Dr. Piya Sorcar is the founder and CEO of TeachAids, an Adjunct Affiliate at Stanford’s School of Medicine, a Faculty Fellow at the Stanford Center for Innovation in Global Health, and an Adjunct Lecturer at the Graduate School of Education. She leads a team of world experts in medicine, public health, and education to address some of the most pressing public health challenges.

TeachAids is an award-winning 501(c)(3) nonprofit social venture that creates breakthrough software addressing numerous persistent problems in health education around the world, including HIV/AIDS, concussion, and COVID-19. A pioneer in the development of infectious disease education, TeachAids HIV education software is used in 82 countries. In partnership with the US Olympic Committee’s National Governing Bodies, TeachAids has launched the CrashCourse concussion education product suite, which includes research-based applications available online as a standard video and in virtual reality. CoviDB is their third health education initiative, a community-edited platform organizing resources across a comprehensive set of topics relating to COVID-19 for free public use.

Sorcar received her Ph.D. in Learning Sciences and Technology Design and her M.A. in Education from Stanford University. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a B.A. in Economics, B.S. in Journalism, and B.S. in Information Systems. She has been an invited speaker at leading universities such as Columbia, Johns Hopkins, Tsinghua, and Yale, and is Vice Chairman of the Education Advisory Council for USA Football. MIT Technology Review named her to its TR35 list of the top 35 innovators in the world under 35 and she was the youngest recipient of Stanford’s Alumni Excellence in Education Award.

All Publications

  • Participating in Two Video Concussion Education Programs Sequentially Improves Concussion-Reporting Intention. Neurotrauma reports Daneshvar, D. H., Baugh, C. M., Lama, R. D., Yutsis, M., Pea, R. D., Goldman, S., Grant, G. A., Cantu, R. C., Sanders, L. M., Zafonte, R. D., Hainline, B., Sorcar, P. 2021; 2 (1): 581-591


    Undiagnosed concussions increase the risk of additional concussion and persistent symptoms from concussion. Because there are no reliable objective markers of concussion, self-reporting of subjective and non-visible symptoms are critical to ensuring proper concussion management. For this reason, educational interventions target concussion reporting, but the majority of studies have examined the efficacy of single educational interventions or compared interventions to one another. This randomized crossover study sought to identify whether there was benefit to administering multiple concussion education programs in tandem, back to back. The study randomized 313 male high school football players to first receive CrashCourse concussion education (CC) or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention video concussion education (CDC) followed by crossover with the other education. Athlete concussion-reporting intention, attitudes, subjective norms, perceived behavioral control, and enjoyment of education were assessed at baseline and after each intervention. There were statistically significant improvements across all measures, both after single intervention and crossover (all p < 0.001). Secondary analyses examining differences between education found that athletes reported higher enjoyment of concussion education immediately after participating in CC, as compared to CDC (p < 0.001). These findings demonstrate an additive benefit to implementing CC and CDC education in tandem, without decrement in enjoyment of concussion education after experiencing dual educations; in fact, enjoyment of concussion education improved after receiving education programs back to back. These educational programs appear to complement one another, and the results support the use of multi-modal concussion education to differentially target and maximize concussion reporting.

    View details for DOI 10.1089/neur.2021.0033

    View details for PubMedID 35018360

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC8742279

  • Participating in Two Video Concussion Education Programs Sequentially Improves Concussion-Reporting Intention NEUROTRAUMA REPORTS Daneshvar, D. H., Baugh, C. M., Lama, R. D., Yutsis, M., Pea, R. D., Goldman, S., Grant, G. A., Cantu, R. C., Sanders, L. M., Zafonte, R. D., Hainline, B., Sorcar, P. 2021; 2 (1): 581-591
  • Evaluating the Effect of Concussion Education Programs on Intent to Report Concussion in High School Football. Journal of athletic training Daneshvar, D. H., Yutsis, M., Baugh, C. M., Pea, R. D., Goldman, S., Grant, G. A., Ghajar, J., Sanders, L. M., Chen, C., Tenekedjieva, L., Gurrapu, S., Zafonte, R. D., Sorcar, P. 2021


