Carmela Alcantara

Dr. Carmela Alcántara is an Associate Professor at Columbia University School of Social Work, Faculty Affiliate of the Social Intervention Group, Faculty of the Columbia Population Research Center, and Director of the Sleep, Mind, and Health Research Program. She is a clinical psychological scientist with expertise in social epidemiology and behavioral medicine. Her interdisciplinary program of research integrates frameworks and methodologies from psychology, public health, social work, and medicine to study how contextual factors (i.e., immigrant status, socioeconomic status, race) shape exposure to psychosocial risks and resources (acculturation, transnational ties, discrimination, stress, anxiety), and their association with sleep, mental health, and cardiovascular health in underserved populations, particularly in Latina/o/x immigrant communities. A long-term goal of Dr. Alcántara’s research is to develop community-engaged and evidence-based behavioral interventions to reduce disparities in mental health care and promote health equity. She has obtained nearly $3 million dollars from federal sources and private foundations, including a K23 award from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to study sleep and minority health, and an R01 from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to conduct a randomized controlled trial of a digital behavioral sleep medicine intervention culturally adapted for Spanish-speaking primary care patients. Dr. Alcántara has held national leadership positions and provides sought after expertise in Latina/o/x immigrant and minority health, health psychology, behavioral sleep medicine, and social determinants of health.

Research Interests

Health Inequities
Immigrant Health
Mental Health
Migrant Health
Social Determinants
Social Support


Current Population Survey
National Latino and Asian American Survey