Research team

Education & Research

Paul Mills, Ph.D.

Chopra Foundation Director Of Research

Dr. Paul Mills is a Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health, Director of the Center of Excellence for Research and Training in Integrative Health, and Director of the Clinical Research Biomarker Laboratory at UC San Diego.

For more information on Dr. Paul Mills, please click here.

Sheila Patel, M.D.

Chopra Center Research Director

Dr. Sheila Patel is a board-certified family physician who earned her M.D. at the University of Wisconsin Medical School and completed her residency in family medicine at the Ventura County Medical Center in Southern California. For more than a decade, she practiced full-spectrum family medicine (from prenatal care and deliveries, to ER coverage, and inpatient and outpatient primary care for all ages) in a variety of settings. She continues to deliver primary care in an outpatient setting, as well as offering mind-body medical consultations as Director of Mind-Body Medical Group. She is also the Medical Director of the Chopra Center and is part of the research team, overseeing the clinical aspects of research studies.

Dr. Patel’s integrative healing approach combines the best in conventional Western medicine with the wisdom of ancient healing traditions. Dr. Patel’s special interests include preventive medicine and mind-body medicine with an emphasis on Ayurveda. She has also taken additional continuing medical education courses in integrative medicine and has received further training in mindfulness-based stress reduction and functional medicine approaches to health.

“My practice has always focused on preventive medicine for all ages, as well as management of a wide variety of chronic and acute health conditions. I believe that the best way to achieve wellness is to integrate all of the knowledge available to us from modern conventional medicine as well as from traditional healing systems. I have particular interests in meditation and yoga, which I have practiced for many years,” she said.

“I have been interested in Ayurveda since I began my medical training at the University of Wisconsin, and was influenced early on by Dr. Deepak Chopra’s writings. Working at the Chopra Center allows me to blend the Vedic spiritual tradition of my childhood with the practice of medicine, which is both personally and professionally fulfilling. In addition, by participating on the research team, I have the opportunity to shed light on the mechanisms behind the transformation we see in our guests. It gives credibility and validation to Ayurvedic practices and gives us the language to describe the benefits to a larger scientific and medical audience.