    CONTEXT: Concussion underreporting leads to delays in diagnosis and treatment, prolonging recovery time. Athletes' self-report of concussion symptoms therefore reduces risk.OBJECTIVE: Evaluate the efficacy of three concussion education programs in improving concussion-reporting intention.DESIGN: Randomized controlled clinical trial with assessment immediately and one-month after education.SETTING: Three high schools in California.PATIENTS OR OTHER PARTICIPANTS: 118 male football players were randomly assigned to receive concussion education via: CrashCourse (CC), Centers for Disease Control (CDC) video educational materials (Vi), or CDC written educational materials (Wr).MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Concussion-reporting intention was assessed at baseline, immediately after education, and at one-month follow-up. Secondary outcomes included concussion knowledge, attitudes, perceived reporting norms, and perceived behavioral control.RESULTS: Athletes across all educational formats had significant improvement in concussion-reporting intention immediately following education and at one-month follow-up (mean improvement 6.8% and 11.4%, respectively; p<0.001). Similar findings were observed across all education formats in secondary analyses examining knowledge, attitudes, and perceived behavioral control. However, there were significant differences by education and time (p=0.03). On post-hoc analysis, athletes who received CC had increased concussion-reporting intention immediately and at one-month (baseline=4.7, immediate=6.1, one-month=6.0; p=0.007 compared to significant increases only at one-month for CDC-Vi (baseline=4.3, immediate=5.2, one-month=5.8; p=0.001), and no significant improvement for CDC-Wr (p=0.10). Secondary analyses indicated significant differences between CC and both CDC interventions, in concussion knowledge and attitudes, immediately after education and at one-month. There were no significant differences in perceived behavioral control between-interventions or in perceived concussion-reporting norms across or between interventions.CONCLUSION: All athletes exhibited improved intent to report concussions, increased concussion knowledge, better concussion attitudes, and more perceived behavioral control, both immediately after education and at one-month follow-up. However, athletes randomized to CC reported greater intent to report concussion, more knowledge, and improved concussion-reporting attitudes, when compared to CDC-Vi and CDC-Wr.TRIAL REGISTRY: trial ID number is XXX.

    View details for DOI 10.4085/509-20

    View details for PubMedID 33428746

  • Athlete Enjoyment of Prior Education Moderates change in Concussion-Reporting Intention after Interactive Education. Inquiry : a journal of medical care organization, provision and financing Daneshvar, D. H., Baugh, C. M., Yutsis, M., Pea, R. D., Goldman, S., Grant, G. A., Cantu, R. C., Sanders, L. M., Chen, C. L., Lama, R. D., Zafonte, R. D., Sorcar, P. 2021; 58: 469580211022641


    Undiagnosed concussions increase risk of additional injuries and can prolong recovery. Because of the difficulties recognizing concussive symptoms, concussion education must specifically target improving athlete concussion reporting. Many concussion education programs are designed without significant input from athletes, resulting in a less enjoyable athlete experience, with potential implications on program efficacy. Athlete enjoyment of previous concussion education programs moderates the improvement in concussion-reporting intention after experiencing the research version of CrashCourse (CC) concussion education. Prospective cohort study. Level of evidence: Level IV. Quantitative assessment utilizing ANOVA with moderation analysis of 173 male high school football players, aged 13 to 17, who completed baseline assessments of concussion knowledge, concussion reporting, and attitudes about prior educational interventions. Athletes were subsequently shown CC, before a follow-up assessment was administered assessing the same domains. At baseline, only 58.5% of athletes reported that they enjoyed their previous concussion education. After CC, athletes were significantly more likely to endorse that they would report a suspected concussion (from 69.3% of athletes to 85.6%; P<.01). Enjoyment of previous concussion education moderated concussion-reporting intention after CC (P=.02), with CC having a greater effect on concussion-reporting intention in athletes with low enjoyment of previous concussion education (b=0.21, P=.02), than on individuals with high enjoyment of previous concussion education (P=.99). Enjoyment of CC did not have a moderating effect on concussion-reporting intention. Athletes who previously did not enjoy concussion education exhibited greater gains in concussion-reporting intention than athletes who enjoyed previous education. Given the potential risks associated with undiagnosed concussions, concussion education has sought to improve concussion reporting. Because most athletes participate in concussion education programs due to league or state mandates, improving concussion-reporting intention in these low-enjoyment athletes is of particular relevance to improving concussion-reporting intention broadly.

    View details for DOI 10.1177/00469580211022641

    View details for PubMedID 34053328

  • Using a picture-embedded method to support acquisition of sight words LEARNING AND INSTRUCTION Strauber, C., Sorcar, P., Howlett, C., Goldman, S. 2020; 65
  • Effects of episodic variations in web-based avian influenza education: influence of fear and humor on perception, comprehension, retention and behavior HEALTH EDUCATION RESEARCH Kim, P., Sorcar, P., Um, S., Chung, H., Lee, Y. S. 2009; 24 (3): 369-380


    In order to provide empirical evidence on the role of a web-based avian influenza (AI) education program for mass communication and also ultimately help young children learn and develop healthy behaviors against AI and all types of influenza, an education program with two episodic variations (i.e. fear and humor) has been developed and examined with 183 fifth-grade elementary students. A quasi-experimental design was employed to find potential differential effects on the context-specific risk perception, AI knowledge acquisition, retention and behavior. The study results reveal that the fear appealed AI web-based education program was much more effective than the humor-based program in improving risk perception and educating the students about healthy behaviors (i.e. against influenza infection). However, a significant behavior change or improvement of health practices was not apparent on the post-tests (i.e. 1 month after the treatment) in either episode of the program.

    View details for DOI 10.1093/her/cyn031

    View details for PubMedID 18524758