslim students. She will continue exploring her interest in student wellness by conducting a literature review on the mental health of Muslim college students across the US and even globally. Mahnoor is also assisting on the Suicide Awareness and Prevention workstream by working towards getting approval for a research study from the Stanford Institutional Review Board (IRB)

Amina Asim Husain

Amina Asim Husain completed her Medical Degree from St. George’s University. She is currently a graduate student at their Department of Public Health, concentrating on Mental Health Parity in the US. She also works as a researcher at the Stanford Muslim Mental Health & Islamic Psychology Lab and as an organizer for Team Liyna, a national effort to diversify the stem cell registry responsible for over 10,000 new registrants since 2019. Dr. Husain received her bachelor’s degree from UCLA, where she was a Project Director for the UMMA Clinic Volunteer Project and an active member of the Student Health Advisory Committee. She lives in Los Angeles.


Mustafa Fattah 

Mustafa Fattah is a Bioengineering Master’s student at Stanford. He has been working with the lab for several years on various projects and is excited to see the lab continue to grow in new directions. Mustafa works on a resource library project, which he hopes will act as a clearinghouse for academic and clinically-relevant resources on the Muslim mental health interface. The library includes a comprehensive set of peer-reviewed scholarly journal articles supplemented by resources in other formats.

Dr. Osama El-Gabalawy

Dr. Osama El-Gabalawy is a medical student at Stanford University who intends to pursue a Psychiatry residency. He has a Bachelor’s in Biology and a Master’s in Computer Science from Stanford University. He is particularly interested in mental health and its intersections with race & religion. At the lab, he completes research and community projects related to suicide within the Muslim community. Osama likes to spend his spare time with family, eating, running, playing basketball, reading, and learning new things.