About Us

The Institute for Behavioral and Community Health (IBACH)

IBACH was established in 1982 for the purpose of promoting research and academic programs relevant to the applications of behavioral science principles to medicine and health care. IBACH provides important research experience to students who intend to pursue related careers and offers opportunities for project staff and students to participate in health disparities research.

IBACH is located in San Diego, California and is San Diego State University’s (SDSU) largest health research center. The research at IBACH has focused on some of the top contributors of early mortality including diet, physical activity, tobacco use, and other health behaviors, with a special focus on the Latino community.


The mission of IBACH is to identify modifiable determinants of health disparities and to develop effective strategies to reduce these disparities. We foster active collaboration between researchers and partners from many different specialties, institutions, and communities. The resulting findings and interventions are contextually-, linguistically-, and culturally-sensitive as they are based on the experience and the extensive evidence gathered by researchers and partners.

IBACH bridges communities and science to conduct meaningful and relevant public health research that leads to positive health outcomes and sustainable health programs in a variety of settings: family homes, grocery stores, recreation centers, churches, research office, and clinics.



IBACH is committed to promoting diversity. By diversifying its research and its researchers, IBACH ultimately hopes to improve the quality of life of all residents by building on protective factors and minimizing risk factors from the individual to the community.


IBACH encourages interdisciplinary collaborations. IBACH’s collaborations range from long-term research and practice partnerships to newer ones. Current studies involve investigators from SDSU’s Graduate School of Public Health, School of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences, School of Public Affairs, and Departments of Psychology, Marketing and Communication, Recreation and Tourism Management, and Sociology. Strong research and teaching partnerships have also been developed with the UCSD School of Medicine, especially the Departments of Family and Preventive Medicine, the Department of Pediatrics – Division of Child Development and Community Heath, and Moores Cancer Center. Additional collaborations include, San Ysidro Health Center, Inc. (SYHC), Clinicas de Salud del Pueblo, Inc., WalkSan Diego, Healthy Eating and Active Communities, and Scripps Institute and Whittier Diabetes Institute.


IBACH’s seeks to build the evidence base of behavioral, social, cultural, and physical environmental factors associated with chronic disease protection and risk; design efficacious interventions that ameliorate these factors; and translate and disseminate these interventions.


From IBACH’s officially recognized “Effective Program” by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMSHA) National Registry, Sembrando Salud, Reducing Risk in Migrant Hispanic Adolescents, to IBACH’s PRIDE faculty mentoring program in Latino health disparities research, IBACH has developed a wealth of resources. This research has led to sustainable outcomes that contribute to behavioral science.