Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola, M.D., Ph.D.
- Founding Director, Center for Reducing Health Disparities (CRHD)
- Director, UC Davis Center for Reducing Health Disparities
- Director, Community Engagement Program, Clinical and Translational Research Center (CTSC)
- Professor, Division of Clinical Internal Medicine
Clinical and Translational Science Center
2921 Stockton Blvd., Suite 1400
Sacramento, CA 95817
Additional Phone Numbers
Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola, MD, PhD
Dr. Aguilar-Gaxiola is an internationally renowned expert on mental health in ethnic populations. As on-site principal investigator of the Mexican American Prevalence and Services Survey – the largest mental health study conducted in the United States on Mexican Americans – he identified the most prevalent mental health disorders in the Mexican-origin population in California’s central valley; showed that the rate of disorders increases the longer the individual resides in the United States; and demonstrated that children of immigrants have even greater rates of mental disorders. From this study, he developed a model of service delivery that increased access to mental health services among the Central Valley’s low-income, underserved, rural populations.
Dr. Aguilar-Gaxiola conducts cross-national epidemiologic studies on the patterns and correlates of psychiatric disorders in general population samples. He is the coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean of the World Health Organization’s Mental Health Survey, and coordinates the work of the National Mental Health Institute surveys in Mexico, Columbia, Brazil, Peru, Costa Rica and Portugal. He also develops culturally and linguistically sensitive diagnostic mental health measures, and translates mental health research into practical information for consumers and their families, health professionals, service administrators and policy makers.
M.D., Autonomous University of Guadalajara, Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico 1977
Ph.D., Clinical-Community Psychology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville TN 1986
M.S., Psychology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville TN 1983
Internship: Psychiatry, UC San Francisco and San Francisco General Hospital, San Francisco CA 1986-1987
Psychiatry, UC San Francisco and San Francisco General Hospital, San Francisco CA 1986-1987
American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
American Psychological Association (Division 45)
Chair, Board of Directors of the National Mental Health Association
Commission of Community Psychology, Interamerican Society of Psychology
Member, National Advisory Mental Health Council of the National Institute of Mental Health
Member, Statewide Advisory Committee for the California Policy Institutes on Health
Past Member, Board of Trustees of the American Society of Hispanic Psychiatry
Quality Assurance Advisor, Pan American Health Organization and World Health Organization
Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society
The International Consortium of Psychiatric Epidemiology (ICPE) sponsored by NIH and WHO
Honors and Awards
National Award of Excellent in Research by a Senior Investigator; National Hispanic Science Network, 2021
Lifetime Award for the Advancement of Latino Behavioral Health; National Latino Behavioral Health Association (NLBHA), 2021
Hibbard Williams Extraordinary Achievement Award, UC Davis School of Medicine, 2021
Ohtli Award (The highest recognition from the Government of Mexico to individuals who have opened pathways to Mexicans abroad (i.e., United States)); Secretariat of Foreign Affairs of Mexico, 2020
Dean's Team Award for Inclusion Excellence along the Center for Reducing Health Disparities Team for outstanding multidisciplinary team contributions in the area of community engagement, UC Davis Schools of Health, 2018
Select Recent Publications
Boulware LE, Corbie G, Aguilar-Gaxiola S, Wilkins CH, Ruiz R, Vitale A, Egede LE. Combating Structural Inequities - Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Clinical and Translational Research. N Engl J Med. 2022 Jan 20;386(3):201-203. doi:10.1056/NEJMp2112233. Epub 2022 Jan 15. PMID:35029847.
Aguilar-Gaxiola SA, Ramirez SM, Kissam E. A Reality Check From the Fields-What's Next? JAMA Netw Open. 2021 Sep 1;4(9):e2125128. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.25128. PMID:34524443.
Harris MG, Kazdin AE, Chiu WT, Sampson NA, Aguilar-Gaxiola S, Al-Hamzawi A, Alonso J, Altwaijri Y, Andrade LH, Cardoso G, Cía A, Florescu S, Gureje O, Hu C, Karam EG, Karam G, Mneimneh Z, Navarro-Mateu F, Oladeji BD, O'Neill S, Scott K, Slade T, Torres Y, Vigo D, Wojtyniak B, Zarkov Z, Ziv Y, Kessler RC; WHO World Mental Health Survey Collaborators. Findings From World Mental Health Surveys of the Perceived Helpfulness of Treatment for Patients With Major Depressive Disorder. JAMA Psychiatry. 2020 Aug 1;77(8):830-841. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2020.1107. PMID:32432716.
