Tara Thiagarajan

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Dr. Tara Thiagarajan
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Tara Thiagarajan
OccupationNeuroscientist and Entrepreneur
Years active2000–present

Tara Thiagarajan is the founder and Chief Scientist of Sapien Labs, which has developed the MHQ and the Mental Health Million and Human Brain Diversity Projects.[1]


Thiagarajan leads scientific research work focused on the impact of environment on the brain and mind. This research has shown that aspects of brain dynamics change systematically with the stimulus environment including education, travel and cell phone use and has described the global decline in mental wellbeing across younger generations and uncovered various of its key drivers.[2] She was also the founder, Chairman and Managing Director of Madura Microfinance [3], a microfinance company operating across India which was known for its high cost efficiency[4] and innovative thought leadership[5]. Madura Microfinance was recently merged with Credit Access Grameen[6][7]. While at Madura Microfinance she produced the award-winning film Shakti Rising (Shakti Pirakkudu) on the journey of a rural woman[8]. In 2022, she joined the Governing Council of Krea University in India[9].

Early life and education

She holds a PhD in Neuroscience from Stanford University[10] and also completed her undergraduate degree in Mathematics at Brandeis University[11].


  1. "Mental health of young adults severely impacted by pandemic – study". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 March 2023.
  2. "You, Rewired: How Modernity Changes the Brain". interestingengineering.com. Retrieved 8 April 2021.
  3. "The accidental entrpreneur". IndiaToday.in. Retrieved 19 April 2010.
  4. "Tara Thiagarajan Wants the Poor to get more out of their Micro Borrowings". Forbes India. Retrieved 15 March 2012.
  5. "The new think tank". Mint. Retrieved 9 March 2012.
  6. "CreditAccess Grameen allots over 26 lakh shares to Madura Micro Finance shareholders". The Free Press Journal. Retrieved 27 March 2023.
  7. "CA Grameen expects NCLT approval for Madura merger in couple of quarters". Mint. Retrieved 11 November 2021.
  8. "SALTAF 2010, South Asian Literary and Theatre Arts Festival Recap". smithsonianapa.org. Retrieved 15 November 2010.
  9. "Dr. Tara Thiagarajan joins Krea University Governing Council". PSU Connect. Retrieved 30 September 2021.
  10. "The accidental entrepreneur". IndiaToday.in. Retrieved 19 April 2010.
  11. "A neurology of microfinance". The Indian Express. Retrieved 15 December 2010.

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