Faculty, Staff & Students


Roberto E. Orellana, PhD

Professor, Social Work at Portland State University

Preceptor, LUNA Program

Dr. Roberto Orellana is Associate Professor of Social Work at Portland State University (PSU), where he is also affiliate faculty in the School of Community Health and the Department of Indigenous Nations Studies.

Throughout his doctoral program and early scholarly activities, Dr. Orellana has gained experience in global health research, especially on the science of HIV and substance abuse prevention with vulnerable populations, especially indigenous populations, other racial/ethnic and sexual minorities.

His global health experience includes research studies throughout the Americas:

PERU: An epidemiologic study of interpersonal violence in Lima; community-based studies of HIV/STIs and substance use among indigenous populations in the Peruvian Amazon; and a web-based intervention for high risk men who have sex with men (MSM) in Lima.

GUATEMALA: A qualitative study of the lived experiences of indigenous MSM and their increased vulnerability to HIV and substance abuse.

MEXICO/GUATEMALA: Currently, in collaboration with local and other U.S.–based investigators, Dr. Orellana is working on both sides of the Mexico/Guatemala border examining social and structural factors that increase vulnerability to drug use and HIV among MSM in a region of heavy drug and human trafficking.

UNITED STATES: Domestically, Dr. Orellana has worked on research studies with homeless individuals with mental illness (Seattle); Injection drug user (NYC); and individuals at high risk for HIV in the Pacific Northwest. Currently, he’s conducting a study with homeless youth in Portland, and he is the lead evaluator for Oregon State’s suicide prevention programs.

His training and research studies have been funded by USAID, SAMHSA NIMH, NIDA and NIMHD