Alex Ortega, an epidemiologist and health services researcher, is Professor of Health Policy and Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences at UCLA. Professor Ortega is the Director and Principal Investigator of the UCLA Center for Population Health and Health Disparities, an NHLBI-funded P50 center that aims to understand and intervene on cardiovascular disease disparities among Latinos in East Los Angeles and Boyle Heights in California. He is also the Associate Director of the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center. Previously, he was the Director of the UCLA Institute for Social Research (ISR).
Ortega is an internationally recognized expert on the application of epidemiological methods in health services research, and his work focuses on the physical and mental health and medical 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.
Before joining the UCLA faculty in 2004, Ortega was Assistant Professor of Health Policy at Yale University. He has also been a Visiting Professor at Columbia University, a Senior Research Associate at the W.M. Krogman Center for Research in Child Growth and Development at the University of Pennsylvania, and a Senior Scholar in Residence in the Center for Primary Care Research at the Agency for Health Care Research & Quality (AHRQ).
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. He is a recipient of the Distinguished Nationally Known Public Health Professional Award by the Latino Caucus of the American Public Health Association and the Distinguished Alumni Award from Boston University School of Public Health.