Upcoming Webinar

Webinar #7: Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Minoritized Youth and Young Adults in the United States


  • Gregory Phillips II, Ph.D. (he/his) - Assistant Professor, Department of Medical Social Sciences and Preventive Medicine, Northwestern University
  • Megan Ruprecht (she/her) - Research Study Coordinator, Evaluation, Data Integration, and Technical Assistance (EDIT) Program, Northwestern University

November 10, 2021 – 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Eastern – Via Webex - Registration Open!


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Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on minoritized communities, particularly on individuals who identify as sexual/gender minorities (SGM) and/or racial/ethnic minorities. Work led by our team from 2020 highlighted disparities in testing uptake, interest in vaccination, and engagement in preventive behaviors between SGM and cisgender heterosexual adults. Further, minoritized youth and young adults (YYA) are particularly vulnerable to not just negative COVID-19 outcomes, but also negative mental health impacts due to rapidly changing school environments and potentially returning to unsafe situations with parents and guardians. As such, we launched the Youth and Young Adults COVID-19 Study, funded in August 2020 through the Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics in Underserved Populations (RADx-UP) funding mechanism. This project contains two distinct phases: Phase 1 consists of both quantitative and qualitative data collection through a survey and in-depth interviews, while Phase 2 will begin an iterative process of developing a messaging intervention, using both data from Phase 1 and continuous input from our community partners. Launching this project involved building a broad range of partnerships to ensure diversity within our sample—our investigative team includes not just traditional academic partners but also individuals from LGBTQ+ youth-serving organizations (Centerlink and Broadway Youth Center) and an Indigenous evaluation firm (Bowman Performance Consulting). While data collection is ongoing, preliminary findings suggest high rates of both COVID-19 infection and testing within our sample. Moreover, qualitative interviews and open-ended responses revealed a paradoxical situation in which some youth experienced less stigma during the time of quarantine, whereas many experienced much more stigmatization due to being in an unaccepting home environment. Our results indicate a need for more in-depth, structural interventions to ensure YYA, particularly SGM YYA have the social and emotional support they need to mitigate increased minority stress during COVID-19. This requires a focus on interventions beyond just prevention of the illness itself to include ones that also address the broad array of stressors that impact minoritized YYA’s health and wellbeing.


Speaker Biographies:

Headshot of Gregory Phillips
Gregory Phillips II, Ph.D. (he/his)
Assistant Professor, Department of Medical Social Sciences and Preventive Medicine,
Northwestern University

Dr. Gregory Phillips II (he/him) is an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Medical Social Sciences and Preventive Medicine at Northwestern University. He received his MS and Ph.D. in epidemiology at The George Washington University and has dedicated his career to studying the factors that disproportionately impact the health of minoritized individuals, particularly those who are sexual and/or gender minorities. He leads the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) funded Evaluation Center, which oversees evaluation and quality management services for the City’s HIV funding portfolio; the Evaluation Center’s reach has recently expanded to also include mental health and substance use services. Further, Dr. Phillips serves as PI or MPI on four R01s and an R34 focused on HIV prevention and SGM health disparities. He is currently Co-Director of the Ending the HIV Epidemic (EHE) Scientific Working Group (SWG) within the Third Coast Center for AIDS Research (TC CFAR), Co-Chair of the LGBT Topical Interest Group (TIG) within the American Evaluation Association (AEA), and Affiliate Faculty with the Center for Culturally Responsive Evaluation and Assessment (CREA). Dr. Phillips uses a community-led approach for all his work and is proud of his strong partnerships in Chicago and beyond.

Headshot of Megan Ruprecht
Megan Ruprecht (she/her)
Research Study Coordinator, Evaluation, Data Integration, and Technical Assistance (EDIT) Program, Northwestern University

Ms. Megan Ruprecht (she/her) is a Research Study Coordinator with the Evaluation, Data Integration, and Technical Assistance (EDIT) Program at Northwestern University. She coordinates and oversees the Youth and Young Adults COVID-19 Study, which endeavors to better understand how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted marginalized young people. She has published on the disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 on minoritized populations, including a paper in the Journal of Urban Health highlighting local disparities in Chicago. Megan is especially interested in the power of community-engaged research to reduce health disparities among LGBTQ populations and is currently a student in the Masters of Public Health program at Northwestern University.


