Back to Team

Rene L. Olvera, M.D., MPH

Rene L. Olvera, M.D., MPH

Professor (Tenured)

Vice Chairman for Community Psychiatry,

The University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio

Chief Medical Officer, Center for Health Care Services

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Olvera MD, MPH graduated from Harvard University with a major in Biology. He completed his medical degree and his psychiatry residency training at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas. He then completed a Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship at UTHSCSA. In 1995 he joined the faculty in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. In 1996 Dr. Olvera received a Faculty Development Award from the Department of Health and Resource Service Administration and the UTHSCSA Hispanic Center of Excellence. This award allowed Dr. Olvera to obtain a Masters Degree in Public Health from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, School of Public Health - San Antonio campus, in 1999.

Dr. Olvera divides his time between research, clinical practice and teaching. His primary research interest is in studying mood and impulse control disorders in particular, Bipolar Disorder, Conduct Disorder, Major Depression, and Aggression. Dr. Olvera has an interest in the clinical, biological, and phenomenological research of mood instability. His primary focus is on integrating the clinical expression of mood disorders with potential biomarkers of risk ascertained by neuroimaging, cognitive testing, and genetics. He recently completed a National Institute of Mental Health K-award “MRI Study of Impulse & Mood Disorders in Youth Offenders”, and is a collaborator on a number of nationally funded research projects with a focus on pediatric mood disorders. Dr. Olvera is the author of numerous peer reviewed articles on bipolar disorder, depression, and impulse control disorders. He has been an invited speaker on a local, state and national level.

Dr. Olvera is actively involved in the training of the next-generation of physicians and psychiatrists through his teaching and supervision of medical students, psychiatry, and child psychiatry residents. He is the recipient of the Excellence in Teaching Award for Child Psychiatry on a number of occasions and is the current Regional Academic Health Center Psychiatry Clerkship Director.

Dr. Olvera has been appointed to the appointed to the Texas Juvenile Justice Board, which combines the former Texas Youth Commission and Texas Juvenile Probation Commission to create a unified juvenile justice agency to work in coordination with other state and county offices to produce positive outcomes for youths, their families and communities.

Research Interests

  • Diagnosis and treatment of Bipolar Disorder
  • Issues of comorbidity among youth with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Conduct Disorder
  • Mood dysregulation, Depression, and Intermittent Explosive Disorder


Year Degree Major Institution
1999 MPH Public Health University of Texas Health Science Center Houston School of Public Health, San Antonio Campus, TX
1995 Residency Child and Adolescent Psychiatry The University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio
1990 M.D Medicine The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, Dallas, TX
1986 B.A Biology Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

Presentations/Publications with the NRLC

  • Acute effects of methylphenidate on impulsivity and attentional behavior in Comorbid ADHD and Conduct Disorder

    Dougherty, D. M., Olvera, R. L., Acheson, A., Hill-Kapturczak, N., Ryan, S. R., and Mathias, C. W. (2016).

    Journal of Adolescence, 53, 222-230. PubMed Icon PubMed Central - Free Full Text Icon

  • Pubertal maturation compression and behavioral impulsivity among boys at increased risk for substance use

    Mathias, C. W., Charles, N. E., Liang, Y., Acheson, A., Lake, S. L., Ryan, S. R., Olvera, R. L., and Dougherty, D. M. (2016).

    Addictive Disorders & Their Treatment, 15, 61-73. PubMed Icon PubMed Central - Free Full Text Icon

  • Delay discounting differentiates pre-adolescents at high and low risk for substance use disorders based on family history

    Dougherty, D. M., Charles, N. E., Mathias, C. W., Ryan, S. R., Olvera, R. L., Liang, Y., and Acheson, A. (2014).

    Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 143, 105-111. PubMed Icon PubMed Central - Free Full Text Icon

  • Prevalence of psychiatric disorders in the Texas juvenile correctional system.

    Harzke, A. J., Baillargeon, J., Baillargeon, G., Henry, J., Olvera, R. L., Torrealday, O., Penn, J. V., and Parikh, R. (2012).

    Journal of Correctional Health Care, 18, 143. PubMed Icon

  • High dimensional endophenotype ranking in the search for major depression risk genes.

    Glahn, D. C., Curran, J. E., Winkler, A. M., Carless, M. A., Kent, J. W. Jr., Charlesworth, J. C., Johnson, M. P., Göring, H. H., Cole. S. A., Dyer, T. D., Moses, E. K., Olvera, R. L., Kochuno,. P., Duggirala, R., Fox, P. T., Almasy, L., and Blangero, J. (2012).

    Biological Psychiatry, 71, 6-14. PubMed Icon PubMed Central - Free Full Text Icon

  • A test of the psychometric characteristics of the BIS-Brief among three groups of youth

    Mathias, C. W., Stanford, M. S., Liang, Y., Goros, M., Charles, N. E., Sheftall, A. H., Mullen, J., Hill-Kapturczak, N., Acheson, A., Olvera, R. L., and Dougherty, D. M. (2018).

    Psychological Assessment, 30, 847-865. PubMed Icon PubMed Central - Free Full Text Icon