Doris Vasconcellos was born in Pôrto Alegre, RS, Brazil, in 1948. She completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology in 1983 and went to Paris, France where she received her Ph.D. in 1992 at University Paris Descartes. Her thesis on Defense Mechanisms in Homosexual AIDS Patients was the first research project on psychological aspects of AIDS in France and it Dr. Vasconcellos received a prize for distinguished contribution to Social Sciences from the Sorbonne-Paris Descartes University.
From 1993 to 2008 she was on the psychology faculty of University Paris Descartes where she taught classes ranging from 15 to 470 students, mainly on clinical psychopathology, psychosomatics, and interview skills.
Her research, which initially focused on psychological aspects of AIDS, including adherence to treatment, was supported for several years by the French National Agency for AIDS Research (Agence Nationale de Recherches sur le SIDA - ANRS). Later she studied the relationship between sexuality and identity issues in fatherhood, in patients of artificial reproduction technology, and in seniors. This research was supported by the French National Institute for Health and Medical Research (Institut National de Santé et Recherche Médicale – INSERM) and the Brazilian National Counsel of Technological and Scientific Development (Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico - CNPq).
Doris retired from Paris Descartes in 2008 and though she now lives most of each year in Florida, she remains actively involved in teaching. She is currently pedagogical coordinator of the Certificate of Specialisation in Psychosomatics for Health Professionnals at Ecole de Psychologues Praticiens of the Institut Catholique de Paris where she teaches a course on psychosomatics during the fall semester. She is also in charge of translating this course into Portuguese so that it can be offered online by the Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil.