Center on Stress & Health
About Us Image


Kain PhotoZeev Kain, MD, MBA

Zeev Kain, MD, MBA, is a Chancellor's Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology & Perioperative Care at the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine, Associate Dean for Clinical Research and the Director of the UCI Center on Stress & Health, is recognized as an international expert in the clinical management of perioperative fear and anxiety, and management of children undergoing invasive medical procedures. His research addresses major dilemmas encountered in the management of affected children. Over his 20-year career, Dr. Kain has worked with more than 3,000 children and published more than 150 articles, research that has triggered a change in the way children are treated during invasive medical procedures and before and after surgery. Because of his research, children around the world now suffer less anxiety before and less pain after surgeries. Here, at the UCI Center on Stress & Health, Dr. Kain is the lead investigator for studies funded by National Institute of Health (NIH). His goal is to continue to do research that will benefit children and their parents.

Fortier PhotoMichelle Fortier, PhD

Michelle Fortier, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Anesthesiology & Perioperative Care and Psychology & Social Behavior at UC Irvine Health and Co-Director of the UCI Center on Stress & Health. In addition, she is on medical staff in the Department of Pediatric Psychology at CHOC Children’s hospital. Dr. Fortier received her PhD in clinical child psychology from University of Nebraska-Lincoln and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Pediatric Psychology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. Her clinical and research interests involve the prevention and treatment of child and adolescent pain, including chronic pain conditions (e.g., headache, recurrent abdominal pain, generalized pain), recurrent pain as a result of chronic illness (e.g., cancer), and acute procedural or postsurgical pain. In addition, Dr. Fortier has a program of research incorporating health information technology to improve the management of pain and symptoms in children.

Brooke Jenkins PhotoBrooke Jenkins, PhD

Brooke Jenkins, PhD is an Assistant Professor at the Crean College of Health and Behavioral Sciences at Chapman University, Her research program lies at the intersection of affect dynamics, stress and health. She investigates methods for measuring change in affect over time, the effectiveness of affect regulation techniques during stress and the health consequences of affect variability and regulation. She examines these processes across several different contexts in diverse populations, including children undergoing surgery, children with asthma, adults with chronic illnesses and individuals of minority backgrounds. Dr. Jenkins’ work focuses on physiological and behavioral health outcomes such as recovery from surgery, pain, pulmonary functioning, autonomic nervous system activity and sleep. Working both in the lab and natural environments, she uses a multi-method, theoretically-driven approach to solve health problems related to stress by applying rigorous study designs and advanced data analytic techniques. A unique aspect of her research is the development of methods to accurately measure the affect, affect variability and health outcomes that emerge during the stress process.

Haydee Cortes PhotoHaydee Cortes
Director of Operations

Haydee received her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Chicano Latino Studies from the University of California, Irvine. She has been with the center since 2016 and first coordinated studies in oncology at CHOC including, “Pain Buddy” an interactive web-based intervention to manage pain and symptoms in children undergoing cancer treatment before transitioning into the center’s Director of Operations. She first became involved with research in 2011 as a research assistant at the Culture, Relationships, and Health Lab at UC Irvine where she assisted with participant recruitment and worked on projects examining pregnancy and well-being, and social responses to stress, from which she gained experience collecting and editing electrocardiogram data.


Haydee Cortes PhotoBeverly Mendoza
Research Associate

Beverly received her Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences from the University of California, Irvine. Beverly first became involved in pediatric research at CHOC in 2016 as a research associate at the UCI Center on Stress and Health, where she has worked on several studies involving pediatric cancer, health disparities, and pediatric surgery. One of the projects she has been most involved in is “Pain Buddy,” which aims to help children undergoing cancer treatment better manage their pain and symptoms through a technology-based intervention. Beverly has participated and collaborated with members from other disciplines in the Undergraduate Research Program, Summer Undergraduate Research Program, and the Multi-disciplinary Program. In the future, Beverly plans to attend medical school and become a trained pediatrician to fulfill the demands of under-resourced communities.

Lessley Torres PhotoLessley Torres
Research Associate

Lessley Torres earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Chicano/a Studies from California State University, Northridge. She has over three years of research experience including participation in multiple NIH funded biomedical research programs. Lessley has been a part of the Center on Stress & Health since the summer of 2017, assisting with multiple projects requiring qualitative, quantitative, and bilingual skills. Her general research interests revolve around the intersection of health psychology, Latino/a health disparities, and m-Health technologies. Future goals include pursuing a graduate degree to contribute to academic research aiming to bridge the gap between Latinos and healthcare systems.


Crystle-Joie G. Agbayani PhotoCrystle-Joie G. Agbayani
Psychology Doctoral Student

Crystle is a doctoral student in the Psychology and Social Behavior program at University of California, Irvine. She received a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Chapman University, where she was involved in social psychology research. Crystle's current research focuses on health, with an interest in contributing to the welfare of children and ethnic minorities.

Paula Rosales PhotoPaula Rosales
Nursing Science Doctoral Student

Paula Rosales received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, a Bachelor of Arts in Chicano and Latino Studies and a Certificate in Healthcare Administration from California State University, Long Beach in 2007. After gaining experience as a registered nurse in a pediatric intensive care unit, she decided to focus on health promotion by becoming a nurse practitioner. Paula received a Master of Science in Nursing with a specialty as a pediatric nurse practitioner from Yale University in 2010. Since graduating she has worked as a nurse practitioner in both outpatient clinics and hospital settings. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Nursing Science from the Sue and Bill Gross School of Nursing at University of California, Irvine (UCI) where she received the prestigious Eugene Cota-Robles Fellowship. Paula’s research interest is in childhood obesity among Latino survivors of childhood cancers.