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SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 Related Projects

Like many departments at UC San Diego, The Department of Psychiatry is actively involved in a variety of activities related to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. To catalog and share the work being conducted by the Psychiatry community in response to SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19, we have created the below list of research and publications. Please check back for updates.

Research Activities

​Principal Investigator
​Title / Goals / Description
​Cinnamon S. Bloss, Ph.D. Title:Empathy and Compassion in a Global Pandemic
Goals/Description of the Project: The goal of this project is to understand the relationship between expressions of empathy and compassion and individual and community health outcomes from the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. This project surveyed a new wave of individuals every two weeks between March and July 2020 for a total sample of over 6,000 individuals. Data collection utilized a cross-sequential design that included seven cross-sectional cohorts and one repeated longitudinal measurement of each cohort. Data collection was initiated early in the context of the U.S. outbreak (March) and covers the April 2020 “surge” period.
Lisa Eyler, Ph.D.Title:  Stay-at-Home Wellness EMA in Late Life (StayWELL) 
Goals/Description of the Project:  Completely virtual study using online assessment and mobile surveys to assess various aspects of wellness (including mood, anxiety, resilience, empathy, cognition) among older adults who previously participated in clinical research and for whom pre-pandemic measures of wellness are available. Data collection, which began in early July, is ongoing and includes four 2-week bursts of ecological momentary assessment (EMA) using mobile surveys, location tracking, and passive assessment of keystroke dynamics.
Suzi Hong, Ph.D.Title:Mental health survey during the COVID-19 pandemic among the elderly individuals
Goals/Description of the Project: To assess the state of mental health (i.e., modified CRISIS, depressive mood, anxiety, PTSD symptoms, loneliness, resilience, Well-being) of older individuals (60 – 90 yrs) with hypertension during the COVID-19 pandemic
Janis H. Jenkins, Ph.D.Title: Adolescent Mental Health among Ethnically Diverse and Socially Disadvantaged Middle School Students in Southern California
Goals/Description of the Project: To investigate mental health status, social functioning, and academic performance among socioeconomically disadvantaged students. Data collection is currently focused on follow-up since last research contact and the impact of COVID on daily life, mental health/wellbeing, family functioning, and educational challenges of remote academic learning.
​Dilip Jeste, MD
Title: Mobile-Assisted Compassion Training for Seniors: Virtual Individual Intervention (m-ACTS:VII), a collaborative international study between Israel and San Diego
Goals/Description of the Project: This project seeks to determine the effectiveness of a technology-assisted behavioral intervention to enhance empathy and compassion in order to reduce loneliness and promote well-being in older adults
Maria Marquine, PhDTitle:The impact of COVID-19 on the Well-Being and Research Productivity of Underrepresented Early Career Scientists
Goals: 1) Investigate the physical, emotional, social, and cognitive health impact of the current pandemic on underrepresented early career scientists; 2) Identify barriers and facilitators to research and scholarly activities among underrepresented early career scientists during the current pandemic.
Maria Marquine, PhDTitle:The impact of COVID-19 on older Latinos’ well-being and cognition
Goals: Multinational study investigating the impact of COVID-19 on the well-being and cognition of Latinos living in the United States and Latin America. Dr. Marquine leads the arm in Uruguay of this larger study, which is based at the Multicultural Alzheimer’s Prevention Program (MAPP) at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH)
Jyoti Mishra, Ph.D.
Title:A Personalized Mental Wellness Platform for Clinicians during COVID
Goals/Description of the Project:NEATLabs, UCSD Community Psychiatry & UCSD Connected Health have partnered to implement an mhealth app for clinicians, with mood and wellness tracking, and AI models that help deliver personalized digital meditation and lifestyle wellness recommendations. Read more.
​Raeanne Moore, PhD ​Title: My Wellness Check
Goals/Description of the Project: Global citizen science project to understand how wellbeing around the world is affected by the COVID-19 pandemic: https://www.mywellnesscheck.org/
​Raeanne Moore, PhD ​Title: Assessing the real-time mental health challenges of COVID-19 in individuals with serious mental illness.
Goals/Description of the Project: Repeated phone interviews of participants with serious mental illness over the course of the pandemic; all participants have previously participated in one of three ongoing studies.
​Sonya Norman, Ph.D.Title:Trauma Informed Guilt Reduction Therapy” for Pandemic Related Guilt and Shame
Goals/Description of the Project: In this small randomized clinical trial, we will evaluate a brief intervention for trauma relate guilt for pandemic related guilt and shame.
Nicole Stadnick, PhD, MPH ​Title: Share, Trust, Organize, Partner: The COVID-19 California Alliance (STOP COVID-19 CA) (MPI: Borsika Rabin, PhD, PharmD, MPH)
Goals/Description of the Project: This is a California community engagement collaborative aimed at co-creating and evaluating community-driven strategies to increase participation of underserved communities in COVID-19 therapeutic trials.
Susan Tapert, Ph.D.Title:  Characterizing Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic in the ABCD Cohort
  • 6/23/20-7/1/21:
    Characterizing Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Screen Media Use in the ABCD Cohort. Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development Inc. (PI: Tapert).
  • 5/1/20-4/30/21:
    RAPID: Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Child Development in the ABCD Cohort (2028680). National Science Foundation (PI: Tapert).
  • 4/15/20-3/31/22:
    Characterizing Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Development in the ABCD Cohort (3U24DA041123-06S1 - ABCD-USA Consortium: Data Analysis and Informatics Resource center, PI: Dale, and 3U24DA041147-06S1 – ABCD-USA Coordinating Center, MPIs: Jernigan/Brown). National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Susan Tapert, Ph.D.Title:Characterizing Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic in the NCANDA Cohort
(Tapert, Brown, Meruelo, Gonzalez, McCabe)

Publications