Dr. Diego E. Castaneda

NIMH T-32 Post Doctoral Fellow, Clinical Services Training Program, Principal Investigator of HAPP-I Study, UCSF (mentor Dr. Pat Areán)


Dr. Diego Castaneda is an applied mental services health researcher with a background in public health interventions. Dr. Castaneda has merged his theoretical and practical training in public health with his interest in digital mediums to create persuasive health interventions, focused in a variety of health issues, including HIV prevention, workplace safety, diabetes management, and childhood obesity. As a CSRTP Fellow, he uses his expertise in health communication and culturally relevant best practices towards solving today’s most pressing mental health challenges, like access to quality treatment for depression. His work focuses on using mobile technology (like apps) to deliver effective depression therapies to low-income, cultural minority populations. He is currently directing the Health Apps Improvement (HAPP-I) Digital Health study, which is currently seeking participants.

His research interests include

  • Effective mobile mental health interventions (apps, wearable sensors)
  • Improving patient and provider communication
  • Health care reform and mental health

Dr. Castaneda also uses his fluency in Spanish and training in qualitative and quantitative research methods as a professional evaluation consultant.

What does he do to brighten his mood and sharpen his mind: Swimming, biking, reading long form journalism, being in nature, using a smartphone app for meditation practice, regular conversation with family and friends, binge watching TV dramas.

Favorite health apps: Relax, RunKeeper, iSleepEasy, MangoHealth

Best advice: “The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were when we created them” (Albert Einstein)

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