Ricardo Munoz, PhD

Director Emeritus
Founder, Institute for International Internet Interventions for Health (i4Health)
Distinguished Professor of Clinical Psychology
Palo Alto University

Ricardo F. Muñoz, Ph.D. is a depression prevention and treatment researcher and Distinguished Professor of Clinical Psychology at Palo Alto University. From 1977 to 2012, he was professor of psychology at the School of Medicine of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), based at San Francisco General Hospital (SFGH), where he served as Chief Psychologist for 26 years. Dr. Muñoz has been the recipient of many awards, including the Martin Luther King, Jr. Award from UCSF and the George Sarlo Award for Excellence in Teaching from the UCSF Department of Psychiatry. He is now Professor Emeritus at UCSF. He has been a pioneer in the development of Internet interventions for health since the 1990’s and was a founding member of the board of directors for the International Society for Research on Internet Interventions from 2010 to 2013. He has most recently founded i4Health, an institute dedicated to developing, evaluating, and disseminating evidence-based psychological interventions in multiple languages for people worldwide using Internet sites and mobile applications.

Muñoz immigrated from Perú to the Mission District in San Francisco in 1961, at age 10. He did his undergraduate work at Stanford and his doctorate at the University of Oregon in Eugene. He was the first psychologist to join the faculty of the UCSF Department of Psychiatry at San Francisco General Hospital in 1977. In 1985, he founded the SFGH Depression Clinic, the first cognitive-behavioral service at UCSF. He became Chief Psychologist at SFGH in 1986, and Director of the Clinical Psychology Training Program from 1992 to 2012. His research focuses on the development of prevention and treatment interventions for depression and applications of these methods to help people stop smoking. He founded the UCSF/SFGH Latino Mental Health Research Program in 1992. He began work on international randomized trials via the Internet in 1998, and founded the UCSF/SFGH Internet World Health Research Center in 2004. He was the PI on the first randomized controlled trial to prevent major depression. He has served on both Institute of Medicine committees which produced major reports on prevention of mental disorders in 1994 and 2009. His latest contributions to the area of prevention of depression include articles in the Annual Review of Clinical Psychology (2010), the American Psychologist (2012), and a chapter in the Handbook of Depression (2014).


Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, University of Oregon, Eugene (1977)
M.A., Clinical Psychology, University of Oregon, Eugene (1975)
A.B., Psychology, Stanford University (1972)

Publications on PubMed

Featured Publications: 

Major depression can be prevented.

The American psychologist

Muñoz RF, Beardslee WR, Leykin Y

Prevention of major depression.

Annual review of clinical psychology

Muñoz RF, Cuijpers P, Smit F, Barrera AZ, Leykin Y

Toward evidence-based treatment: child-parent psychotherapy with preschoolers exposed to marital violence.

Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Lieberman AF, Van Horn P, Ippen CG

Interpreting the outcomes of automated internet-based randomized trials: example of an International Smoking Cessation Study.

Journal of medical Internet research

Leykin Y, Aguilera A, Torres LD, Pérez-Stable EJ, Muñoz RF

Understanding attrition from international Internet health interventions: a step towards global eHealth.

Health promotion international

Geraghty AW, Torres LD, Leykin Y, Pérez-Stable EJ, Muñoz RF