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 main offices are located in San Diego, California and has a satellite office in El Centro, California. IBACH research 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/Hispanic community, sexual and gender minorities, and underserved populations, including those living in rural communities.


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. Current studies involve investigators from many different disciplines across the SDSU campus. 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, Clínicas de Salud del Pueblo, Inc., Family Health Centers of San Diego, Vista Community Clinic, San Ysidro Health Center, Inc., San Diego Unified School District, YMCA, among many others.


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.