Faculty and Staff

Gail Wyatt

Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology

Dr. Gail E. Wyatt, a Clinical Psychologist, is a board certified Sex Therapist and Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Behavior at UCLA. She directs the Center for Culture, Trauma and Mental Health Disparities and the Sexual Health Programs. Dr. Wyatt has published well over 250 publications, written six books and has provided Congressional testimony 10 times. “Stolen Women: Reclaiming our Sexuality, Taking Back our Lives” by Wiley and Sons, is a best-seller that details the effects of slavery and oppression on African American women today. Dr. Wyatt guest edited the May, 2017 issue of Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Policy and Planning, including research conducted by first authored South Africans of color. She and her team just completed an implementation study of the culturally congruent, CDC endorsed Eban Intervention for HIV sero discordant couples. The intervention has been successfully adapted for South African couples. She and Dr. Harolyn Belcher co-edited a special issue on mentoring students of diverse backgrounds in the 2019 issue of the Journal of Orthopsychiatry.

Dr. Wyatt and her team also have one NIDA funded domestic and two NIH training grants that include implementation science. Her multidisciplinary team is currently using the UCLA Life Adversities Screener to implement ‘’Healing our Hearts, Minds and Bodies’, funded by NHLBI to reduce cardiovascular and trauma risks for HIV positive people of color. Other projects include a Gilead Science funded intervention for HIV negative women of color and a Cal Wellness Foundation funded a women centered intervention to reduce HIV, STI and reproductive health risks for women of color in Los Angeles County. In 2016, she received the Chancellor’s Award for Diversity and Inclusion. In 2017, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award of the American Psychological Association for her work on the effects of trauma on mental health. In 2019 she was made an Honorary Professor at the University of Capetown, South Africa for research and mentoring and she guest edited a special issue on African American women and HIV, in Ethnicity and Disease in 2020. She has been married to Dr. Lewis Wyatt for 55 years, has a son, two granddaughters and a daughter who is an angel.

Hector Myers

Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology

Hector F. Myers, Ph.D. has spent more than 40 years as Professor of Clinical and Health Psychology, including 7 years as Director of Clinical Training at UCLA. Dr, Myers recently became Professor of Medicine, Health & Society and Professor of Psychology at Vanderbilt University. He has published extensively on biobehavioral and psychosocial factors contributing to ethnic disparities in health & mental health. He has investigated questions related to racial/ethnic differences in exposure to stress in essential hypertension and heart disease, testing the efficacy of community-based interventions for HIV/AIDS risk reduction, and most recently on the impact of trauma exposure on mental health status. Dr. Myers has also developed multidimensional conceptual models of ethnic health disparities.

In addition to his scholarly accomplishments, Dr. Myers has also been the recipient of numerous awards for teaching and mentoring, including the UCLA Luckman Distinguished Teaching Award, the Kenneth and Mamie Clark Award for Contributions to the Advancement of the Professional Careers of Minority Students in Psychology, the Charles & Shirley Thomas Mentoring Award, the Samuel M. Turner Mentoring Award and the Stanley Sue award for enhancing diversity in graduate clinical training from the American Psychological Association.

Arleen Brown

Arleen Brown, MD, PhD, is a Professor of Medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research (GIM and HSR) at the University of California, Los Angeles. She serves as Chief of GIM and HSR at Olive View-UCLA Medical Center.

Dr. Brown’s research focuses on improving health outcomes, enhancing health care quality, and reducing disparities for adults with chronic conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and stroke, particularly those with complex medical and social needs. She has been PI or Co-PI on studies to improve diabetes care for older adults and minority patients and research to understand clinical, socioeconomic, and health system influences on chronic disease management in under-resourced communities. Dr. Brown also co-directs the Community Engagement and Research Program (CERP) of the UCLA Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI). In this role, she works with teams of community and university partners to ensure that community and research priorities are aligned, to promote research in community settings, and to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and expertise between all stakeholders.

