Alumni Profile

Portrait of Pablo Montero-Zamora

Pablo Montero-Zamora

Program: PhD in Prevention Science
Graduation Year: 2021
Employer: The University of Texas at Austin, Department of Kinesiology and Health Education
Job Title: Assitant Professor Tenure-track

Dr. Montero-Zamora’s research focuses on the influence of context, parents, and peers on Latino youth substance use and mental health. Specifically, he studies how factors such as cultural stressors (e.g., perceived discrimination), migration, and social norms shape family dynamics, resulting in youth antisocial and prosocial behaviors. Through a comprehensive exploration of these etiological relationships, including their potential variations among Latino subgroups, Dr. Montero-Zamora’s research centers on improving the development, implementation, and evaluation of culturally adapted evidence-based interventions tailored to serve Latino families in the United States and Latin America.

Before joining UT, Dr. Montero-Zamora earned his Ph.D. in Prevention Science and Community Health at the University of Miami, followed by his postdoctoral training as a UT-Austin Provost’s Early Career Postdoctoral Fellow. Dr. Montero-Zamora has extensive research experience in Latin-America, especially in Mexico, where he worked and earned his Master’s in Epidemiology from the National Institute of Public Health in 2016. Dr. Montero-Zamora’s academic journey also includes a Master’s in Dentistry from the Complutense University of Madrid in 2012 and a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Costa Rica in 2010.


Open All Tabs
  • What motivated you to study public health?

    My journey commenced through immersive work within indigenous communities in my homeland, Costa Rica, igniting a profound commitment to impact lives positively through science and evidence. This led me to Public Health, a perfect avenue to fulfill my dedication, resonating with my passion for addressing health disparities and promoting well-being.

  • Why did you choose the University of Miami for your public health degree?

    The University of Miami's distinguished Public Health program captivated me with its reputation and dedication to research excellence. I sought an academically rigorous and compassionate environment aligned with my goal of improving health outcomes, particularly within Latin-American populations.

  • Describe your career path:

    My career path centers on addressing health disparities in vulnerable Latin-American communities. Originating in Costa Rica, my journey gained momentum through impactful research during my Master's in Epidemiology in Mexico and my Ph.D. studies in Prevention Science and Community Health at the University of Miami. This trajectory led to a postdoctoral role in Latino Health Equity at The University of Texas-Austin. Guided by mentors like Eric C. Brown and Seth J. Schwartz, I explored the impact of cultural stressors, migration, and social norms on Latino youth's substance use and mental health, translating these insights into preventive program development, implementation, and evaluation. Currently, I am dedicated to deepening my understanding of these risk and protective factors, integrating evidence into the advancement of preventive programs.

  • How did you obtain your current position?

    My path to my present role was shaped by my postdoctoral experience as an Early Career Postdoctoral Fellow at UT-Austin, fostered by unwavering mentorship from both the University of Miami and UT-Austin. This guidance has positioned me effectively, preparing me to contribute meaningfully. I am thrilled about the opportunity to continue my work in a department valuing interdisciplinary research and collaboration, aligning with my commitment to addressing health disparities in Latin-American communities.

  • How did your degree prepare you for your current position?

    My doctoral training equipped me with a solid foundation in prevention science and community health. I gained expertise in exploring the etiology of health behavior problems and designing culturally adapted evidence-based interventions targeting Latino families

  • What is your favorite part of your job?

    The most gratifying aspect is witnessing the tangible impact of interventions on families' lives. Contributing to positive change, even on a small scale, is incredibly fulfilling. Additionally, being able to share knowledge with students and shape future leaders in Prevention Science brings great joy.

  • What are your long-term career plans/goals?

    In the long run, I aspire to become a leader in researching and preventing youth antisocial behaviors within Latino populations. I am dedicated to advancing the adoption of evidence-based interventions through implementation-and- dissemination science approaches.

  • What advice do you have for someone interested in your career path?

    For those interested in a similar path, I encourage a combination of rigorous education, interdisciplinary collaboration, and an unrelenting desire to learn. Making a meaningful impact in public health demands dedication, passion, and a willingness to adapt to new challenges.