Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTHSC-El Paso)

Department of Psychiatry

TTHSC-El Paso Paul L. Foster School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry is extremely experienced in successfully implementing multiple federal- and state-funded projects serving individuals with anxiety, depression, serious mental illness, and developmental disabilities.

The TTHSC Node collaborates with many community clinics for both clinical and research purposes, as well its own outpatient clinic, the county children’s hospital, and two local psychiatric hospitals. Dr. Sarah Martin serves as the Node Lead alongside Dr. Alejandro Fornelli, Node Co-Lead, to support the project and provide representation from the El Paso area.

The Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, El Paso, Department of Psychiatry has an experienced team of child and adolescent mental professionals who are supported by behavioral health consultants and Community health workers. The research team consists of faculty, physicians, research scientists and biostatistician to screen and conduct research on the mental health adolescent population. The team also have clinical research coordinators who have experience in managing multi-site studies at academic institutions, who will work closely with participants in the [Paso Del Norte Region of West Texas] for the Youth Depression Suicide Research Network (YDRSN) Research Project.

Sarah L. Martin, MD
Sarah L. Martin, MD
Node Lead

Sarah L. Martin, MD is the primary investigator for the TTUHSC El Paso node of the Texas Youth Depression and Suicide network. She is a child and adolescent psychiatrist, and her research interests lie in the areas of Bipolar Disorder, ADHD, and public health issues such as obesity, substance use disorders in youth. Another related interest is in the treatment of psychiatric disorders during pregnancy.

Dr. Sarah Martin completed her BA at the University of California at Santa Cruz, and then served as a volunteer in the Peace Corps for two years. She attended Tulane University School of Medicine and then completed her residency and fellowship at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. She was on active duty for 11 years in the United States Army, including a deployment to Camp Bucca, a detainee facility in Iraq. Dr. Martin completed her military service at Ft. Bliss in 2013.

She is currently Chief of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Texas Tech, El Paso, and is developing the El Paso Hub of the Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium, a state public health initiative spanning 16 counties in West and Southwest Texas.

Currently, she is working on the following research projects: The Early Intervention Study- A study of the first degree relatives of patients with bipolar disorder- can the severity of illness be mitigated by education on mental illness early or before onset of illness, Psychiatric Treatment During Pregnancy-attitudes surrounding the treatment of psychiatric disorders in pregnancy, ADHD and pediatric obesity- Does ADHD affect obesity rates in the children of our region, depression and suicide in Texas youth- a research network that follows children and adolescents in Texas who have depression or suicidal thoughts(funded by the Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium).

Alejandro Fornelli, PhD
Alejandro Fornelli, PhD
Node Co-Lead

Dr. Alejandro Fornelli is a senior research associate with diverse experience and knowledge in academic research, publishing, management, and mentoring, and has worked on many research projects. Dr. Fornelli obtained his Ph.D. degree in August 2016 from Universidad Popular Autónoma de Puebla (UPAEP). Most notably, Dr. Fornelli has been a part of and published studies that focus on consumer behavior, sensory marketing and organizational intelligence.

Dr. Fornelli dedicates his time to strengthening the Youth Depression and Suicide Research Network (YDSRN) and Childhood Trauma Research Network (CTRN) studies. Humanism and loyalty are important values for Dr. Fornelli, and he seeks to establish and provide all his expertise to the institution. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family, and playing racquetball and golf.

Node Team
Caitlin Chanoi
Daniela Dominguez
Mariana Reyes