Margarita Alegría, Ph.D.


Ph.D., Temple University
M.A., University of Puerto Rico
B.A., Georgetown University

About Me

Dr. Alegría is the Director of the Center for Multicultural Mental Health Research (CMMHR) at Cambridge Health Alliance, and a full professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts. Dr. Alegría has an extensive publishing history with over 200 titles that include journal articles, book chapters, editorials, and research training manuals that focus on the areas of services research, conceptual and methodological issues with minority populations, risk behaviors, and disparities in service delivery. She is also on the editorial board of two journals, Archivos de Psiquiatría and Health Services Research. Dr. Alegría was the guest editor of the June 2012 supplemental issue of Health Services Research, and authored two of the articles in that issue. In addition to her partnerships and collaborations, research work, and publishing, Dr. Alegría has continued her commitment to mentoring and training. She has mentored over 50 pre- and post-doc faculty members, trainees, and junior investigators, whose interests are in disparities work and other emerging concerns in the mental health field such as immigration, acculturation, and the role of culture and context in both illness and treatment in mental health. She has received several Robert Wood Johnson Fellowship grants, which have greatly enabled her mentoring work to continue, and has been recognized for her mentoring leadership with the 2011 Excellence in Hispanic Mental Health Research Advocacy and Leadership award by the National Resource Center for Hispanic Mental Health, and the 2011 Excellence in Mentorship award by the National Hispanic Science Network. Dr. Alegría has been nationally honored with the 2003 Mental Health Section Award of the American Public Health Association, the 2006 Greenwood Award for Research Excellence, from the Research Centers in Minority Institutions (RCMI) Program Directors Association, and the American Psychological Association’s Presidential Recognition Award in 2008. Dr. Alegría received international recognition when she was appointed as a member of the Institute of Medicine in 2011. In 2012, Dr. Alegría received the Frances J. Bonner Award for meritorious service in the mental health field for the ethnic and racial minority community from the Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Psychiatry. CURRENT GRANT AWARDS: Dr. Alegría is a co-Principal Investigator (co-PI) of the NIMH grant, 1R01MH098374, Effects of Social Context, Culture and Minority Status on Depression and Anxiety, a collaborative, longitudinal project that investigates the social mechanisms behind ethnic/racial differences in the prevalence of mental illness in Latino young adults. Dr. Alegría is a PI on the NCMHD grant, 5P60MD002261, Excellence in Partnerships for Community Outreach Research on Health Disparities and Training (EXPORT), which proposes to generate and test interventions that can remedy service disparities in asthma and mental health for disadvantaged Latino and African Caribbean populations. She is also the PI of its supplement, 3P60MD002261-04S1, Comparative Effectiveness Research for Eliminating Disparities (CERED), which tests the efficacy of phone-based depression therapy interventions for depressed Latinos identified in primary care. Dr. Alegría is a Project Director (PD) of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) grant 69830, Supporting a Mentoring and Training Program for RWJF’s New Connections Grantees, Alumni, and Network, Round 2. This grant provides for the mentoring and support in didactic research, manuscript publication, grant application, and research funding for junior investigators and trainees. The RWJF grant also provides group-training workshops on methodological skills, and a public forum of researchers, experts, consultants, and senior investigators for the mentees to present their research.