As a clinical psychologist within the Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science, I am committed to the mission to improve health through preventive, epidemiological and clinical research. I am the UCSD Director of the the UCSD/SDSU Joint Doctoral Program (UCSD/SDSU JDP) in Public Health and I have been actively involved in Centers of Excellence in Research and Intervention in Tobacco Control and in Health Promotion and Equity.
For the past 20 years I have been engaged in behavioral research to inform treatments for tobacco use. My recent research in tobacco has focused on population health impact of behavioral patterns of tobacco product use, regulatory science that supports the evaluation of the risks and benefits of tobacco regulatory decisions, the impact of proposed graphic warning labels on tobacco use behavior, identified screening tools that identify youth at risk for tobacco use, developed instruments to assess tobacco dependence and worked to promote engagement in behavioral tobacco treatment within large healthcare settings using Electronic Health Records. Since arriving at UC San Diego ten years ago I also have been working with colleagues to develop and evaluate behavioral treatments for adults overcoming overweight and obesity through changes in diet and lifestyle changes. These population-level systems and clinical interventions are designed to prevent disproportionate health impacts among those with low income communities, those with mental health conditions, and individuals receiving cancer care.