A native of the U.S.-Mexico border, Sonia Contreras has fifteen years experience developing and managing international public health programs. She is a Program Development Specialist for the Scripps Whittier Diabetes Institute, where she manages a U.S.-Mexico project to control and prevent diabetes and hypertension in the Tijuana and San Diego areas. Contreras also coordinates the development of the Fogarty International Clinical Research Scholars site between Scripps Health, the University Autonomous of Baja California and the Institute of Social Security in Mexico in Tijuana. Contreras received her master’s degree in population and international health from Harvard University, and her B.S. in biochemistry and cell biology from the University of California San Diego.

Research Interests & Projects

Contreras’ research interests include diabetes control and prevention, access to health care, translational research and management of binational public health programs.
Most recently, Contreras co-directed the International Symposium on Research Methods for Latin-American Faculty at Harvard University. Contreras also designed and directed “Ventanillas de Salud,” an access to health care program implemented in more than 20 Mexican consulates throughout the U.S. and funded by the California Endowment. She also directed the California delegation of the U.S.-Mexico Border Health Commission. Prior to her work with the Border Health Commission, she was the program director of the CURE-TB U.S.-Mexico Binational Referral Program and collaborated in cost-effectiveness studies for the health ministries in Bolivia and Mexico.

Contact Information: contreras.sonia@scrippshealth.org


Philis-Tsimikas, A., Walker, C., Contreras, S., Reimann, J., Ocana, L. (June 2009)

Project Dulce’s DiabetesSelf Care Activity Outcomes: January 2006 – March 2007, 67th Annual Meeting of the U.S.-Mexico Border Health Association.

Lobato, M.N. and Cegielski, J.P. (January 2001) Preventing and Controlling Tuberculosis Along the U.S.-Mexico Border. S. Contreras, contributor. MMWR. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 50: RR-1, CDC, CD Report.

Garza, Alvaro, Waterman, Stephen, Bacha, Melody, Rodriguez-Lainz, Alfonso, Ornelas, India, Fierro, Lupe, Contreras, Sonia. (2000) Report to the California Legislature, Annual Border Health Status Report.

Houglum, K., Buck, M., Alcorn, J., Contreras, S., Bornstein, P., and Chojkier, M. (November 1995) Two different cis-acting regulatory regions direct cell-specific transcription of the collagen alpha 1(I) gene in hepatic stellate cells and in skin and tendon fibroblasts. J Clin Invest. 96(5):2269–2276.