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María Luisa Zúñiga

Mari Zúñiga

Associate Professor
Contact Information

Research and Teaching Interests

Mari Zúñiga is a behavioral epidemiologist whose research focus is on improving the health of Latino populations living with HIV/AIDS in the US-Mexico border region. Dr. Zúñiga applies principles of Community–Based Participatory Research to partner with community agencies in her research projects.


June 1999

University of California, San Diego/San Diego State University - Joint Doctoral Program in Public Health (Epidemiology) Doctor of Philosophy

June 1992

University of California, San Diego- Master of Pacific International Affairs

September 1989

University of Michigan School of Dentistry, Ann Arbor, Mi

December 1987

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - Bachelor of Arts

Honors and Awards


Comisión de Salud Fronteriza México-Estados Unidos (US-Mexico Border Health Commission), Award for contributions to binational border health


San Ysidro Health Center CASA HIV/AIDS Services Program Community Award for commitment to serving persons living with HIV through research and improving health and quality of life


Universidad Xochicalco, Campus Tijuana Award in recognition for contributions as Honorary Faculty of the School of Medicine


UCSD School of Medicine University Link Medical Science Program Award in recognition of dedication and willingness to share time and resources with students of the program


“Women Who Mean Business” 2008 Award from San Diego Business Journal.


UCSD Faculty Equity Scholarship for American Association of Medical Colleges faculty development training


UCSD Academic Senate, Committee on Research: Award for Travel to Scholarly Meeting


University of California, San Diego Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action and Diversity Award for outstanding contributions in the areas of equal opportunity, affirmative action, diversity, and the UCSD Principles of Community during 2005


UCSD National Center for Leadership in Academic Medicine Class of 2002 Co-Valedictorian

Most Recent Publications

  • Blanco E, Lindsay S, Lemus H, Ojeda N, Zúñiga ML. Advancing HIV prevention among multi-ethnic vulnerable youths in San Diego, California: ethno-racial and gender differences. Journal of HIV/AIDS & Social Services. 2011 Accepted.
  • McCabe CT, Woodruff SI, Zúñiga ML. Sociodemographic and Substance Use Correlates of Tobacco Use in a Large, Multi-Ethnic Sample of Emergency Department Patients. (2011). Addictive Behaviors. 2011 Apr 22. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Hoerster KD, Mayer JA, Gabbard S, Kronick RG, Roesch SC, Malcarne VL, Zúñiga ML. (2011). Impact of Individual, Environmental, and Policy Level Factors on Healthcare Utilization among US Farmworkers. American Journal of Public Health, 101(4):685-692. Epub 2011 Feb 17.
  • Zúñiga ML, Blanco E, Brennan JJ, Scolari R, Artamonova I, Strathdee SS. (2011). Binational Care-Seeking Behavior and Health-Related Quality of Life Among HIV-Positive Latinos in the U.S.-Mexico Border Region. Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care, 22(3):162-172. Epub 2010 Dec 24.
  • Muñoz FA, Pollini RA., Zúñiga ML, Strathdee SA, Lozada R, Martínez GA, Valles-Medina AM, Sirotin N, Patterson TL. (2010). Condom Access: Associations with Consistent Condom Use among Female Sex Workers in Two Northern Border Cities of Mexico. AIDS Education and Prevention, 22(5): 455-465.
  • Pollini RA, Alvelais J, Hasan S, Minuto J, Lozada R, Vera A, Zúñiga M, Strathdee SA. (2010). High prevalence of abscesses and self-treatment among injection drug users in Tijuana, Mexico. International Journal of Infectious Diseases, 14 Suppl 3:e117-22. Epub 2010 Apr 8.
  • Zúñiga ML, Blanco E, Palinkas LA, Strathdee SA, Gifford AL. (2010). Cross-Cultural Considerations in the Recruitment of Latinos of Mexican-Origin into HIV/AIDS Clinical Trials in the US-Mexico Border Region: Clinician and Patient Perspectives. Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies, 8:241–260.
  • Zúñiga ML, Blanco E, Sanchez L, Carroll S, Olshefsky A. (2009). Preventing HIV and Other Sexually-Transmitted Infections and Reducing HIV-Stigmatizing Attitudes in High-Risk Youth: Evaluation of a Comprehensive Community-Based and Peer Facilitated Curriculum. Vulnerable Children and Youth Studies, 4(4):333-342.
  • Deiss RG, Garfein RS, Lozada RM, Burgos JL, Brouwer KC, Moser KS, Zúñiga ML, Rodwell TC, Ojeda VD, Strathdee SA. (2009). Cross-Border Mobility Influences Tuberculosis Diagnosis and Treatment among Injection Drug Users in Tijuana, Mexico. American Journal of Public Health, 99:1491-1491.
  • Brouwer KC, Lozada R, Cornelius WA, Firestone Cruz M, Magis-Rodríguez, Zúñiga de Nuncio ML , Strathdee SA. (2009). Deportation along the U.S.-Mexico border: its relation to drug use patterns and accessing care. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, 11(1):1-6. Epub 2008 Feb 5.
  • Beck E, Wingard DL, Zúñiga ML , Heifetz R, Gilbreath S. (2008). Addressing the Health Needs of the Underserved National Faculty Development Program. Academic Medicine, 83(11):1094-1102.
  • Zúñiga ML , Blanco E, Martínez P, Strathdee SA, Gifford AL. (2007). Perceptions of barriers and facilitators to clinical trials participation in HIV-positive Latinas. Journal of Women’s Health, 16(9): 1322-1330.
  • Zúñiga ML , Brennan, J., Scolari, R., Strathdee, SA. (2008). Barriers to HIV Care in the Context of Cross-Border Health Care Utilization among HIV-Positive Persons Living in the California/Baja California US-Mexico Border Region. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, 10(3):219-227.
  • Torres K, Zive MM, Scolari R, Olshefsky AM, Zúñiga ML . (2008). Acceptance of a Nutrition Curriculum for HIV-positive Latinos Living on the U.S.-Mexico Border. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 19(2):107-13.
  • Olshefsky, A.M., Zive, M.M., Scolari, R., Zúñiga, ML . (2007). Promoting HIV-Risk Awareness and Testing in Latinos Living on the US-Mexico Border: The Tu No Me Conoces Social Marketing Campaign. AIDS Education and Prevention, 19(5):422-35.
  • Zúñiga ML , Baldwin H, Uhler D, Brennan J, Olshefsky AM, Oliver E, Mathews WC. (2007). Supporting Positive Living and Sexual Health (SPLASH): A Clinician and Behavioral Counselor Risk-Reduction Intervention in a University-Based HIV Clinic. AIDS and Behavior, 11(5 Suppl):S58-S71.