Dissemination & Implementation Science Center | DISC – University of California San Diego

Dissemination and implementation research intends to bridge the gap between research, practice, and policy by building a knowledge base about how health information, effective interventions, and new clinical practices, guidelines and policies are communicated and integrated for public health and health care service use in specific settings. (NIH PAR-19-274).  Recognizing the need for increased capacity in D&I research, training and leadership, we established the UC San Diego DISC in 2020 as a center focusing on dissemination and implementation science across UC San Diego Health Sciences. Key activities provided by the UC San Diego ACTRI DISC include training, consultation, technical assistance, and mentoring to advance D&I science with a local, national, and global impact.
Establish UC San Diego as a nationally and internationally recognized flagship for dissemination and implementation (D&I) science through training, technical assistance, community engagement, and research advancement.
Advance UC San Diego’s public health impact locally and globally through D&I science.
For additional information please contact us at DISC@health.ucsd.edu
Gregory Aarons
Gregory Aarons
Professor, Psychiatry
Health Sciences
Borsika Rabin
Borsika Rabin
Associate Professor
Public Health
Health Sciences
Lauren Brookman-Frazee
Lauren Brookman-Frazee
Director of Education and Training
Professor, Psychiatry
Health Sciences
Nicole Stadnick
Nicole Stadnick
Director of Dissemination and Evaluation
Assistant Professor, Psychiatry
Health Sciences
Study Lab
San Diego Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (San Diego LEND)
The program is now closed to applicants. Thank you!
The San Diego Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Other Related Disabilities program (San Diego LEND) is a unique, interdisciplinary leadership training program funded by a grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The San Diego LEND is administered through the UC San Diego Altman Clinical Translational Research Institute DISC in collaboration with San Diego State University, Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego, and government and community agencies within San Diego and Imperial Counties. San Diego LEND is part of a national network of 60 LEND training programs.
The San Diego LEND program provides interdisciplinary and leadership training to graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, medical residents and fellows, practicing professionals, family members, and self-advocates focused on applying implementation science to promote equity in access to evidence-based services for individuals with autism spectrum disorder or other developmental disorders (ASD/DD). Training activities are scheduled from August through May and there are multiple training intensity options ranging from 40 to 300 hours over the training period.
Why become a LEND trainee?
Benefits to being a San Diego LEND trainee include:
The UC San Diego ACTRI DISC offers two membership categories: DISC General Member and DISC Investigator. 
Complete this 5-minute questionnaire and join DISC today!
DISC Monthly Seminar
Monthly learning community to discuss the latest in D&I literature, workshop new proposals and learn from D&I experts.
DISC Seminar is held monthly on the 2nd Thursday of the month from 2-3:30pm.  Topic and location information sent in monthly emails.  Select recordings are available on the DISC Youtube channel.
Access seminar archives prior to 2019
Seminar Archives
Journal Club Date
Readings & Resources
October 2019
Lindsey Yourman

Mojdeh Motamedi
Quality Improvement and Improvement Science for Geriatrics Research & Practice

“Creating a Learning Health System through Rapid-Cycle, Randomized Testing”
November 2019
James Pittman
VA Merit Resubmission
December 2019
Sapna Mendon
Part I of a mini-series focused on Innovative Methods in D&I Research

“Novel approaches to implementation research: The utility and application of comparative configurational methods”
January 2020
Paul Estabrooks

Monica Perez Jolles
Co-Production of Evidence to Promote Healthy Weights

Part II of a mini-series focused on Innovative Methods in D&I Research
“Core Functions and Forms of Complex Health Interventions”
February 2020
Haomiao Jin
Part III of a mini-series focused on Innovative Methods in D&I Research

“Stepped Wedge Design”
March 2020
Radley “Chris” Sheldrick
Part III of a mini-series focused on Innovative Methods in D&I Research