Past Webinars

Webinar #6: Minority Stress and Health of Transgender People: Results from NIH-funded TransPop Survey


  • Ilan H. Meyer, Ph.D.
  • Sari L. Reisner, Sc.D.
  • Jody L. Herman, Ph.D.
  • Tonia Poteat, Ph.D., PA-C, MPH

June 28, 2021 – 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Eastern – Via Webex



Abstract: TransPop investigators embarked on a first-ever attempt to collect a nationally representative sample of transgender people in the United States. In this presentation, four researchers will present data from this study (www.transpop.org). The study examines a variety of health-relevant domains including basic demographic characteristics, health outcomes and health behaviors, experiences with interpersonal and institutional discrimination, identity, and transition-related experiences. In this presentation, Dr. Ilan Meyer will discuss the original recruitment methods used for this study and the accomplishments as well as challenges of using this approach to identify and collect information from transgender people. Dr. Sari Reisner will describe the sample in terms of gender and sexual orientation identities and discuss implications of the diversity of identities for research on transgender people. Dr. Jody Herman will describe select findings on the prevalence of minority stressors, including victimization and discrimination and events that occurred in childhood as well as more recently in the person’s life. Dr. Tonia Poteat will describe findings on cardiovascular disease (CVD) and reporting increased odds of CVD related to minority stressors.


Speaker Biographies:

Headshot of Ilan
Ilan H. Meyer, Ph.D.
Williams Distinguished Senior Scholar for Public Policy, Williams Institute

Professor Emeritus of Sociomedical Sciences, Columbia University

Ilan H. Meyer, Ph.D. is the Williams Distinguished Senior Scholar for Public Policy at the Williams Institute and Professor Emeritus of Sociomedical Sciences at Columbia University. In several highly cited papers, Dr. Meyer has developed a model of minority stress. The model has guided his and other investigators’ population research on LGBT health disparities by identifying the processes by which social stressors impact health and describing the harm to LGBT people from prejudice and stigma.  Dr. Meyer is the Principal Investigator of the Generations Study, a U.S. national probability study of stress, identity, health, and health care utilization across three cohorts of sexual minorities, and TransPop, the first national probability sample of transgender individuals in the U.S. Dr. Meyer received a Ph.D. in Sociomedical Sciences from Columbia University.

Headshot of Sari
Sari L. Reisner, Sc.D.
Director of Transgender Research, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School & Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Research Scientist and Director of Transgender Health Research,  The Fenway Institute 

Sari L. Reisner, ScD is Director of Transgender Research at Brigham and Women’s Hospital based in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Hypertension; Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and the Department of Epidemiology at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; and Research Scientist and Director of Transgender Health Research at The Fenway Institute at Fenway Health where he lead a global portfolio of community-engaged transgender health research. Trained as a social and psychiatric epidemiologist, his research focuses on: (1) health disparities and inequities in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning (LGBTQ+) populations, with specialization in transgender and gender diverse population health; (2) epidemiology of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including development and design of biobehavioral interventions in traditionally underserved populations; and (3) psychiatric epidemiology of mental health and substance use risks and resiliencies across adolescence and young adulthood.

Headshot of Jody
Jody L. Herman, Ph.D.

Reid Rasmussen Fellow and Scholar of Public Policy, Williams Institute

Jody L. Herman, Ph.D. is the Reid Rasmussen Fellow and a Scholar of Public Policy at the Williams Institute. Her research focuses on gender identity in survey research and the prevalence and impact of discrimination based on gender identity or expression, including minority stress, health, and suicidality among transgender people. She is a Co-Investigator on the U.S. Transgender Population Health Survey (TransPop), a nationally representative survey of transgender adults. She served as Co-Principal Investigator for the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey, the largest survey of transgender adults conducted in the United States to date. Her published research is routinely cited, including by major news sources, such as The New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, and NPR. She holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Public Administration from The George Washington University, where she also earned her M.A. in Public Policy.

Headshot of Tonia


Tonia Poteat, Ph.D., PA-C, MPH

Associate Professor of Social Medicine, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill


Tonia Poteat, Ph.D., PA-C, MPH is an Associate Professor of Social Medicine at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill (UNC), core faculty in the UNC Center for Health Equity Research, clinical preceptor for the Gender Affirming Clinic at UNC’s Student Health Action Coalition, and a Physician Assistant in the UNC Infectious Diseases Clinic. Her research, teaching, and clinical practice focus on HIV and LGBTQ health with particular attention to the health and well-being of transgender adults. Certified as an HIV Specialist by the American Academy of HIV Medicine, she is a global leader in HIV research and care with transgender persons.