Alison Hamilton

Principal Investigator

Alison Hamilton, Ph.D., M.P.H., is an Associate Research Anthropologist in the Department of Psychiatry at UCLA and a Research Health Scientist at the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System. She received her Ph.D. in anthropology from UCLA in 2002, and her M.P.H. in Community Health Sciences from UCLA in 2009. Dr. Hamilton currently has an NIH Career Development Award (NIDA K01 DA017647) to study women methamphetamine users and sexuality. This study focuses intensively on women’s life histories of trauma and their relationship to substance abuse, adult trauma and violence, and sexual experiences. Dr. Hamilton also serves as a Co-Investigator on VA-funded studies of (1) determinants of genetics and genomics services in the VA; (2) quality improvement in care for veterans with severe mental illness (SMI); and (3) utilization of peer support technicians in intensive case management teams for veterans with SMI. She is Principal Investigator on a SAMHSA-funded evaluation of a modified therapeutic community for dually diagnosed male veterans, and she is co-PI on a privately funded pilot study of high-functioning individuals with schizophrenia. Utilizing qualitative and mixed methodologies, her areas of specialty are substance abuse, sexuality, HIV risk, trauma, mental health, women’s health, evaluation research, and health services quality improvement.

Tamra Loeb

Associate Research Psychologist

Dr. Loeb works at the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at UCLA, and has most recently been an Investigator for a study housed in the UCLA Center for Culture, Trauma, and Mental Health Disparities. In this capacity, she examines the impact that sociocultural factors, economic status, ethnicity, gender, and cumulative histories of child trauma and adversity have on mental and physical health among ethnically diverse samples of men and women. This background in research has provided her with rich opportunities to conceptualize complex relationships among psychological variables, as well as conduct interviews and collect both quantitative and qualitative data. She is particularly interested in issues concerning the measurement of child sexual abuse.

Dr. Loeb has also recently worked on the Fogarty International Collaborative Program, a multi-disciplinary training program for research in trauma, injury and the effects on health and mental health.  Dr. Loeb mentored fellows and assisted them in training to conduct research that addressed the biological, social and psychological factors related to trauma, injury and its effects.
 
Dr. Loeb was the Principal Investigator for the NIMH-funded grant “Disclosure & Appraisal of CSA: Relationships with PTSD, Depression and Biomarkers”, housed in the The Center for Culture, Trauma and Mental Health Disparities.  This study investigated the relationship between the severity of child sexual abuse, disclosure and appraisal of child sexual abuse on depression, PTSD, and biological indicators of stress among African American and Latino women and resulted in the publication of numerous manuscripts.

Dr. Loeb provided data management and coding of sexual abuse data for the NIHM-funded     “HIV/STD Risk Reduction in African American Couples”, an interactive U10 Government Cooperative with University of Pennsylvania, Columbia and Emory Universities.  The study was a five-year randomized clinical trial with African American, serodiscordant couples.
Dorothy Chin

Associate Research Psychologist

Dr. Dorothy Chin works at the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at UCLA.  After she conpleted her post-doctoral fellowship on the Biobehavioral Aspects of HIV/AIDS at UCLA in 1999, she published the first HIV behavioral risk study on Asian Pacific-Islander (API) American women, describing how risks are assessed and defined among this under-researched population.  Since then, she has expanded her research on HIV risk behaviors to include other under-researched and underserved populations, including African-American and Latina women and those with childhood sexual abuse and histories of other, cumulative adversities.  Her body of work rests on a background in cross-cultural and clinical psychology, which includes expertise in the theory in cultural and cross-cultural psychopathology and cross-cultural research methods.  Within these spheres, she has published articles about the sociocultural influences of psychopathology, taking an international cross-cultural approach, as well as papers on cross-cultural qualitative methodology and psychometric evaluations in minority and under-researched groups.  

Dr. Chin is currently affiliated with the UCLA Center for Culture, Trauma, and Mental Health Disparities, which examines the effects of trauma on psychological functioning, including depression, anxiety, and PTSD among primarily ethnic minority populations.   Prior to that, she was Principal Investigator of a two-year grant Healing Our Women (HOW) Project, a capacity-building effort funded by the California Endowmnet to increase integrated HIV-trauma interventions in community-based organizations in Los Angeles.  After being implemented in New York City in a collaboration with Planned Parenthood, the HOW curriculum has since been reviewed and designated by the CDC as an evidenced-based intervention demonstrated to be effective in the community.  Dr. Chin was also Co-Investigator of a NIMH-funded four-year grant to test a model of HIV risk-reduction among women in L.A. County. 

