Patricia Lester, M.D.


Professor In-Residence, Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior

Member, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Contact Information

Work Phone Number: (800) 825-9989

Mailing Address:

760 Westwod Plaza, B7-418
Los Angeles, CA 90095


Patricia Lester, MD At the UCLA Semel Institute, Dr. Lester is the Jane and Marc Nathanson Family Professor of Psychiatry, Director of FOCUS (Families OverComing Under Stress) Program, Director of the UCLA Nathanson Family Resilience Center, and the Medical Director of the Family Stress, Trauma and Resilience Clinic at UCLA. A board certified child and adolescent psychiatrist, Dr. Lester’s work has been dedicated to the development, evaluation, and implementation of family centered prevention and treatment for families facing the impact of military deployments, traumatic events, and parental illness. She co-developed the family-centered preventive intervention FOCUS which was designed to promote resilience and mitigate stress in families facing adversities such as natural disasters, medical illness, and military wartime deployments. Over the last 8 years, she has led the successful large-scale implementation of FOCUS for the United States Navy and Marine Corps, as well as piloting at Army and Air Force sites. Dr. Lester oversees the on-line FOCUS learning center and evaluation programming, which utilizes web-based technologies to support program implementation at scale. She is well versed in the scientific and programmatic issues facing service members and their families, and serves as an advisor on the needs of military children and families across military, university and non-profit agencies. She co-directs the Welcome Back Veteran’s Family Resilience Center, which includes research trials on family centered preventive and treatment models for Veterans and National Guard and their families, as well as community level education and capacity building to enhance resilience in OEF/OIF Veterans. She currently receives support from the Department of Defense, the US Department of Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, the McCormick Foundation, and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. She has published more than 50 research articles and book chapters on the foregoing topics.


A selected list of publications:

Lester Patricia, Saltzman William R, Woodward Kirsten, Glover Dorie, Leskin Gregory A, Bursch Brenda, Pynoos Robert, Beardslee William   Evaluation of a family-centered prevention intervention for military children and families facing wartime deployments American journal of public health, 2012; 102 Suppl 1: S48-54.
Lester Patricia E   War and military children and families: translating prevention science into practice Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 2012; 51(1): 3-5.
Beardslee William, Lester Patricia, Klosinski Lee, Saltzman William, Woodward Kirsten, Nash William, Mogil Catherine, Koffman Robert, Leskin Gregory   Family-centered preventive intervention for military families: implications for implementation science Prevention science : the official journal of the Society for Prevention Research, 2011; 12(4): 339-48.
Martin Andrés, Greenhill Laurence I, Lester Patricia, Polanczyk Guilherme, Goldstein Benjamin I   Hats off: 2011 Journal awards Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 2011; 50(12): 1313-4.
Saltzman William R, Lester Patricia, Beardslee William R, Layne Christopher M, Woodward Kirsten, Nash William P   Mechanisms of risk and resilience in military families: theoretical and empirical basis of a family-focused resilience enhancement program Clinical child and family psychology review, 2011; 14(3): 213-30.
Lester Patricia, Mogil Catherine, Saltzman William, Woodward Kirsten, Nash William, Leskin Gregory, Bursch Brenda, Green Sara, Pynoos Robert, Beardslee William   Families overcoming under stress: implementing family-centered prevention for military families facing wartime deployments and combat operational stress Military medicine, 2011; 176(1): 19-25.
Wu Nancy, Lester Patricia, Jiang Luohua, Weiss Robert, Slocum Suzanne, Rotheram-Borus Mary Jane   Substance use among adolescents of parents living with HIV in New York City Substance use & misuse, 2011; 46(6): 795-807.
Rice Eric, Green Sara, Santos Katherine, Lester Patricia, Rotheram-Borus Mary Jane   A lifetime of low-risk behaviors among HIV-positive Latinas in Los Angeles Journal of immigrant and minority health / Center for Minority Public Health, 2010; 12(6): 875-81.
Nash William P, Vasterling Jennifer, Ewing-Cobbs Linda, Horn Sarah, Gaskin Thomas, Golden John, Riley William T, Bowles Stephen V, Favret James, Lester Patricia, Koffman Robert, Farnsworth Laura C, Baker Dewleen G   Consensus recommendations for common data elements for operational stress research and surveillance: report of a federal interagency working group Archives of physical medicine and rehabilitation, 2010; 91(11): 1673-83.
Lester Patricia, Stein Judith A, Bursch Brenda, Rice Eric, Green Sara, Penniman Typhanye, Rotheram-Borus Mary Jane   Family-based processes associated with adolescent distress, substance use and risky sexual behavior in families affected by maternal HIV Journal of clinical child and adolescent psychology : the official journal for the Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, American Psychological Association, Division 53, 2010; 39(3): 328-40.
Glover Dorie A, Garcia-Aracena Elena F, Lester Patricia, Rice Eric, Rothram-Borus Mary Jane   Stress biomarkers as outcomes for HIV+ prevention: participation, feasibility and findings among HIV+ Latina and African American mothers AIDS and behavior, 2010; 14(2): 339-50.
Lester Patricia, Peterson Kris, Reeves James, Knauss Larry, Glover Dorie, Mogil Catherine, Duan Naihua, Saltzman William, Pynoos Robert, Wilt Katherine, Beardslee William   The long war and parental combat deployment: effects on military children and at-home spouses Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 2010; 49(4): 310-20.
Rice Eric, Lester Patricia, Flook Lisa, Green Sara, Valladares Ena S, Rotheram-Borus Mary Jane   Lessons Learned from "integrating" intensive family-based interventions into medical care settings for mothers living with HIV/AIDS and their adolescent children AIDS and behavior, 2009; 13(5): 1005-11.
Lester Patricia E, Weiss Robert E, Rice Eric, Comulada W Scott, Lord Lynwood, Alber Susan, Rotheram-Borus Mary Jane   The longitudinal impact of HIV+ parents' drug use on their adolescent children The American journal of orthopsychiatry, 2009; 79(1): 51-9.
Milburn Norweeta, Liang Li-Jung, Lee Sung-Jae, Rotheram-Borus Mary Jane, Rosenthal Doreen, Mallett Shelley, Lightfoot Marguerita, Lester Patricia   WHO IS DOING WELL? A TYPOLOGY OF NEWLY HOMELESS ADOLESCENTS Journal of community psychology, 2009; 37(2): 135-147.
Stein Judith A, Rotheram-Borus Mary Jane, Lester Patricia   Impact of parentification on long-term outcomes among children of parents with HIV/AIDS Family process, 2007; 46(3): 317-33.
Rotheram-Borus Mary Jane, Stein Judith A, Lester Patricia   Adolescent adjustment over six years in HIV-affected families The Journal of adolescent health : official publication of the Society for Adolescent Medicine, 2006; 39(2): 174-82.
May Susanne, Lester Patricia, Ilardi Melissa, Rotheram-Borus Mary Jane   Childbearing among daughters of parents with HIV American journal of health behavior, 2006; 30(1): 72-84.
Rotheram-Borus Mary Jane, Lester Patricia, Song Juwon, Lin Ying-Ying, Leonard Noelle R, Beckwith Leila, Ward Mary J, Sigman Marian, Lord Lynwood   Intergenerational benefits of family-based HIV interventions Journal of consulting and clinical psychology, 2006; 74(3): 622-7.
Rotheram-Borus Mary Jane, Weiss Robert, Alber Susan, Lester Patricia   Adolescent adjustment before and after HIV-related parental death Journal of consulting and clinical psychology, 2005; 73(2): 221-8.
Daley Melita L, Becker Daniel F, Flaherty Lois T, Harper Gordon, King Robert A, Lester Patricia, Milosavljevic Nada, Onesti Silvio J, Rappaport Nancy, Schwab-Stone Mary   Case study: the internet as a developmental tool in an adolescent boy with psychosis Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 2005; 44(2): 187-90.
Rotheram-Borus Mary Jane, Flannery Diane, Lester Patricia, Rice Eric   Prevention for HIV-positive families Journal of acquired immune deficiency syndromes (1999), 2004; 37 Suppl 2(2): S133-4.
Rotheram-Borus Mary Jane, Lee Martha, Lin Ying-Ying, Lester Patricia   Six-year intervention outcomes for adolescent children of parents with the human immunodeficiency virus Archives of pediatrics & adolescent medicine, 2004; 158(8): 742-8.
Rotheram-Borus Mary Jane, Lester Patricia, Wang Pin-Wen, Shen Qing   Custody plans among parents living with human immunodeficiency virus infection Archives of pediatrics & adolescent medicine, 2004; 158(4): 327-32.
Lester Patricia, Stein Judith A, Bursch Brenda   Developmental predictors of somatic symptoms in adolescents of parents with HIV: a 12-month follow-up Journal of developmental and behavioral pediatrics : JDBP, 2003; 24(4): 242-50.
Leonard Noelle R, Lester Patricia, Rotheram-Borus Mary Jane, Mattes Kathy, Gwadz Marya, Ferns Bill   Successful recruitment and retention of participants in longitudinal behavioral research AIDS education and prevention : official publication of the International Society for AIDS Education, 2003; 15(3): 269-81.