Webinar #5: Inclusion of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Sexual and Gender Minority Individuals in Research


  • Poorna Kushalnagar, Ph.D. (she/her) - Director, Center for Deaf Health Equity, Gallaudet University
  • Cara A. Miller, Ph.D., P-SEP (she/her) - Assistant Professor of Psychology, Gallaudet University

May 25, 2021 – 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Eastern – Via Webex


Abstract: As deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) investigators engaged in sexual and gender minority research with DHH people who use American Sign Language (ASL), our main goal is to share successes and challenges associated with recruiting and retaining DHH sexual and gender minority participants in health research studies. We will share main findings specific to sexual and gender minority health and quality of life outcomes among deaf people who use ASL. Workshop objectives: 1) To review the literature on health outcomes in the deaf and hard of hearing community, 2) To parallel DHH with LGBTQ cultures/identities as these relate to patient-reported outcomes, 3) To share research challenges and suggestions for LGBTQ researchers to include DHH people in their studies, and 4) To provide strategies for health professionals who work with DHH SGM individuals.


Speaker Biographies:

Headshot of Poorna
Poorna Kushalnagar, Ph.D. (she/her)
Director, Center for Deaf Health Equity, Gallaudet University

Dr. Poorna Kushalnagar directs the Center for Deaf Health Equity at Gallaudet University and works as the Special Assistant to the Provost for Research and Engagement. She is a principal investigator of multiple NIH awards that support studies aligned with her primary research interests in deaf health equity and patient-reported outcomes research. Her work includes multiple underserved groups who are deaf or hard of hearing, including sexual and gender minority individuals, older adults, informal caregivers of individuals with Alzheimer's and related dementias, and mid-to-older women. She was recently invited to participate as a member of the RWJF People with Disabilities Expert Panel to transform public health data systems to advance health equity.

Headshot of Cara Miller
Cara A. Miller, Ph.D., P-SEP (she/her)
Assistant Professor of Psychology, Gallaudet University

Cara A. Miller, Ph.D., P-SEP is an Assistant Professor of Psychology in the Clinical Psychology doctoral program at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C, as well as a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice. Her academic, research, and professional interests include trauma and post-traumatic growth; grief and bereavement; gender and sexuality; disability and identity; and human-animal interaction. While in the role of a Director of Gallaudet's LGBTQA Center, Dr. Miller served as a co-investigator with Dr. Kushalnagar on a NIH SGM project that focused on deaf and hard of hearing adults who self-identified as LGBTQA. She received national recognition for her work from the Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals.



Webinar #4: Intersections of Discrimination and the Prospective Mental Health of LGB Youth and Adults

Allen Mallory, PhD, Presidential Postdoctoral Scholar, The Ohio State University

March 31, 2021 – 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Eastern – Via Webex



Abstract: Discrimination is a persistent risk factor for compromised mental health among sexual minority people. However, few studies examine the long-term implications of experiencing discrimination tied to multiple identities (e.g., race, gender, and sexual orientation) for the mental health of sexual minority youth and adults. In this talk, I will discuss the importance of intersectionality for thinking about minority stressors in diverse groups of sexual minority people, and present studies examining how discrimination tied to multiple identities was associated with the prospective mental health of sexual minority youth and adults. Three intersectional hypotheses regarding how multiple forms of discrimination intersect to impact the mental health of sexual minority people over time were tested and will be discussed: the additive, inuring, and multiplicative hypotheses. The implications of the research include thinking more deeply about how adolescence and young adulthood may be critical developmental periods when discrimination may have a stronger impact on mental well-being for sexual minority people, and future directions for research on intersectional minority stress and the health and well-being of sexual minority people.


Headshot of Allen MallorySpeaker Biography: Allen Mallory is a Presidential Postdoctoral Scholar at The Ohio State University in the Department of Human Sciences. Allen received his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin in Human Development and Family Sciences where he was also a trainee at the University of Texas Population Research Center. Allen’s research takes an intersectional approach in understanding the health and well-being of sexual and gender minorities. Specifically, he studies how health disparities vary among and between sexual and gender minorities across multiple marginalized identities and how the processes tied to multiple identities, such as discrimination, intersect to affect health. Dr. Mallory was funded by an F31 (F31MH115608) to investigate how race, gender, and sexual identity discrimination were independent and overlapping in their prospective associations with mental health.


