Javier I. Escobar, M.D., M.Sc.
Javier I. Escobar, M.D., M.Sc. was appointed Associate Dean for Global Health at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, effective November 2007. In the newly created position, he leads to the Office of Global Health. Escobar is also Professor of Psychiatry and Family Medicine at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.
A native of Colombia, South America, Dr. Escobar came to the United States in 1969. He trained in Psychiatry and received a Masters degree in Psychiatry/Medical Genetics from the University of Minnesota in 1973. Between 1973-1985 Dr. Escobar went from Assistant, to Associate and then full Professor of Psychiatry during his tenure at the Universities of Minnesota, Tennessee and California (UCLA). At the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, in Farmington, he served first as Vice Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry, and in 1992 he became Interim Chair of the Department, a position he held until 1994. In 1994, Dr. Escobar became Professor and Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at the UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Jersey.
Dr. Escobar is recognized as a national leader in academic psychiatry and has been an active teacher and researcher. His research background has focused primarily in the areas of clinical psychopharmacology, psychiatric epidemiology, psychiatric diagnosis and cross-cultural medicine and psychiatry. He has been PI or co-PI of several projects funded by the National Institute of Mental Health in the areas of Treatment of Somatoform Disorders, Epidemiology of Mental Disorders and Development and Mentoring of New Psychiatric Researchers.
His most recent work focuses on the somatic presentations of psychiatric disorders in primary care. Currently he is PI and director of the "Medically Unexplained Physical Symptoms Research Center" at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (2005-2010).
Dr. Escobar also leads a mentoring program for stimulating young investigators to become researchers in the area of Hispanic Mental Health that is also funded with a grant from NIMH.
Dr. Escobar has been a member of the National Advisory Mental Health Council at NIMH and worked at NIMH as Senior Advisor to the Director. At NIMH, he also led the council work group that prepared the NIMH report to address mental health disparities in the United States.
He has published over 200 scientific articles in national and international books and journals. He received the Simon Bolivar Award for his work on behalf of Hispanic populations in 1998.