Dr. Chin has been a regular reviewer for several journals, including Journal of Traumatic Stress, Psychological Assessment, and Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, and have been on the Editoral Board for Psychology of Women Quarterly, Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, and Psychological Assessment.  She has been an ad-hoc reviewer for the Demography and Populations Studies Branch of the National Institute of Child Health and Development (NICHD), as well as a regular seed grant reviewer for the UCLA AIDS Institute.  She has also mentored doctoral-level scholars from South Africa as part of the Fogarty International International Collaborative Program, a multi-disciplinary training program for research in trauma and the effects on health and mental health.

Michele Cooley-Strickland, M.Ed., Ph.D.

Clinical Psychologist / Project Scientist

Dr. Michele Cooley-Strickland is a licensed Clinical Psychologist and Project Scientist in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine. She is a member of the UCLA Center for Culture, Trauma, and Mental Health Disparities. Dr. Cooley-Strickland is concurrently an Associate Professor (now Adjunct), in the Department of Mental Health in the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Cooley-Strickland’s research focuses on anxiety and its concomitants among urban youth and adults -- particularly African Americans -- with particular attention to culture, context, and prevention. Dr. Cooley-Strickland has been an award-winning psychologist, professor, and researcher for over two decades, giving over 100 regional and national presentations and publishing nearly 50 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and clinical treatment intervention manuals. She actively serves the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on advisory committees, extramural review committees, and has been the principal investigator of multiple federal research grants, including a large NIDA R01 community epidemiological research project involving 750 youth, their caregivers, and teachers. Dr. Cooley-Strickland has served on many panels and task forces for national professional organizations (e.g., American Psychological Association, Anxiety Disorders Association of America), as well as held elected positions within them. She is also the co-host of a weekly podcast targeted towards empowering women.

Megan Ebor

Assistant Project Scientist

Dr.Ebor is an Assistant Project Scientist at the Center for Culture, Trauma and Mental Health Disparities in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine. Her research and scholarship examines health outcomes for older racial and ethnic minority women and communities. As a Social and Behavior Change Communication(SBCC) practitioner she utilizes strategies to change behaviors on a micro and macro level to promote positive health behaviors by influencing knowledge, attitudes, and social norms via multi-media platforms.

Dr. Ebor’s award-winning documentary, entitled, Even Me, focuses on the ways in which the intersections of age, race, and gender impact the sexual health of older African American women living with HIV. This research is grounded in her practice experience and interdisciplinary training in social welfare and gerontology. Ebor was recently awarded a diversity supplement grant from the National Institute of Health (NIH)/National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI). This research involves the development of an educational film entitled, TRY (Translating Research for You) as a sub-study under the “Enhancing patient and organizational readiness for cardiovascular risk reduction among ethnic minority patients living with HIV” trial (also known as Healing our Hearts, Minds, and Bodies, or HHMB) which focuses on Black/African-American (“Black”) and Latinx patients; trauma histories and barriers to cardiovascular (CVD) care.

Muyu Zhang

Data Programmer

Muyu Zhang is a data analyst and programmer in the UCLA Center for Culture, Trauma, and Mental Health Disparities. She received her M.A. in Mathematics from Indiana University, Bloomington, and her M.S. in Statistics from Colorado State University. She develops a data collection database, manages data, and provides ongoing statistical analysis of data.

Amber Smith, M.A.

Senior Research Administrative Analyst

Amber M. Smith, M.A. is a Senior Research Administrative Analyst at the UCLA Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences. She received her Bachelors in Art degree in Psychology in 2015 from California State University, Northridge and her Master’s in Art degree in Clinical Psychology with emphasis in Marriage, Family Therapy from Pepperdine’s Graduate School of Education and Psychology in 2017. Ms. Smith’s research focuses are on self-harm, suicide prevention and the effects of trauma and interpersonal violence. She is planning on continuing her education to obtain her Ph.D, and is interested in studying cumulative trauma and interpersonal violence in children and adolescents. Ms. Smith has been working with Dr. Wyatt's Center since November 2016.