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Integrating Special Populations


  • Julie Jules

    Julie Jules


    Assistant to Dr. Peter Szilagyi

  • Jackie McBride

    Jackie McBride


    Assistant to Dr. Neal Halfon

  • Breje Ross

    Breje Ross


    Assistant to Dr. Catherine Sarkisian

  • Nathalie Vizueta, Ph.D.

    Nathalie Vizueta, Ph.D.


    Project Manager

  • Candace J. Wilkinson, Ph.D.

    Candace J. Wilkinson, Ph.D.


    Scientific Officer

    Children's Discovery and Innovation Institute


Program Description

The Integrating Special Populations Program focuses on three special groups: children, older adults, and groups affected by health disparities. We prioritize these groups because of their poor health status in Los Angeles and nationally, the implications of their health for society including costs of care, and the emerging science of how life develops over the life course. The program will work to catalyze and strengthen research in special populations in three ways: (1) by attempting to increase the number of investigators studying special populations; (2) by offering advice on study design and intense mentoring to improve the quality of research; and (3) through thoughtful recruitment/retention activities.

Program Aim

The aim of the Integrating Special Populations (ISP) Program is to integrate special populations into the research enterprise of the UCLA CTSI to ensure that breakthroughs are quickly translated to the benefit of society and its subpopulations.

To achieve this aim, the program has established five objectives.

  • Objective 1. Provide consultations, mentorship and career development in special population-based research.
  • Objective 2. Foster and support collaborations on research with special populations.
  • Objective 3. Facilitate clinical research with a virtual core research facility for special populations.
  • Objective 4. Accelerate the inclusion of special populations in translational research.
  • Objective 5. Provide research platforms to facilitate research with special populations at UCLA and our CTSI partner institutions and as a hub for national CTSI activities.

Program Services

Program services include:
  • A comprehensive consultation service focused on ISPs
  • Collaborative training focused on life course research
  • Advice on optimal strategies to recruit and retain special populations affected by disparities
  • Platforms (databases, community-based organizations, multi-institutional partnerships) that provide access to special populations and link researchers and networks
Nathalie Vizueta, Ph.D. 
Integrating Special Populations, Project Manager