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Cristina M Lopez PhD

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  • Professor
  • College of Medicine
  • Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Academic Focus
  • Engagement in mental health services
  • Traumatic Stress
  • Development and treatment of youth internalizing disorders
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Dr. Cristina M. López is an Associate Professor in the College of Nursing and the Mental Health Disparities and Diversity Program in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). She received her B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Florida State University. She completed her predoctoral internship and postdoctoral fellowship at the Medical University of South Carolina (Charleston Consortium), followed by an Instructor position with Family Services Research Center (FSRC) from 2012-2013.  She is a member of the Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology, the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, and the Society for Advancement of Chicanos, Latinos, and Native Americans in Science.


Dr. López’s research interests include identification of barriers to treatment engagement in mental health services, the use of culturally tailored interventions as a means of engaging specific high-risk ethnic groups in prevention and behavioral health services (e.g., HIV prevention, prevention of child maltreatment), increasing visibility and access of trauma related services to Latinx and other underserved populations (e.g. Telemedicine), and assessment of provider-level factors that affect youth and family involvement in outpatient community-based therapy.


In addition to her role as a researcher, Dr. López is a licensed clinical psychologist. She also holds leadership positions through CON Diversity and Inclusion Officer, the Assistant Director for the University's Office of Gender Equity, and Associate Director for SCTR’s Integrating Special Populations (ISP) Core. She also sits on several committees that address recruitment and retention of women and underrepresented ethnic minorities in academia (e.g. ARROWS/WSI, ABCT Task force on Equity, Inclusion, and Access). Dr. López has been honored as a National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) Scholar, Earl B. Higgins Diversity Leadership Award, and the MUSC MLK Humanitarian award.


Keywords: traumatic stress, engagement in mental health, vulnerable populations, and interprofessional collaboration