Research Projects

A list of active and past projects conducted by our group of investigators 

Fuerte Program

Fuerte: An evaluation of a school-based prevention program targeting newcomer Latinx youth at risk for traumatic stress and related disorders. 

Principal Investigator: William Martinez, PhD

The Fuerte program has been implemented within the San Francisco Unified School District in 10 middle and high schools over the past 2 years and served over 100 youth. It is administered within schools in collaboration with SFUSD Wellness Centers, Department of Public Health partners, and community-based behavioral health organizations. While the program is informed by evidence-based practices, no formal evaluation of program outcomes has taken place. The program is currently funded through a Mental Health Services Act Innovations Fund grant through the California Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission to undertake a comprehension evaluation of the program, as well as to adapt it to other immigrant groups. The aims of the program include: 1) a randomized control trial examining health literacy, service linkage, academic, and social-emotional outcomes; 2) creation of a "playbook" based on state-of-the-art frameworks for cultural adaptations of existing prevention and interventions programs; 3) adaptation of the program to other groups of newcomer immigrant populations (e.g., MENA); and 4) an evaluation of systems-level implementation to create a framework for implementation in other counties in California. 

Apply in August/September 2019 to participate and volunteer as a research assistant. Spanish-speaking applicants are especially encouraged to apply. 



Depression Management Course

Prinicipal Investigators: 

Yan Leykin, Ph.D.

Ricardo Muñoz, Ph.D.

Untreated depression accounts for more than 11% of the world total disease burden.  Depression is associated with up to 60% of suicide deaths, deteriorating health, and social problems. Most affected individuals are not receiving adequate treatment.  The long-term objective of this project is to address the issue of untreated depression by developing and evaluating an effective Web-based intervention for depression, available at no cost and in multiple languages to depressed and dysphoric individuals anywhere in the world.

The current project is the first step towards that goal.  We have developed a self-contained, interactive, modular, Web-based self-help intervention for depression. The intervention is based on cognitive-behavioral therapy, an empirically supported treatment for depression. Participants from the Internet community are invited to sign up for a customized eight-lesson intervention. This is a proof-of-concept study, with the goal of assessing the degree of interest in and the demand for Web interventions, and to obtain initial information about the effectiveness of this intervention.

We are currently recruiting participants and research volunteers. 



MoodText Project

Principal Investigator: Adrian Aguilera

Pharmacotherapy and cognitive behavioral therapy are efficacious treatments of depression among diverse groups, however adherence to medication, adherence to CBT homework, and appointment attendance are barriers to effective treatment in the community, particularly among low income populations.  This line of research seeks to investigate whether text messaging (SMS) can be used to improve adherence to treatment for depression by sending medication and appointment reminders along with using SMS as a medium for CBT homework completion to reinforce thought tracking and behavioral activation.  This project is currently in the initial feasibility/usability stage in preparation for a randomized trial.

Mothers and Babies: Mood and Health Project

En Espanol: Mamás y Bebés: El Estado de Animo y la Salud

Risk for major depression appears to be transmitted across generations. Pregnancy and the postpartum period are key periods to study because maternal emotion regulation deficits may affect both maternal and child outcomes. Children of parents with emotion regulation problems are at higher risk for developing similar problems over time.

The Mothers and Babies: Mood and Health Project was launched in 1998 by the Latino Mental Health Research Program at the University of California, San Francisco/San Francisco General Hospital. Its aims are: (1) to identify pregnant women at imminent risk for major depressive episodes, and (2) to test whether a cognitive-behavioral intervention reduces risk for maternal depression and improves maternal and child functioning in high risk low-income pregnant English and Spanish-speaking women

Smoking Cessation Web Study: Tomando Control

This project of the University of California, San Francisco/San Francisco General Hospital Latino Mental Health Research Program is being conducted in collaboration with the University of California, San Francisco Medical Effectiveness Research Center for Diverse Populations (MERC) and the University of California, San Diego.

The Tobacco Related Disease Research Program funded the establishment of the Spanish/English Web Site for Smoking Cessation Trials at and


Click HERE for a complete summary of each phase

Phase V is currently recruiting participants in the United States. We welcome Spanish and English speaking smokers to join our study.