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  • Featuring Alex Ortega. Ph.D., Professor of Public Health + Director, Institute for Social Research, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Camera Crew: South LA HEAC Youth Ambassadors (Magali Bravo, Jonathan Contreras, Britanni Marie Dighero, Selma Lozoya, Cameron McCaa, Adriana Moreno, Josue Moreno, Jessica Orellana, Liliana Pineda, Andrea Vazquez)
  • Produced by Public Matters
  • Production Assistance: Sharlene Gozalians, Arianna Taboada


Alex Ortega, Ph.D., is Director of the Institute for Social Research (ISR) in the College of Letters and Sciences, and is Professor of Public Health and Psychiatry & Bio-behavioral Sciences at UCLA. He is also the Associate Director of the UCLA Center for Eliminating Health Disparities and a faculty affiliate in the UCLA Centers for Healthier Children, Families and Communities and Culture and Health.

Professor Ortega is an internationally recognized expert on the application of epidemiological methods in health services research, and his work focuses on the physical, medical, and mental health needs of Latino children and their families both in the United States and in the U.S. Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. He has also published health research on the homeless, military veterans, and undocumented immigrants. He is the 2008 recipient of the Distinguished Nationally Known Public Health Professional Award by the Latino Caucus of the American Public Health Association.

Before joining the UCLA faculty, Professor Ortega was Assistant Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health at Yale University and an Associate Professor of Public Health at The Ohio State University. He has also been a Senior Research Associate at the W.M. Krogman Center for Research in Child Growth and Development at the University of Pennsylvania. Professor Ortega holds a B.A. in economics from the University of New Mexico, an M.P.H. in epidemiology and biostatistics from Boston University, and a Ph.D. in epidemiologic science from the University of Michigan.

Professor of Public Health + Director, Institute for Social Research, University of California, Los Angeles

The professor is in!

(Don’t let him catch you napping post-sugar crash.)