Maria-Elena De Trinidad Young, PhD, MPH, is a faculty associate at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and an assistant professor at UC Merced. Young focuses on the impact of the U.S. immigration system on the health of immigrant populations. Her research examines the relationship between health inequities and factors such as citizenship and legal status and state and local policies. Her current research seeks to understand the various structural, institutional, and individual mechanisms that link policy with health outcomes. 

Young was formerly the project director of the NIH-funded Research on Immigrant Health and State Policy (RIGHTS) Study which seeks to understand the experiences of Latino and Asian immigrants in California in the areas of health care, social services, employment, education, and law enforcement and how these experiences have had an impact on their health and access to health care. Young was also the Chancellor’s postdoctoral fellow at UC Merced where she lead a study to examine how media coverage of immigration policy may influence immigrant well-being.

Young earned her PhD in community health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, where she was a graduate student researcher at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and contributed to the Remaining Uninsured Access to Community Health Centers (REACH) Project. She received a master's degree in public health with an emphasis on maternal and child health from UC Berkeley School of Public Health and an undergraduate degree from Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania.