Patricia E. Lester, MD
Nathanson Family Professor of Psychiatry
Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
- 1982 – Middlebury College, B.A.
- 1985 – Syracuse University, M.A.
- 1993 – UC, San Francisco School of Medicine, M.D
- 1997 – UC, San Francisco School of Medicine, Psychiatry Residency
- 2000 – UCLA, Fellow in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Research & clinical interests
Dr. Patricia Lester completed undergraduate studies at Middlebury College and a MA in Creative Writing at Syracuse University. She undertook her MD and psychiatry residency training at University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, and her child psychiatry fellowship at the University of California, Los Angeles. Following fellowship, she received a National Institute of Mental Health K-award. At UCLA, Dr. Lester is the Jane and Marc Nathanson Family Professor of Psychiatry at the David Geffen School of Medicine, where she directs the Division of Population Behavioral Health within the Department of Psychiatry. She also serves as the Director of the Nathanson Family Resilience Center, Medical Director of the Family Stress, Trauma and Resilience Service, Co-Director of the Center for Child Anxiety Resilience Education and Support, and the founding leadership team for the new Pritzker Center for Strengthening Children and Families, an interdisciplinary collaboration for research, prevention and intervention efforts designed to prevent children from entering the child welfare system, and to support those within it. Dr. Lester has sustained a career-long focus on developing and disseminating preventive interventions, practices, and policies that to support child and family resilience in the context of trauma and adversity. Her research and leadership has focused on the study of translational and implementation processes needed to bring evidence based prevention to scale within systems of care and community settings, including the large scale, 12-year implementation of a tiered prevention program for the US military that has served over 1 million people. This program has become a model in advancing a population health approach to the integration of prevention within communities, primary care, and schools.
Roles within the division/Fellowship
- Vice Chair of Community Engagement, Semel Institute
- Director of the Division of Population Behavioral Health
- Director of the Nathanson Family Resilience Center
- Director of FOCUS (Families OverComing Under Stress) Project
- Co-Director, UCLA CARES (Child Anxiety Resilience Education & Support) Center
- Medical Director of the UCLA Family STAR (Stress, Trauma And Resilience) Clinic at the David Geffen School of Medicine
- Lectures on topics such as prevention medicine for children and families