Scientific Portfolio & Approach

Human diseases are extremely complex. To address scientific and healthcare challenges in this context, we leverage the power of cutting-edge tools from several disciplines, including psychology, neuroscience, immunology, molecular biology, genetics, and genomics. We accomplish by this employing a team science approach to the work we do. We have in-house expertise in several areas but we also proudly partner with investigators and organizations from across UCLA and around the world to help solve our most important and pressing problems in healthcare and the health sciences. In short, we believe we can accomplish much more by working together than by working alone.

Our current scientific portfolio includes more than 275 research projects spanning 105 institutions and 22 countries. Their common unifying feature is a primary focus on scientific innovation, collaboration, and impact. We only pursue projects that have the ability to greatly improve human health, healthcare, or both.

Central to these projects is the idea that stress doesn’t just increase risk for a few select disorders, but rather is a common risk factor for a wide variety of serious mental and physical health problems that dominate present-day morbidity and mortality. Stress can manifest itself on an individual level (e.g., “psychological stress”) but also on a collective level — for example, in work, healthcare, and school environments. Our hope is that by better understanding these links, we can help to reduce stress-related health disparities and enhance human health and well-being, all in the service of achieving greater health equity and enabling people to live their best lives possible.

We are always looking to partner with highly inspired, like-minded people and organizations at UCLA and beyond. If you are passionate about advancing the health sciences and/or improving healthcare, we look forward to hearing from you on our Contact page.

Current Overarching Scientific Foci

  • Social belonging and health
  • Translational psychoneuroimmunology
  • Human pluripotent stem cells and psychiatry
  • mHealth tools for identifying toxic stress in primary care
  • Modifiable cognitive and psychosocial resilience factors for reducing stress reactivity and improving human health
  • Social and biological risk factors for self-harm and suicidal behavior
  • Social and biological determinants of health disparities
  • Factors influencing clinical outcomes in ovarian, breast, lung, and prostate cancer
  • Social, behavioral, and biological factors influencing biological aging
  • Organizational strategies for reducing stress and enhancing collective well-being
  • ACEs screening, response, and prevention
  • Assessment of lifetime stressor exposure
  • Bruin Stress Resilience Network

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