Webinar #3: Imaiyạchi: Transcending Historical Trauma and Living Ancestral Visions Imagined for Us - A Lecture on AI/AN Two-Spirit/SGM Health Research

Speaker: Karina L. Walters, MSW, PhD (Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma) -  Professor and Katherine Chambers Hall University Scholar Co-Director, Indigenous Wellness Research Institute University of Washington, School of Social Work

December 17, 2020 – 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Eastern – Via Webex




AbstractAmerican Indian community discourse suggests that historical trauma can potentially become embodied in risk behaviors and that these factors may play a significant role in present-day health inequities. Historical trauma, which consists of traumatic events targeting a community that cause catastrophic upheaval, has been posited by Native communities to have pernicious intergenerational effects through a myriad of mechanisms from biological to behavioral. Consistent with contemporary societal determinants of health approaches, the impact of historical trauma calls upon researchers to explicitly examine theoretically and empirically how these processes become embodied and identify how these factors affect the magnitude and distribution of health disparities. Moreover, consistent with our tribal systems of knowledge, it is critical that we identify health promotion approaches rooted in the strengths of our tribal knowledges and vision of life, wellness, and health held for us by our ancestors in designing health promotion interventions that are sustainable in indigenous communities. This presentation provides an overview of innovations in social epidemiological approaches to community-based intervention approaches to addressing historical trauma and transcending the trauma with a particular focus on American Indian and Alaska Native two-spirit/sexual and gender minority populations. Specifically, findings from an NIMH funded 7-site national study of Two-Spirit (LGBT) American Indians/Alaska Natives will be shared with a particular focus on examining the direct and indirect effects of historical trauma experiences on Two-Spirit mental and physical health. Methodological research challenges related to measurement and sampling will be highlighted with a particular emphasis on measuring intergenerational trauma and its effect on the present generation’s mental and physical health. After briefly describing innovations in incorporating theories of Indigenous Peoples’ health in designing and testing the historical trauma measure used in the Honor Project, this presentation will highlight theoretical innovation in creating culturally-specific health promotion models for behavioral change grounded in Indigenous ancient teachings and the vision that our ancestors held for us in transcending historical trauma.


Karina Walters HeadshotSpeaker Biography: Karina L. Walters, an enrolled member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, is the Associate Dean for Research, the Katherine Hall Chambers Scholar, and the Co-Director and Principal Investigator of the Indigenous Wellness Research Institute (IWRI; NIMHD P60MD006909) at the University of Washington. IWRI is one of 16 National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities Comprehensive Centers of Excellence and one of two devoted to American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) research in the country. Dr. Walters has over 23 years of experience in social epidemiological research on the historical, social, and cultural determinants of health among AIAN populations as well as chronic disease prevention research (e.g., HIV, AOD, obesity). She has presented at over 350+ national and international conferences; was the first American Indian invited speaker for Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series (WALS) at the NIH; and was a Fulbright scholar at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. Dr. Walters has served as Principal or co-Investigator on over 44 National Institute of Health (NIH) grants (22 as PI) from diverse NIH institutes, has personally mentored over 110 scholars from historically underrepresented populations including 57 AIAN scholars, and has participated in 16 national research training programs for underrepresented ethnic minority scholars. As the originator of the Indigenist Stress Coping Model, she utilizes this framework as well as decolonizing methodologies and community-based participatory approaches throughout her research endeavors. She received her B.A. (sociology) in 1987, her M.S.W. (clinical) in 1990, and her Ph.D. in 1995 all from the University of California, Los Angeles. After serving on faculty as an Assistant and Associate Professor at Columbia University School of Social Work (1995‐2001), she joined the University of Washington faculty in 2001. Prior to her career in academia, Dr. Walters practiced as a community-based psychotherapist and served as a Commissioner for the Los Angeles City/County American Indian Commission.



Webinar #2: Designing Sexual and Reproductive Health Research with and for Sexual and Gender Minority People


  • Heidi Moseson (she/her), PhD, MPH - Epidemiologist, Ibis Reproductive Health
  • Juno Obedin-Maliver (she/her), MD, MPH, MAS - Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Epidemiology and Population Health at Stanford University of School of Medicine, and Co-Director of The PRIDE Study

October 20, 2020 – 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Eastern – Via Webex



Abstract: The ways in which we conduct research have implications for the quality of our data, and the inferences we can draw from those data. When participants feel respected, confident in and trusting of study investigators, and invested in the study topic, participants may be more likely to report complete and accurate data. One way that researchers can establish trust with participants is by designing research questions that resonate with participants' lived experiences. Sexual and reproductive health (SRH) research has done a poor job, however, of centering and including the experiences of sexual and gender minorities (SGM). As a result, much SRH research is limited by selection bias and misclassification bias that preclude a full understanding of the SRH needs and experiences of SGM people. Recognizing these potential biases and concerned about their impact on SRH data and participants, our interdisciplinary team of clinicians, researchers, and advocates set out to co-create a survey to improve the assessment of SRH experiences of SGMs. Nearly all perinatal, contraception, and abortion research to date has focused exclusively on individuals assigned female sex at birth (AFAB) who are presumed to be cisgender and heterosexual. We sought to fill in the gaps within available research and methodologies. The objective of this webinar is to describe the collaborative development of an electronic, quantitative survey co-created by interdisciplinary research and community advisory teams to improve the relevance, precision, and affirming nature of SRH research for SGMs.


