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Dr. Christina P.C. Borba Named Director of Office for Disparities Research and Workforce Diversity

Institute Update

A photograph of Dr. Borba

The National Institute of Mental Health has appointed Christina P.C. Borba, Ph.D., M.P.H. , as director of the Office for Disparities Research and Workforce Diversity (ODWD). She began her new role on September 6, 2022.

In her role as director of ODWD, Dr. Borba leads the development and implementation of scientific policies and research initiatives aimed at reducing mental health disparities and advancing equity in mental health interventions, services, and outcomes. Her work will also focus on increasing workforce diversity and scientific attention to mental health disparities experienced by women and people living in rural areas.

Dr. Borba received her doctorate in public health from Emory University and her master’s degree in public health from Boston University. In her previous position, she served as the vice-chair of Research in the Department of Psychiatry at Boston Medical Center (BMC) and director of the BMC Global and Local Center for Mental Health Disparities. The center seeks to improve the mental health of diverse global communities, both locally in the greater Boston area and internationally, through coordinated clinical, research, and training initiatives. Dr. Borba also served as an associate professor of psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM).

Her career spans more than 20 years and includes experience informing and developing evidence-based interventions to mitigate disparities in mental health among marginalized populations. Her most recent research focused on psychotic disorders and cultural psychiatry in low-resourced settings in the United States and abroad, women’s mental health, and gender differences in care. As an example of her research, Dr. Borba led a NIMH grant-funded project  examining sociocultural aspects of schizophrenia in Ethiopia to understand why the disease prevalence ratio is 5:1 male to female.

In addition to her research, Dr. Borba championed training and career development at BMC and BUSM, expanding departmental research capacity through research education initiatives for residents and medical students, mentorship of junior faculty, new faculty recruitment, and the expansion of research infrastructure capacity within the department. She also supervised and provided research-related training for all the research teams within the Department of Psychiatry. In 2019, Dr. Borba was recognized with the BUSM Distinguished Faculty Award for her dedication to teaching, mentoring leadership, and service to students and faculty within the BUSM community.

According to Dr. Borba, the ODWD director position will enable her to develop and implement a plan to actualize the worthy mission and vision of ODWD. This includes fostering funding initiatives that will reduce mental health disparities across populations and focus on developing scientific workforce diversity programs that include groups underrepresented in the biomedical, clinical, and social sciences.