Lillian Gelberg

Dr. Gelberg is a family physician, health services researcher, and professor in UCLA’s Department of Family Medicine and Fielding School of Public Health and the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System. She is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and associate director of the UCLA Primary Care Research Fellowship. Her current research focuses on clinical trials to reduce risky drug use and promote healthy lifestyle change in low income populations using leading behavior change methodologies. Over the past 2 decades, Dr. Gelberg has conducted community-based health services research to improve the health and quality of care of our nation’s most vulnerable populations, and has developed the art and science of collecting data under the most difficult field conditions, including the shelters, meal programs, parks, streets, and busy community health centers of Los Angeles County.

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Center Affiliations


  • MD, Preventive and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
  • MSPH, Health Services, University of California, Los Angeles, Fielding School of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA
  • BA, Psychobiology, University of California, Los Angeles, CA
  • Family Medicine Residency, Montefiore Hospital, Bronx, NY

Areas of Interest

  • Improving the health, health care and housing insecurity of homeless and other vulnerable populations.
  • Trials to integrate culturally tailored behavioral health interventions into primary care for low-income patient populations, including prevention of substance use disorders and overweight/obesity. 
  • COVID-19 prevention strategies for persons experiencing homelessness including Veterans, and diverse low-income patients of federally qualified health centers.