Gabriela Pavarini


Gabriela Pavarini is Nuffield Department of Public Health (NDPH) Intermediate Fellow at the Ethox Centre, and Research Fellow at the Wellcome Centre for Ethics and Humanities. Gabriela’s work is highly interdisciplinary, combining adolescent mental health, ethics and digital innovation. Gabriela brings together groups of adolescents, game designers and practitioners to design and test innovative tools to promote youth participation and wellbeing.

Rather than passive “recipients” of resources, she believes adolescents should be seen as “agents of change”, who advocate for their rights, build awareness, champion interventions, empower communities and provide a fresh impetus to mental health policy. Her work focuses on responsible innovation and aims to bring young people’s voices into ethical debates around advanced technologies and mental health care. Recent innovations include Tracing Tomorrow, a digital game that voiced the perspectives of over 6k UK adolescents on the ethics of predictive psychiatric interventions; and Uplift, an online peer-to-peer intervention that promoted adolescent civic engagement and wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic. She currently co-leads Engajadamente, a project that is developing a chat-story to empower Brazilian adolescents to promote community wellbeing.

Public engagement is at the heart of her work. She has established groups of adolescents in the UK and LMICs to help optimise research and interventions, and has published guidelines for youth co-production. The public engagement work she has led has been awarded university and external prizes, including the 2020 World Dignity Project’s Mental Health Champions Award. Prior to joining Ethox, Gabriela worked as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Neuroscience, Ethics and Society Team, Department of Psychiatry. She received her PhD in 2017 from the University of Cambridge.