Doris Vasconcellos was born in Pôrto Alegre, RS, Brazil. 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 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).
Although Doris now lives most of each year in Florida with her husband Douglas Bernstein, she remains actively involved in teaching. She is currently pedagogical coordinator of the Continuous Education for Health Professionals at the Ecole de Psychologues Praticiens of the Institut Catholique de Paris where she teaches a course on Psychosomatics, a course on Clinical Interview and a course on Human Sexuality during the spring semester. These same three courses translated into Portuguese are offered online by the Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Rio de Janeiro, PUC-Rio in Brazil