Speaker Biographies:

Heidi Moseson
Heidi Moseson (she/her), PhD, MPH
Epidemiologist, Ibis Reproductive Health

Dr. Heidi Moseson is an Epidemiologist at Ibis Reproductive Health. Dr. Moseson is the Principal Investigator of the “Understanding the family planning needs and experiences of transgender, nonbinary, and gender-expansive people in the United States” study, a national, collaborative, multi-methods study of sexual and reproductive health priorities and experiences of TGE people assigned female or intersex at birth. Dr. Moseson’s training and research portfolio focuses on identifying bias in sexual and reproductive health research, and in developing and testing new research tools to overcome these biases.


Juno Obedin Maliver
Juno Obedin-Maliver (she/her), MD, MPH, MAS
Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Epidemiology and Population Health at Stanford University of School of Medicine, and Co-Director of The PRIDE Study

Dr. Juno Obedin-Maliver is an Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology as well as Epidemiology and Population Health at Stanford University School of Medicine who provides excellent clinical care and strives to advance scientific knowledge through her research.

Dr. Obedin-Maliver, is the Co-Director of The PRIDE Study (pridestudy.org), a multi-site online prospective longitudinal cohort of sexual and gender minority individuals based at Stanford. She also serves on the medical advisory board of the University of California San Francisco Center of Excellence for Transgender Health and is helping to author the next version (SOC8) of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) Standards of Care. Dr. Obedin-Maliver has also been active in health policy including involvement in helping to legally redefine consideration of sexually intimate partner status and to remove the Medicare Non-Coverage Determination ruling on gender-affirming surgeries.



Webinar #1: What will it take to create health equity for sexual and gender minority young people?

Brian Mustanski, PhD, Director, Northwestern Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing

June 30, 2020 – 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Eastern – Via Webex 


Abstract: Health disparities among young people based on sexual orientation and gender identity are not going away. Recent studies have shown the size of the disparity in suicide attempts has not shrunk over the past 20+ years. HIV diagnoses have been continuing to increase among young men who have sex with men (MSM), while they decline in many other groups. In this talk, Dr. Mustanski will describe his research examining multi-level drivers of health disparities among young MSM and his program of research that uses community-engaged methods to create, test effectiveness, and now study the implementation of eHealth approaches to HIV prevention. The talk will conclude with a model of the multilevel changes that will be necessary to allow sexual and gender minority youth to have an opportunity to attain their highest level of health.


Speaker Biography: Brian Mustanski, Ph.D. is the founding Director of the Northwestern Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing, which has grown to be the largest LGBTQ health research institute in the US. He is a tenured Professor of Medical Social Sciences and Co-Director of the NIH Third Coast Center for AIDS Research (CFAR).  His research focuses on the health and development of LGBTQ youth and the application of new media and technology to sexual health promotion and HIV prevention. He has been a Principal Investigator of nearly $60 million in federal (NIDA, NIMH, NIMHD, NIAID, NCI) and foundation grants and has published over 265 journal articles.  He is a frequent advisor to federal agencies and other organizations on LGBTQ health and HIV prevention, including serving as an appointed member of the National Advisory Council on Minority Health and Health Disparities. Some recognitions for his work include being named a William T Grant Scholar and NBC News selecting him in 2017 from 1,600 nominees to their inaugural list of 30 changemakers and innovators making a positive difference in the LGBTQ community.



About the SGMRO Scientific Webinar Series

The Sexual & Gender Minority Research Office (SGMRO) Scientific Webinar Series was launched in FY 2020 as a platform to promote research being conducted by NIH-funded investigators in the field of SGM health. This series seeks to highlight a diverse array of topics and research areas. The goals of this series are to highlight current and groundbreaking SGM health research and to provide a forum that allows students, postdocs, early-stage investigators, and others to envision a research trajectory in SGM health research.

Webinars are typically one hour in length, including 15 minutes for Q&A. Webinars are free and will be recorded and posted to the SGMRO website.

Individuals with disabilities who need Sign Language Interpreters and/or reasonable accommodation to participate in this event should contact Shyam Patel at the SGMRO (shyam.patel@nih.gov), and/or the Federal Relay (1-800-877-8339).

This page last reviewed on October 14, 2021