Meng-Chuan Lai

Associate Professor


Fields of Study

Areas of Interest

As a Canadian Institutes of Health Research Sex and Gender Science Chair, Dr. Lai’s work focuses on multi-level (biological, cognitive, behavioural, socio-cultural, and health service) research and clinical services to improve mental health and wellbeing of neurodivergent individuals with autism or related neurodevelopmental conditions, across sexes and genders. His research delineates how sex- and gender-related factors act as risk, protective, and modulating mechanisms for the behavioural presentation and adaptation, clinical recognition and diagnosis, and neurobiology and etiologies, of autism and co-occurring neurodevelopmental or psychiatric conditions. His work particularly focuses on the experiences of female and gender-diverse autistic people and the relations between neurodevelopmental conditions, sex differentiation, gender socialization, and mental health. Dr. Lai’s work also expands to social cognition, mind-brain-body interactions, psychiatric nosology (especially in clarifying the vast heterogeneity in psychiatric conditions) and cross-discipline integration.


Dr. Meng-Chuan Lai is a staff psychiatrist, clinician scientist and O’Brien Scholar in the Child and Youth Mental Health Collaborative at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto. He is an Associate Professor and Co-Chair, Advisory Council for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Clinical Care in the Department of Psychiatry, and Graduate Faculty at the Institute of Medical Science and Department of Psychology, University of Toronto. He is an Honorary Visiting Fellow at the Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge, and an Adjunct Attending Psychiatrist at the National Taiwan University Hospital. He is an Editor of the journal Autism. Dr. Lai received his MD from the National Taiwan University and completed psychiatry residency and child and adolescent psychiatry subspecialty training at the National Taiwan University Hospital. He holds a PhD in psychiatry and neuroscience from the University of Cambridge, where he also conducted his post-doctoral research in autism neuroscience.