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The idea of the Internet World Health Research Center was triggered by work done by the UCSF/SFGH Latino Mental Health Research Program to test whether randomized controlled trials could be conducted via the Web. The specific proof-of-concept study was the UCSF/UCSD Stop smoking Internet study, conducted in Spanish and English, funded by the Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program. This study showed that we can match the success of the nicotine patch using a Web-based stop smoking program.

  • 263,217 from 132 countries visited our site from September 2003 to September 2006
  • 65,000 visitors have entered some data on the site
  • 17,757 joined our stop smoking studies

(See: Muñoz RF, Lenert LL, Delucchi K, Stoddard J, Pérez JE, Penilla C, Pérez-Stable EJ (2006). Toward evidence-based Internet interventions: A Spanish/English Web site for international smoking cessation trials. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 8. 77-87).


It occurred to us that if we could conduct research to help such a large number of individuals across the globe to stop smoking, we could repeat this process for other health problems.

2003: A planning grant

  • The Director of the Latino Mental Health Research Program (Muñoz) and a small group of colleagues were granted a planning grant to study the feasibility of creating an Internet Health Research Center by the UCSF School of Medicine Research and Evaluation Allocation Committee in 2003.
  • The principal investigator of the grant was Ricardo F. Muñoz, joined by Eliseo J. Pérez-Stable, Kevin Delucchi, and Connie Weisner. Carlos Penilla, Staff Research Associate for the Latino Mental Health Research Program, and John Perez, Postdoctoral Fellow, were also part of the team. Elizabeth Miller and Armando Valdez joined us as consultants.

2004: A multiple users grant

  • Based on our deliberations, the team decided that to create such a center, we need a unifying resource that would bring like-minded investigators together and provide them with tools to carry out Internet research.
  • A multiple users grant was awarded from the School of Medicine Research and Evaluation Allocation Committee to purchase a software system, DatStat Illume, that was specifically made for conducting clinical research via the Web, without having to be a web developer.
  • Ricardo F. Muñoz was the Principle Investigator, joined by Eliseo J. Pérez-Stable, Kevin Delucchi, Neal Benowitz, Ginger Carrieri-Kohlman, Gary Humfleet, Mort Lieberman, Charlie Marmar, David Mohr, Janice Tsoh, and Connie Weisner. Other members of the team included Carlos Penilla, John Perez, and Larry Van Cantfort (Assistant Director for Web Services, School of Medicine Dean's Information Services Unit).
  • The UCSF/SFGH IWHRC Executive Committee is formed
    to administer the center, an executive committee was formed composed of: Ricardo F. Muñoz, Chair, Mort Lieberman, David Mohr, Janice Tsoh, and Carlos Penilla.

2005: Executive Committee

David Mohr (Acting Chair)
Mort Lieberman
Janice Tsoh
Carlos Penilla (administrator)

2006: Executive Committee

Ricardo F. Muñoz, Chair
Mort Lieberman
David Mohr
Janice Tsoh
Jeff Belkora
Carlos Penilla (administrator)

2007: Executive Committee

Ricardo F. Muñoz, Chair
Jeff Belkora
Mort Lieberman
David Mohr
Janice Tsoh
Carlos Penilla (administrator)

2008: Executive Committee

Ricardo F. Muñoz, Chair
Jeff Belkora
Janice Tsoh
Randolph Siwabessy
Veronica Pitbladdo (administrator)

2009: Executive Committee

Ricardo F. Muñoz, Chair
Jeff Belkora
Janice Tsoh
Veronica Pitbladdo (administrator)

 





Generous support for our projects has been provided by the
Brin Wojcicki Foundation
Google Grants
NIH
TRDRP
AFSP
UCSF CTSI
RWJ HDWG
Anonymous gift




Updated: December 9, 2012