Antonia M. Villarruel

Dr. Toni Villarruel, Professor and Associate Dean for Research and Global Affair

Antonia M. Villarruel, PhD, RN, FAAN

Nola J. Pender Collegiate Chair
Associate Dean for Research and Global Affairs
Division of Health Promotion and Risk Reduction (Div. II)
Room 4320

University of Michigan School of Nursing
400 North Ingalls Building
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5482

Telephone: (734) 615-9696
Fax: (734) 764-9325

Scholarly Expertise / Activity


  • Sexual risk reduction interventions for Latino and Mexican youth
  • Health promotion interventions with Latino populations
  • Health promotion/risk reduction practices

Dr. Antonia Villarruel has an extensive background in health promotion and health disparities research and practice.  Her research focuses on the development and testing of interventions to reduce HIV sexual risk among Mexican and Latino youth.  Utilizing a community participatory approach, Dr. Villarruel has been the Principle Investigator and Co-Investigator of several NIH and CDC funded studies.  She developed an effective evidence based intervention to reduce sexual risk behavior among Latino youth titled ¡Cuídate! (or Protect Yourself!). This program will be disseminated nationally by the CDC as part of their Diffusion of Evidence Based Interventions program. Read more about Dr. Villarruel's intervention.

Current Research Grants and Programs:

  • Health Promotion/Risk Reduction Interventions Training Grant. 2007-2012. Director, National Institutes of Health.
  • Replicando Cuídate en Comunidadades con Bajos Recursos para Prevenir el VIH/SIDA. 2009-2011. Co-Investigator, R. Benavides-Torres PI, CONACYT.


In accordance with her own research and practice interests, Dr. Villarruel's areas of teaching expertise include health promotion and risk reduction theories, interventions, and practice, health disparities research, and research with children and adolescents. For her, a major goal in teaching is to understand the evidence base for nursing practice; because of her strong commitment to building and developing the current and future generations of nurse researchers, she works to integrate students at all levels in  research and scholarship, thus providing a mechanism to bridge the research-practice. In mentoring students and faculty in their research pursuits, what she values most is a commitment to learning and to improving health through nursing.

Affiliations / Service

  • Trustee, Committee of Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools, 2005-present
  • President, National Coalition of Ethnic Minority Nursing Associations, 2009-2011
  • Chair Program Committee, State of the Science Congress, Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science
  • External Advisory Board Member, RWJ Center for Health Policy, University of New Mexico, R.O. Valdez, Director
  • Member, Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice, Institute of Medicine

Notable Awards / Honors

  • Edge Runner, American Academy of Nursing (2011)
  • President's Award, Health Behavior Intervention Research, Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research (2011)
  • Elected Member, Institute of Medicine, 2007
  • Trailblazers Award, National Black Nurses Association, 2006
  • Harold R. Johnson Diversity Service Award, University of Michigan, 2003
  • Fellow, American Academy of Nursing, 1997


  • PhD, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, 1993
  • MSN, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, 1982
  • BSN, Nazareth College, Kalamazoo, MI, 1978

Publication Highlights

  • Alvarez, C., Zhou, Y., Gallegos, E. C., Villarruel, A. M. (2010). Predictors of condom use among Mexican American adolescents. Research and Theory in Nursing Practice, 24, 187-196.
  • Herbst, J. H., Stallworth, J. M., Meija, R., Bauermeister, J. A., Villarruel, A. M. (in press). HIV/AIDS in Latino Communities. In B. J. Hall, J. C. Hall & C. J. Cockerell (Eds.), AIDS the First 30 Years: Where We Have Been, Where We Are and Where We Are Going. Boston, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.
  • Villarruel A. M., Loveland-Cherry, C., & Ronis, D. (2010). Cuidalos! Testing of a Latino parent adolescent computerized sexual communication intervention. Journal of Family Relations, 59(5), 533-543.
  • Villarruel, A. M., Zhou, Y. M., Gallegos, E. C., & Ronis D. L. (2010). Examining long-term effects of Cuídate—a sexual risk reduction program: results of a randomized controlled trial. Revista Panamericana de Salud Publica, 345-351.
  • Villarruel, A. M., Gal, T., Eakin, B. L., Wilkes, A., Herbst, J. H. (2010). From research to practice: the importance of community collaboration in the translation process. Research and Theory for Nursing Practice, 24, 25-34. doi:10.1891/1541-6577.24.1.25
  • Martyn, K. K., Loveland-Cherry, C., Villarruel, A. M., Gallegos Cabriales, E., Zhou, Y., Ronis, D., Eakin, B. (2009). Mexican adolescents’ alcohol use, family intimacty, and parent-adolescent communication. Journal of Family Nursing, 15(2), 152-170. doi:10.1177/1074840709332865
  • Mueller, T., Castaneda, C. A., Sainer, S., Martinez, D., Herbst, J. H., Wilkes, A. I., & Villarruel, A. M. (2009). The implementation of a culturally-based HIV sexual risk reduction program for Latino youth in a Denver area high school. AIDS Education and Prevention. doi:10.1521/aeap.2009.21.5_supp.164
  • Villarruel, A. M., & Beakin, B. (2009). Cuidate – Implementation Manual. NY: Select Media.
  • Villarruel, A. M., Jemmott, L. S., & Gal, T. (2009). Cuidate- Training of Facilitators Curriculum. NY: Select Media.
  • Villarruel, A. M., Jemmott, L. S., & Jemmott, J. B. III (2009). Cuidate – Facilitators Curriculum (English and Spanish). NY. Select Media.
  • Villarruel, A. M., Loveland-Cherry, C., Gallegos Cabriales, E. C., Ronis, D., Zhou, Y. (2008). A parent-adolescent intervention to increase sexual risk communication: results of a randomized controlled trial. AIDS Education and Prevention, 20 (5), 371-383. doi:10.1521/aeap.2008.20.5.371.
  • Villarruel, A. M., Jemmott, J. B. III, & Jemmott, L. S. (2006). A randomized controlled trial testing an HIV prevention intervention for Latino youth. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 160, 772-777.
  • Villarruel, A. M., Jemmott, L. S., & Jemmott, J. B. III. (2005). Designing a culturally based intervention to reduce HIV sexual risk for Latino adolescents. Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care, 16(2), 23-31. cleardoi:10.1016/j.jana.2005.01.001