“Systems Thinking in Implementation Research”
April 2020
Rebecca Lengnick-Hall
“Service contracting as a bridging factor in implementation
and sustainment of evidence-based practices”
May 2020
Ana Baumann and
Leopoldo Cabassa
“Reframing Implementation Science to Address Inequities in Healthcare
June 2020
Margaret Crane
“Under the Hood of Organizations Driving the Dissemination of
Evidence-based Practices” 
July 2020
Laurie Lindamer
“Improving EBP Training to Increase Access to Care for Veterans with TBI”
August 2020
Russell E. Glasgow
“RE-AIM Evolution, Iterative Use, and Health Equity: Applications and Ideas for Feedback”
Reading #1
Reading #2
Reading #3
September 2020
Erika Crable
“Using the EPIS Framework for Criminal Justice System Change”
October 2020
Jordan Farrar
“Applying the Exploration, Preparation, Implementation, Sustainment (EPIS) Framework to Testing Strategies for Scaling Evidence-Based Mental Health Interventions in Fragile and Low-Resource Settings: An Example from Sierra Leone”
November 2020
“Racial Equity and Role of D&I Science: Ongoing Series”
December 2020
The Global Action Research Center (Global ARC)
“Authentic Community Engagement: Tools and Challenges”
Reading #1
Reading #2
Reading #3
January 2021
Shoba Ramanadhan
“Engaged Approaches to Capacity-building For Community-based Implementers”
Email disc@health.ucsd.edu to request presentation materials.
February 2021
Bonnie Kaiser
“Ad-Hoc Adaptations Made During Delivery of a Family Therapy Intervention in Eldoret, Kenya”
March 2021
Blaine Garman-McClaine
“DISC Member and PhD Candidate in Special Education at Indiana University, will present on his F31 proposal.”
April 2021
Borsika Rabin and Nicole Stadnick
“Novel Community Engagement Methods: Insights from COVID-19 Implementation Research.”
May 2021
Emily Treichler
“Order Whatever You Want, as Long as It’s from the Menu? Preliminary Results and Reflections on Adapting and Implementing Collaborative Decision Skills Training for Veterans with Psychosis”
June 2021
Eric Heckler
“Precision Health: Integrating Systems Science, Optimization Methods, and Implementation Science for Advancing a Community-Centered Learning Population Health Approach”
July 2021
James Pittman

“Solution-focused research can achieve its goals more rapidly by progressing through the 3 stages of create, trial, and sustain”
August 2021
Miya Barnett & Chris Miller

“The FRAME-IS: a framework for documenting modifications to implementation strategies in healthcare”
September 2021
Ross Brownson & Elva Arredondo
“Expanding Implementation Research to Prevent Chronic Diseases in Community Settings” and “Implementation science should give higher priority to health equity”
October 2021
Lindsey Wade & David Mier
“San Diego Community Health Needs Assessment – Opportunities for Engagement & Collaboration”
November 2021
Kimberly Hook

“Global Mental Health and Implementation Science: Perspectives and Opportunities in Ukraine”
December 2021
Bethany Kwan

“Methods of Stakeholders Engagement”
Website DICE Methods
February 2022
Paul Luelmo

“Rapid Cycle Improvement Science Methods to Improve Teacher Training”
March 2022
Thomas Patton

