The objective of this Mentored Clinical Scientist Development Award application is for the investigator to develop an academic career in the field of shizophrenia with an emphasis on ethnic minority research within the UCLA Intervention Research Center for Severe Mental Illnesses (IRC). The primary focus of this program will be to facilitate the investigations of the cultural factors that promote functional recovery in Latinos with schizophrenia and to incorporate these factors into psychosocial interventions designed to improve the course and outcome of the disorder. Dr. Kopelowicz, a bilingual psychiatrist who was born in Argentina, has worked clinically and conducted research with Latinos with schizophrenia for the past six years. UCLA has a thirty-five year tradition of mental health research with Latinos, who represent an underserved yet rapidly growing ethnic group comprising forty percent of the population of Los Angeles. Dr. Kopelowicz's knowledge nd skills, the academic resources and expertise of the UCLA Department of Psychiatry, and the large number of Latinos in this major urban area combine to make Los Angeles an ideal setting for this project. The development plan described in this application outlines tutorials, seminars, consultations with notable scholars, and feasibility studies that will establish Dr. Kopelowicz as an academic resource and independent clinical investigator. The award will free Dr. Kopelowicz from most of his present clinical and administrative duties and permit him to: a) identify the factors that inhibit continuity of mental health care for Latinos: b) develop skills in the assessment and treatment of Latino families, c) conduct a research project studying the effects of a psychoeducation program designed specifically for the families of Latinos with serious mental illness: and d) develop the requisite skills to design, plan, and implement a large scale, intervention research project. As a result of these efforts, hypotheses with broader significance for mental health research - - regarding the underlying relationships among family interactional style, patient and family protective factors, the manifestation of psychotic symptoms, and overall level of functioning -- will be formulated and tested. The results of these studies will be used to form the basis for independent (R01) applications. With this training Dr. Kopelowicz will assume an important role in the UCLA Department of Psychiatry as an expert regarding treatment research with Latinos with serious mental illnesses. Given the social and economic costs of these illnesses, their prevalence within Latino populations in California, and the multiple barriers to access an effective intervention (e.g., linguistic, cultural, financial), the development of Dr. Kopelowicz as an academic resource leading an intervention research program at the UCLA IRC will have long-term benefits for a) improving quality of mental health care for Latinos in the Los Angeles area; b) educating and mentoring of junior faculty interested in pursuing cross-cultural research in schizophrenia; and c) organizing courses and seminars for medical students, psychiatric residents, post-doctoral fellows and international visiting scholars at the UCLA School of Medicine. Academic and research activities will take place throughout the award period.
|López, Steven R; Ramírez García, Jorge I; Ullman, Jodie B et al. (2009) Cultural variability in the manifestation of expressed emotion. Fam Process 48:179-94|
|Kopelowicz, Alex; Lopez, Steven R; Zarate, Roberto et al. (2006) Expressed emotion and family interactions in Mexican Americans with schizophrenia. J Nerv Ment Dis 194:330-4|