Headshot of Luz Maria Garcini

Luz Maria Garcini

Baker Institute Rice Faculty Scholar | Interim Director of Community Health, Kinder Institute for Urban Research, Rice University


Luz Maria Garcini, Ph.D., MPH, is a Baker Institute Rice faculty scholar and an assistant professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences at Rice University. Garcini’s research, community, advocacy and policy work focus on identifying, understanding and addressing the health needs of historically marginalized immigrant communities from a biobehavioral and sociocultural perspective. Using a socioecological approach and a social determinants of health lens, Garcini’s interdisciplinary research is aimed at informing population health and public policy by identifying mechanisms of risk and resilience in the face of social disadvantage and life adversity. By using community-engaged science, biomarkers in the field, and a wide range of epidemiological and mixed-methodologies to study historically marginalized populations, Garcini’s goal is to contribute to health equity and social justice. 

Garcini’s contributions to equity, diversity, inclusion and social justice are evident in her track record of publications, presentations, awards received and funding allocated. Her work and advocacy efforts have received widespread media coverage in avenues such as Univision, Telemundo, CBS, Medical News Today, U.S. News and World Report, MSN, Global News Report and Oprah’s Book Club, among others. 

Garcini’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in health and social sciences is evident through her service and mentoring endeavors across settings and organizations. Currently she serves as member-at-large for the board of directors of the American Psychological Association. 

Garcini is a strong and committed advocate for increasing diversity in science and policy, including opening avenues for enhanced retention and representation of students and professionals from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds. She has an extensive mentoring record across the fields of psychology, medicine, nursing, public health, policy and marketing. 

Garcini is originally from Mexico City. More information about Garcini’s personal story can be found in this podcast

Garcini received a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from San Diego State University/University of California, San Diego (SDSU/UCSD) and a master’s of public health with concentration in epidemiology from SDSU. 

Contact at luz.m.garcini@rice.edu or 619-755-7374.