The Florida FIRST Health-Science Brigade welcomes their first Assistant Professor to the program

Emily Stewart

After a year of recruiting, the Florida FIRST program is proud to announce their first assistant professor to the program, Dr. Victor Buitron.

After finishing his NIH T32 research fellowship at Brown University, he focused on child mental health. While doing so he developed a grant application focused on preadolescent suicidal behavior and social-cognitive development. Dr. Buitron was first inspired to become a clinical psychologist after working as an RA doing follow-up calls in a study tracking depressed college students.

“It was a visceral experience at times hearing college students endorse so much psychological pain. Working with adolescents receiving the highest levels of psychiatric care for suicidality further made it clear to me that these kids would be my work focus,” said Buitron.

He is now a clinical psychologist and Assistant Professor of Psychology at Florida State University’s Florida FIRST program. He is also a faculty member in the NIH Faculty Institutional Recruitment for Sustainable Transformation Program and is housed in the Center for Translational Behavioral Research (CTBScience).His research is focused on suicide prevention in youth, including youth populations who are underserved and those who are experiencing complex comorbidity and/or high-acuity clinical care. Dr. Buitron is interested in developing interventions, studying cognitive-interpersonal constructs, and integrating health factors for suicide prevention.

Dr. Buitron says, “The early formation of suicidal concepts and desire is a key gap in the literature I will address. I will integrate research on social and cognitive development, health factors, and intervention development, while providing services to families in need.”

His research aims to examine the role of youth interpersonal and cognitive development in the etiology of suicide-related cognition and self-injurious behavior. Dr. Buitron has considerable clinical expertise informing his research, including experience providing individual/group inpatient treatment, intensive outpatient treatment, case management, hospital-based evaluations, and bilingual clinical care.

Part of his research involves creating a pilot program that provides free clinical services to families in the context of research. The clinical research is focused on the improvement of therapies for at-risk youth and their families, understanding trends in risk factors over time, and increasing access to services for under-resourced families. The Youth resilience Program is available for eligible teens, ages 14-17, who are struggling with their mental health and frequent negative thoughts

Dr. Buitron has expressed his excitement about the robust mentorship that the Florida FIRST program offers and is looking forward to cultivating those relationships.

“The FIRST program provides comprehensive and invaluable support to launch a productive academic career,” says Buitron.

Florida State University is proud to have Dr. Victor Buitron as an assistant professor in research with the Florida FIRST program.