NIH Sexual and Gender Minority Research Investigator Awards Program

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Sexual and Gender Minority (SGM) Research Investigator Awards Program was developed to recognize investigators who have made substantial and outstanding research contributions in areas related to SGM health. Each year, the SGMRO honors one distinguished investigator (selected internally by NIH staff) and two early-stage investigators (ESI) for their exemplary work and invites them to present a lecture at the annual SGM Research Investigator Awards.

This year's ceremony took place on September 13, 2023, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET via Zoom. 

2023 Investigator Awardees

Headshot of Madina Agénor

Intersectionality, discrimination, and sexual and reproductive health care among black sexual and gender minority people assigned female at birth

Madina Agénor, ScD, MPH, 2023 Early-Stage Investigator Award Recipient   
Associate Professor, Departments of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Epidemiology and Center for Health Promotion and Health Equity at Brown University School of Public Health; Adjunct Faculty, The Fenway Institute

Dr. Madina Agénor ScD, MPH is Associate Professor in the Departments of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Epidemiology and Center for Health Promotion and Health Equity at Brown University School of Public Health. She is also Adjunct Faculty at The Fenway Institute and leads the Sexual Health and Reproductive Experiences (SHARE) Lab at Brown University. As a social epidemiologist and interdisciplinary health equity scholar, Dr. Agénor investigates the structural and social determinants of health inequities using an intersectional lens and mixed-methods research approach. Specifically, she uses quantitative and qualitative research methods to examine how multilevel social, health care, and policy factors shape sexual and reproductive health across and within minoritized sexual orientation, racial/ethnic, and gender identity groups, with a focus on multiply marginalized populations. Dr. Agénor completed postdoctoral research training in cancer prevention equity at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (Harvard Chan) and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and was Visiting Research Faculty at the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS at Yale University. She holds a Doctor of Science (ScD) in Social and Behavioral Sciences with a concentration in Women, Gender, and Health from Harvard Chan, a Master of Public Health (MPH) in Sociomedical Sciences from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, and a bachelor’s degree in Community Health and Gender Studies from Brown University.

Cindy Veldhuis

A mixed-methods approach to understanding stress & health in women’s same-gender couple relationships

Cindy Velduis, PhD, 2023 Early-Stage Investigator Award Recipient   
Assistant Professor, Department of Medical Social Sciences, Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine, Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing, Northwestern University

Dr. Cindy Veldhuis (pronounced Veld-hice) is an NIH-funded (NIH R00) Assistant Professor in the Department of Medical Social Sciences at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine and in the Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing at Northwestern University. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship at Columbia University (funded by an NIH F32) and received her PhD in Psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago and her masters (Cognitive Psychology) and bachelors (double major: Theater and Psychology) from the University of Oregon.Broadly, her research focuses on LGBTQIA+ women’s relationships, health, and health behaviors as well as violence, trauma, mental health, and the impacts of sociopolitical events on wellbeing. 

Headshot of Walter Bockting

Psychosocial development of trans and nonbinary people across the lifespan: Identity, resilience, and health

Walter Bockting, PhD, LP, 2023 Distinguished Investigator Award Recipient

Professor of Medical Psychology (in Psychiatry and Nursing), Columbia University; Director, Columbia Gender Identity Program; Area Leader, Gender, Sexuality, and Health, New York State Psychiatric Institute/Columbia Psychiatry; Director, Program for the Study of LGBTQ+  Health, Columbia University Irving Medical Center

Walter Bockting is a clinical psychologist and Professor of Medical Psychology (in Psychiatry and Nursing) at Columbia University. He is internationally known for his expertise and research in trans and nonbinary health and aging. Currently, Dr. Bockting is PI of several NIH-funded studies on gender-affirming care, mental health, behavioral risk for cardiovascular disease, and social connectedness among sexual and particularly gender minority populations. He is Area Leader of Gender, Sexuality, and Health at the New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia Psychiatry, and Co-Director of the Center for Sexual and Gender Minority Health Research at Columbia Nursing. He has a strong track record of mentoring students, postdoctoral fellows, and early stage investigators in sexual science and gender studies; previous mentees lead clinical and research programs across the U.S. as well as internationally. He is a past president of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, and a fellow and past president of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality.



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