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, public health, 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 125+ research projects spanning 95 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 and enhance human health and well-being.

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

  • State-of-the-art, digitally driven approaches for assessing life stress and promoting high value healthcare
  • Scalable strategies for identifying “toxic stress” in primary care
  • Integrated, multi-level mechanisms linking social stress with depression, burnout, and fatigue
  • Modifiable cognitive and psychosocial resilience factors for reducing stress reactivity and improving human health
  • Behavioral and immunologic processes underlying the co-occurrence of chronic mental and physical health problems
  • Social and biological risk factors for self-harm and suicidal behavior
  • Factors influencing clinical outcomes in ovarian, breast, lung, and prostate cancer
  • Social and biological determinants of health disparities
  • Social, behavioral, and biological factors influencing biological aging
  • Organizational strategies for reducing stress and enhancing collective well-being

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