Distinguished Professor Ricardo F. Muñoz
Distinguished Professor of Clinical Psychology, Palo Alto University
Founding Director, Institute for International Internet Interventions for Health (i4Health)


Ricardo F. Muñoz, Ph.D., is Distinguished Professor of Clinical Psychology at Palo Alto University, Professor Emeritus in the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Department of Psychiatry at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, Adjunct Clinical Professor at Stanford University’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and a member of the Affiliate Faculty at the University of California, Berkeley, Department of Psychology. Dr. Muñoz is originally from Perú. He immigrated to San Francisco at age ten. His work is generally conducted in Spanish and English. His areas of specialty include the prevention and treatment of major depression, smoking cessation interventions, and the development, evaluation, and global dissemination of self-help online interventions. He is an advocate for the creation of “digital apothecaries,” that is, online repositories of Massive Open Online Interventions (MOOIs, inspired by MOOCs) that would provide evidence-based self-help interventions to anyone in the world. He and his trainees and colleagues have developed several manuals focused on the prevention and treatment of major depression. The manuals are available for downloading at no charge from Palo Alto University’s i4Health website in several languages. Dr. Muñoz has published over one-hundred articles and chapters, and authored or coauthored six books, including Controlling Your Drinking (with William R. Miller); Control Your Depression (with Peter Lewinsohn, Antonette Zeiss, and MaryAnn Youngren), Depression Prevention: Research Directions; and The Prevention of Depression: Research and Practice (with Yu-Wen Ying). He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the Association for Psychological Science, and was recently elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science “”for distinguished contributions towards the prevention of major depression and the development of Internet interventions to improve mental health worldwide.”


Dr Lance O’Sullivan

Dr Lance O’Sullivan is a leading medical innovator pursing the goal of increasing access to quality health care using emerging digital technologies. Concepts such as cloud, mobility, artificial intelligence, digital humans, internet of things and blockchain are not typically taught at medical schools and yet Lance believes the time has come for them to be. “The tools of my trade that will allow the greatest impact on the health of our country have changed”. Lance believes there is a big enough clinical knowledge base to have exponential improvements in the health and well-being of all NZ’ers if we can create more digital bridges separating the patient from the care.

Lance has been recognised nationally for being an disruptor and champion for ensuring that health care is delivered to the most important of our society-children particularly those with high health and social needs. Lance lives by the famous quote of Sir Fedrick Douglas that reflects the value of our children. He created NZ’s first digital health program (iMOKO™) for children across the country that delivers health services to communities of children in minutes and hours rather that hours and days.

Lance is a passionate son of NZ that wants to see our country lead the way in the delivery of innovative models of care that provides MORE care to MORE people of HIGHER quality for LESS cost resulting in a FAIRER society.


Professor Sally Merry

Professor Merry is a child and adolescent psychiatrist, the Cure Kids Duke Family Chair in Child and Adolescent Mental Health and the Head of the Department of Psychological Medicine, University of Auckland. She combined career development with raising three children by working part-time. This involved pioneering job-sharing in specialist psychiatry training which is now well-established. She believes strongly in the importance of families and is now delighted to be a grandmother.

Professor Merry is interested in the development and implementation of effective therapies in child and adolescent mental health including computerised and mobile phone based interventions. She has led a team that developed a computerised therapy in the form of an avatar based fantasy game for young people with depression called SPARX. This was shown to be effective in rigorous clinical trials and is now available as a national e-therapy service in New Zealand and recently released as an app She has carried out a number of large clinical trials to find better ways of delivering psychological therapies for mental health. She is keen to see good access to practical effective help for all young people with mental health problems in New Zealand, and is particularly interested in how to prevent problems or to provide help earlier. She has led a number of large research projects and published on these, and more widely on the evidence for different types of therapy. She has been funded to develop and test a programme of digital therapies for young people as part of the National Science Challenge, a Better Start E Tipu E Rea. She has also received philanthropic funding through Cure Kids to develop and test digital therapies to support parents of younger children.


Rita Orji

Dr Rita Orji, Dalhousie University, Canada. Dr Orji is a Computer Scientist with specialities in persuasive design, human computer interaction, gamification, women and minorities into STEM, use of Health IT in developing nations and culturally relevant approaches.


Pre-conference workshop

Distinguished Professor Linda M Collins
Director, The Methodology Center
Distinguished Professor, Department of Human Development and Family Studies
Professor, Department of Statistics


Linda M. Collins, Ph.D., is Distinguished Professor of Human Development & Family Studies at the Pennsylvania State University, United States. She is also Director of The Methodology Center, an interdisciplinary research center devoted to the advancement and dissemination of quantitative methods for applications in the behavioral sciences. Dr. Collins’s research interests include the multiphase optimization strategy (MOST), an engineering-inspired methodological framework for optimizing and evaluating behavioral, biobehavioral, and biomedical interventions. The objective of MOST is to improve intervention effectiveness, efficiency, economy, and scalability. Dr. Collins is currently collaborating on research applying MOST to develop optimized behavioral interventions in the areas of smoking cessation, weight loss, prevention of excessive drinking and risky sex in college students, and HIV services. Her research has been funded by without interruption by the United States National Institutes of Health for more than 30 years. 

Dr. Collins’s publications have appeared in a wide range of outlets, including methodological journals such as Psychological Methods, substance use journals such as Nicotine and Tobacco Research, behavioral journals such as Annals of Behavioral Medicine, and engineering journals such as IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology. She is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the Association for Psychological Science, the Society of Behavioral Medicine, and the Society for Prevention Research. She is a past president of the Society of Multivariate Experimental Psychology and the Society for Prevention Research. She is on the Fulbright Specialists Roster and recently completed a Fulbright project in Ireland. Dr. Collins has delivered more than 100 invited presentations and workshops on MOST around the world.

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