Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU) and Portland State University (PSU) School of Public Health

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Photo of Marguerita Lightfoot

Marguerita Lightfoot

Associate Dean for Research


Dr. Lightfoot received her master’s and doctorate in Counseling Psychology from UCLA. Her research focuses on improving the health and well-being of adolescents and young adults, as well as the development of culturally competent, efficacious interventions to reduce acquisition and transmission of HIV among populations disproportionately burdened by the epidemic. She has obtained NIH funding to design and implement HIV preventive interventions, including culturally-tailored interventions for adolescents in the juvenile justice system, runaway/homeless youth, youth living with HIV, young MSM, and adults living with HIV. Her research has developed interventions and bridged the gap from development to implementation. She has been the Principal Investigator on numerous R01 and other R-level grants, as well as center grants and foundation grants, including from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, William T. Grant Foundation, and others. She has had a distinguished career in community-engaged research, receiving awards for her community partnership efforts.

Dr. Lightfoot currently serves as the Associate Dean for Research. Prior to starting this position in September 2021, she was Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, Chief for the Division of Prevention Science, Director of the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies (CAPS), Director of the UCSF Prevention Research Center and she held the Walter Gray Endowed Chair. She came to the SPH with extensive experience training and mentoring students, fellows, trainees, and early-career faculty across a number of disciplines. She also currently serves on the National Advisory Mental Health Council (NAMHC), which advises the Director, National Institute of Mental Health, on all policies and activities related to the conduct and support of mental health research, research training, and other programs of the Institute. She was a member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (National Academies) Committee on Fostering Healthy Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral (MEB) Development Among Children and Youth. She serves on the editorial boards of American Psychologist and Cultural Diversity & Ethnic Minority Psychology, and was recently associate editor for the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.


1985 – 1990 University of California, Los Angeles B.A. Psychology
1990 – 1992 University of California, Los Angeles M.A. Counseling Psychology
1992 – 1997 University of California, Los Angeles Ph.D. Counseling Psychology
1997 – 1999 University of California, Los Angeles Postdoc Psychiatry