MCHB Adolescent and Young Adult Research Network

MCHB Adolescent and Young Adult Research Network

Through support from a grant from The Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB), the Center for the Developing Adolescent is actively partnering with colleagues at UC San Francisco and the AYA and LEAH (six university–based Leadership Education in Adolescent Health) grantees to establish an Adolescent and Young Adult Research Network. The PI of the Research network is Elizabeth Ozer, PhD (UCSF). This UC Berkeley component of this collaboration is being led by Ron Dahl and Ahna Suleiman and is providing the developmental neuroscience component to this research network.

The overall purpose of the Adolescent and Young Adult Research Network is to develop and maintain a transdisciplinary, multi-site research network that will accelerate the translation of science into MCH AYA practice, promote scientific collaboration, and develop additional research capacity in the AYA health field. The core team includes UCSF and the six LEAH sites, the Center for the Developing Adolescent, and the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine. The three goals of AYAH-RN are to develop and maintain a national agenda to translate developmental science into AYA practice; promote multisite, transdisciplinary scientific collaboration; and develop additional research capacity in the AYA field.

In partnership with the AYA-RN, through the work of Ahna Suleiman and Ron Dahl, the Center for the Developing Adolescent is engaging in the following activities:

  • Establishing and leading a Leveraging Neuroscience Research Team
  • Creating and implementing a research agenda for translating and integrating neuroscience into AYA practice and research
  • Creating and implementing a research agenda for advancing preventive health interventions, which integrates developmental science
  • Developing and hosting a Summer Institute in 2016, which creates transdisciplinary training opportunities in developmental science for junior scholars


Elizabeth Ozer (UCSF) is currently PI of the Maternal & Child Health (MCHB) funded Adolescent/Young Adult Health Network. Dr. Ozer is a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of California, SF (UCSF), Co-Director of Research Training in Adolescent & Young Adult Medicine, and Director of Research & Evaluation for the Office of Diversity and Outreach at UCSF. Dr. Ozer is a psychologist whose research has focused primarily on the health of adolescents, young adults, and women. Her research has tested models for increasing the screening and counseling of adolescents in primary care as well as evaluated the effect of provider screening and counseling on adolescent behavior across multiple health risk areas. Her research has explored ways that technology can be incorporated into successful models of prevention for teenagers, with a current transdisciplinary collaboration with computer scientists to design, implement, and investigate a self-adaptive personalized behavior change system for adolescent preventive health (with a focus on reducing adolescent alcohol use).

Charles E. Irwin, Jr. (UCSF) is a distinguished professor of pediatrics and director of the Division of Adolescent & Young Adult Medicine at the University of California (UCSF) School of Medicine and the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. He heads two national policy centers focusing on adolescents and young adults: The National Adolescent Health Information and Innovation Center (NAHIC) and the Public Policy Analysis and Education Center for Adolescent and Young Adult Health. Irwin has led the federally funded Leadership Training Program in Adolescent Health since 1977. Over 150 health professional graduate students and fellows have been trained in this program at UCSF since its inception. His current health services research program focuses on improving preventive screening practices in clinical settings and the financial and structural issues altering adolescents’ and young adults’ ability to access health care in the United States. He currently is the Co-Chair of the AHRQ/CMS Expert Panel on Assessing Healthcare Quality Measures for CHIPRA.

Leveraging Neuroscience Research Team