Assistant Professor of Behavioral and Social Sciences


Dr. David G. Zelaya (he/him/él) is an Assistant Professor at Brown University School of Public Health (SPH) within the Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies (CAAS), Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences, a research fellow at Harvard Medical School within the Department of Psychiatry at Cambridge Hospital, and an affiliated scientist at Yale University with the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS (CIRA).

Dr. Zelaya's program of research focuses on examining health disparities, from an intersectionality and minority stress lens, among Black, Indigenous, and People of Color and sexual and gender minority communities and links to HIV risk, mental health, resilience, and alcohol use. Dr. Zelaya is the PI of a NIH-NIAAA funded K23 grant aimed to develop a behavioral health intervention for Latinx queer individuals to decrease hazardous alcohol use by targeting intersectional forms of discrimination. Clinically, he is interested in providing culturally competent behavioral health services to historically underserved communities (e.g., Spanish-speaking Latinx people; sexual and gender diverse people).

Dr. Zelaya received his Ph.D. from Georgia State University in counseling psychology, he was a psychology resident at Harvard Medical School's Cambridge Hospital (part of the Latinx Mental Health Program, the Gender and Sexuality Clinic, and the Psychiatric Emergency Service), and he completed his fellowship within the Alcohol Research Center on HIV (ARCH) and CAAS at Brown SPH.

Dr. Zelaya is actively involved in service at the national and local level. For example, he was elected to serve on the Leadership Council of the National Latinx Psychological Association as the early career representative. Additionally, he is an appointed member of the APA workgroup on Journal Reporting Guidelines for Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, & Justice in Psychological Science, a member of APA's Committee for Ethnic Minority Affairs, and he serves as the Director for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion for the SAMHSA-funded New England Addiction Technology Transfer Center. He was previously the co-chair of the Early Career Psychologists Committee and a board member for the Massachusetts Psychological Association. He has been the recipient of numerous teaching and social justice awards, his research has been published in the flagship journals of his field, he is an APA Minority Fellow alumnus, and he serves on the editorial board for the Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity journal. At Brown, Dr. Zelaya teaches Introduction to Health Disparities.

Brown Affiliations

Research Areas