“Cost Effectiveness Analysis in D&I Science”
Due to limited staff capacity, the DISC Consultation services are currently only available to those from ACTRI-affiliated institutions listed here
To request DISC Consultations, please complete the Consultation Request Form. The form will ask questions about you and your D&I project. It will take approximately 5 minutes to complete. The information that you share will be reviewed by the DISC Consultation team on a rolling basis. Please note that the DISC Consultation Team requires 7-10 business days to review and respond to consultation requests. Please review the Triage for Grant-related and Manuscript requests below for more detailed information about timeline and allowable requests. Consultations are not a guarantee for the consultant being able to serve as a Co-Investigator on the grant proposal. As part of our consultation services we provide resources, initial guidance for models, measures, and designs and we can make recommendations to connect you with others who could serve as Co-Investigators on your proposal, if needed.
Due to limited staff capacity, the DISC Consultation services are currently only available to those from UC San Diego ACTRI-affiliated institutions listed here. You must also be a current DISC Member to request DISC Consultation. To become a member, please join here.
Become a Member
Dr. Gregory Aarons is a clinical and organizational psychologist, Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at UC San Diego (UCSD), a faculty member in the UCSD/SDSU Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology, Co-Director of the UCSD Dissemination and Implementation Science Center (DISC), and Director of the Child and Adolescent Services Research Center (CASRC).
Dr. Crable is a Postdoctoral Scholar and health services researcher. Her research focuses on improving the use of evidence in policymaking, and testing implementation strategies to promote access to evidence-based substance use treatment, mental health services, HIV prevention and treatment services for safety-net and justice-involved populations. She is also a fellow in the NIMH/NIDA-funded Implementation Research Institute and in the NIDA-funded Lifespan/Brown University Criminal Justice Research Training Program.
Dr. Brookman-Frazee is a Professor in the UC San Diego Department of Psychiatry, Director of Education and Training for the DISC, Associate Director of the Child and Adolescent Services Research Center, and Co-Director of the SDSU/UC San Diego Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology. Her research involves partnering with community leaders, therapists, and families to develop, test, and implement scalable psychosocial interventions in children’s mental health and developmental services.
Dr. Bonnie Kaiser is an Associate Professor jointly appointed in the Department of Anthropology and Global Health Program. Her research focuses on elucidating cultural models of mental health and illness and exploring their connections to care-seeking; developing and adapting measurement tools for cross-cultural research and interventions; improving cultural adaptation of global mental health interventions; and critically exploring concepts of trauma, risk, and resilience.
Margaret Crane is clinical psychology PhD candidate at Temple University. Her research, which is funded by an F31 and a department grant, examines strategies to disseminate evidence-based practices for youth mental health. Margaret also is a therapist at the Temple University Child and Adolescent Anxiety Disorders Clinic, and a clinical extern at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Dr. Jessica Montoya’s research has focused on the development, implementation, and evaluation of mobile health interventions to promote health behaviors (e.g., medication adherence and physical activity). She is also interested in understanding the neurologic impact of comorbidities, including cardiovascular disease and addictions, among individuals aging with HIV.
Dr. James Pittman earned his Master of Social Work degree from Portland State University, and his PhD in Social Work from Smith College School. He serves as the Associate Director for CESAMH’s Education and Dissemination Unit and the Director for CESAMH’s eScreening Core. He is the Lead Mental Health Social Worker and Section Chief for La Jolla Outpatient Mental Health Programs for the VA San Diego Healthcare System. Dr. Pittman is also an HS Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the UC San Diego School of Medicine.
Dr. Borsika Rabin is an Associate Professor at the UC San Diego Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science, the Co-Director of the UC San Diego Dissemination and Implementation Science Center (DISC), and an Implementation Science (IS) expert on a number of large NIH and VA Center grants and research projects including the VA San Diego Center of Excellence for Stress and Mental Health and the Quadruple Aim QUERI Program (Denver VA).
Dr. Nicole Stadnick is an Assistant Professor and licensed psychologist at the University of California, San Diego. Her research aims to examine the effectiveness and implementation of evidence-based practices for children with mental health and developmental concerns served in community-based settings.
Ms. Kera Swanson is the DISC Manager and an Assistant Consultant. She graduated from the University of San Francisco in 2019 with an MPH. Kera has held research management positions with the VA’s National Center for PTSD Dissemination Implementation and Training Division and UC Irvine. Kera has growing interest and experience in dissemination and implementation science and brings a unique skillset to the DISC offering clinical, research, and team management expertise.
DISC offers a graduate course annually in the Spring on D&I science co-taught by three members of the Executive Leadership Team, Dissemination and Implementation Science in Health: An Introduction (FPM 291).  This course focuses on disseminating and scaling up health interventions in real-world settings.  Interactive didactic sessions and guest lectures on implementation of research principles, approaches and methods.  Will design a proposal to implement or scale-up a clinical or public health intervention.
Dr. Borsika Rabin and Dr. Lauren Brookman-Frazee are currently teaching undergraduate Dissemination and Implementation, Policy and Health Services in Mental Health (FMPH 428).  This course will use Dissemination and Implementation Science to address the gap between promising research results for mental health and their successful translation into improved individual, community and population health.  
DISC currently offers undergraduate internships for course credit through the UC San Diego Family Medicine and Public Health Department (Course Number: FMPH199 and FMPH 198).  Email DISC for application instructions.
Read the full internship description.
Olivia Fang
Olivia Fang is currently a part of UCSD Extension’s Post Baccalaureate Pre-Health Program. She is an alumni of UC Berkeley where she majored in Psychology and minored in Creative Writing. She is interested in psychiatry and wants to learn about the interdisciplinary nature of D&I research and how such research can guide and improve the implementation of interventions in healthcare.
Laura Sheckter
Laura Sheckter is a first-year MPH student concentrating in Health Behavior and Health Policy. She hopes to learn how to help populations improve their overall well-being during her time at UCSD. More specifically, Laura is interested in learning about the process of writing D&I research and gaining the tools to apply that research through experiential learning.
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