Michener L, Aguilar-Gaxiola S, Alberti PM, Castaneda MJ, Castrucci BC, Harrison LM, Hughes LS, Richmond A, Wallerstein N. Engaging With Communities - Lessons (Re)Learned From COVID-19. Prev Chronic Dis. 2020 Jul 16;17:E65. doi:10.5888/pcd17.200250. PMID:32678059.
Kessler RC, Aguilar-Gaxiola S, Alonso J, Bromet EJ, Gureje O, Karam EG, Koenen KC, Lee S, Liu H, Pennell BE, Petukhova MV, Sampson NA, Shahly V, Stein DJ, Atwoli L, Borges G, Bunting B, de Girolamo G, Gluzman SF, Haro JM, Hinkov H, Kawakami N, Kovess-Masfety V, Navarro-Mateu F, Posada-Villa J, Scott KM, Shalev AY, Ten Have M, Torres Y, Viana MC, Zaslavsky AM; WHO World Mental Health Survey Collaborators. The associations of earlier trauma exposures and history of mental disorders with PTSD after subsequent traumas. Mol Psychiatry. 2018 Sep;23(9):1892-1899. doi:10.1038/mp.2017.194. Epub 2017 Sep 19. PMID:28924183.
Stagnaro JC, Cía AH, Aguilar Gaxiola S, Vázquez N, Sustas S, Benjet C, Kessler RC. Twelve-month prevalence rates of mental disorders and service use in the Argentinean Study of Mental Health Epidemiology. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol. 2018 Feb;53(2):121-129. doi:10.1007/s00127-017-1475-9. Epub 2018 Jan 4. PMID:29302708.
Liu H, Petukhova MV, Sampson NA, Aguilar-Gaxiola S, Alonso J, Andrade LH, Bromet EJ, de Girolamo G, Haro JM, Hinkov H, Kawakami N, Koenen KC, Kovess-Masfety V, Lee S, Medina-Mora ME, Navarro-Mateu F, O'Neill S, Piazza M, Posada-Villa J, Scott KM, Shahly V, Stein DJ, Ten Have M, Torres Y, Gureje O, Zaslavsky AM, Kessler RC; World Health Organization World Mental Health Survey Collaborators. Association of DSM-IV Posttraumatic Stress Disorder With Traumatic Experience Type and History in the World Health Organization World Mental Health Surveys. JAMA Psychiatry. 2017 Mar 1;74(3):270-281. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2016.3783. Erratum in: JAMA Psychiatry. 2017 Jul 1;74(7):764. PMID:28055082.
Aguilar-Gaxiola S, Loera G, Geraghty EM, Ton H, Lim CCW, de Jonge P, Kessler RC, Posada-Villa J, Medina-Mora ME, Hu C, Fiestas F, Bruffaerts R, Kovess-Masféty V, Al-Hamzawi AO, Levinson D, de Girolamo G, Nakane Y, Ten Have M, O'Neill S, Wojtyniak B, Caldas de Almeida JM, Florescu S, Haro JM, Scott KM. Associations between DSM-IV mental disorders and subsequent onset of arthritis. J Psychosom Res. 2016 Mar;82:11-16. doi:10.1016/j.jpsychores.2016.01.006. Epub 2016 Jan 20. PMID:26944393.
Acosta DA, Aguilar-Gaxiola S. Academic health centers and care of undocumented immigrants in the United States: servant leaders or uncourageous followers? Acad Med. 2014 Apr;89(4):540-3. doi:10.1097/ACM.0000000000000182. PMID:24556781.
Aguilar-Gaxiola S, Ahmed S, Franco Z, Kissack A, Gabriel D, Hurd T, Ziegahn L, Bates NJ, Calhoun K, Carter-Edwards L, Corbie-Smith G, Eder MM, Ferrans C, Hacker K, Rumala BB, Strelnick AH, Wallerstein N. Towards a unified taxonomy of health indicators: academic health centers and communities working together to improve population health. Acad Med. 2014 Apr;89(4):564-72. doi:10.1097/ACM.0000000000000198. PMID:24556775.