Upcoming Webinar

Webinar #17: Special Panel on Cancer Research Involving SGM Populations (Co-hosted by NCI and EDI) 


June 25, 2024 – 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Eastern – Via Zoom Webinar




  • Lauren Ghazal, Ph.D.
  • Phoenix Matthews, Ph.D.
  • Corinne Abrams, MPH

Presentation Abstracts:

SGM Engagement in AYA Cancer Research

Lauren Ghazal, Ph.D. -  University of Rochester

Abstract: Dr. Ghazal's presentation will focus on her trajectory to AYA SGM cancer research and share findings from a recent project identifying facilitators and barriers to research engagement, and a needs assessment conducted in partnership with community based organizations on AYA SGM cancer survivors.

Queer Lungs Matter: Tobacco Use Disparities among Sexual and Gender Minorities

Phoenix A. Matthews, Ph.D. - Columbia University

Abstract: The purpose of this presentation is to describe tobacco use among SGM populations, identify the multi-level factors associated with use disparities and discuss next steps in tobacco prevention and control efforts. 

Don’t Forget Two-Spirit and Native LGBTQ+ Communities – A project on engagement, discussions, and cancer resource adaptations

Corinne Abrams, MPH - Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center

Abstract: The speaker will present a collaboration between teams at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Department of Indigenous Cancer Health and Northwestern University. This collaboration synthesized community-engaged models and Indigenous Knowledge to adapt an existing colorectal cancer screening intervention to better meet the needs of Two-Spirit and LGBTQ+ Urban Indigenous populations (2SLGBTQ+). A series of talking circles hosted by Indigenous researchers and an Indigiqueer artist solicited input from 2SLGBTQ+ Urban Indigenous populations about inclusivity. Native American medical students were then engaged to lead qualitative analyses informed by research expertise, lived experience, and cultural knowledge elicited from talking circle interviews. The speaker from the Department of Indigenous Cancer Health will discuss the process of the partnership development and synthesis of diverse community knowledge through principles of intersectionality.

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Speaker Biographies:

Lauren Ghazal HeadshotLauren Ghazal, PhD, FNP-BC
Assistant Professor, University of Rochester School of Nursing
Associate Member, Cancer Prevention and Control, University of Rochester Medical Center

Dr. Lauren Ghazal is an Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing and Associate Member in Cancer Prevention and Control at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Her research focuses on improving the health and quality of life of adolescents and young adult (AYA) cancer survivors, particularly, LGBTQ+ AYA cancer survivors. Dr. Ghazal completed an NCI-funded T32 postdoctoral fellowship in Cancer Care Delivery at the University of Michigan School of Nursing after earning her PhD at the Rory Meyers College of Nursing at NYU.  As a queer AYA cancer survivor herself, and a family nurse practitioner with a background in economics, Lauren brings a unique perspective to cancer care delivery research.

Phoenix Matthews HeadshotPhoenix A. Matthews, PhD
Professor and Bobbie Berkowitz Chair
Columbia University School of Nursing

Dr. Matthews is a Professor of clinical psychology at the Columbia University College of Nursing.  They have more than 25 years of experience conducting cancer-related research focusing on LGBT, racial/ethnic minorities, low-income, and other underserved populations. Their intervention research focuses on using community-based and culturally targeted interventions to improve smoking cessation outcomes and increase the uptake of lung cancer screening. They have served as the PI of 6 federally funded projects and co-investigators for several others. They are currently the MPI for two NIH-funded interventions to reduce the risk of lung cancer among low-income and racial/ethnic minority groups. These projects focus on smoking cessation and lung cancer screening, respectively. They have authored nearly two hundred peer-reviewed publications and have served as a visiting scholar for universities in Japan, Malawi, Thailand, and Indonesia.  

Corinne Abrams HeadshotCorinne Abrams, MPH (Tuscarora Nation)
Community Relations Assistant, Department of Indigenous Cancer Health, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center

Corinne, a member of the Tuscarora Turtle Clan, received her MPH from the University at Buffalo with a focus in environmental health. She serves as the Community Research Assistant at the Department of Indigenous Cancer Health at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center where she supports research projects and community outreach and engagement efforts. Corinne has been a dedicated ally in the fight for LGBTQ equity in cancer healthcare at Roswell Park. Her research background encompasses a range of interests, including Environmental Health issues, Food Sovereignty, Community wellness, and Native American Health, with a focus on Equity, Inclusion and Education. Corinne also serves as a co-chair for the Indigenous Employee Networking & Resource Group at Roswell Park. 

Past Webinars

Webinar #16: Disparities in Weight Bias Internalization, Body Dissatisfaction, and Disordered Eating Among LGBTQ+ Individuals


  • Kaylee Foor, Postbaccalaureate IRTA Fellow

April 30, 2024 – 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Eastern – Via Zoom Webinars


Abstract : Internalized bias is associated with poorer health outcomes for people who identify with minoritized groups. General work suggests internalized bias is associated with dysregulated eating, though this has not been tested within the LGBTQ+ community specifically. This is crucial, as this group is at higher risk for disordered eating and other forms of maladaptive coping. The present study explores the role of sexual orientation in internalized stigma and disordered eating. A sample of 1129 participants answered questions related to weight bias internalization, body acceptance, and eating disorder history. LGBTQ+ participants reported more bias internalization, less body acceptance, and more disordered eating history than straight participants. Additionally, participants with a greater number of marginalized identities reported poorer outcomes than those with less marginalized identities. This suggests that LGBTQ+ people are at increased risk for weight-bias-related harms and maladaptive eating compared to straight individuals. Given these findings, future work should continue to explore the mechanisms underlying these disparities so as to better mitigate harm and improve outcomes for this group.


Speaker Biography:

Kaylee Foor
Postbaccalaureate IRTA Fellow

Kaylee Foor (she/her) is a second year postbaccalaureate IRTA fellow in the Social and Behavioral Research Branch in the NHGRI. Her research is primarily focused on macrolevel influences on individual well-being, particularly with regard to the LGBTQ+ community. Through her work, she aims to clarify the utility of social messaging and systemic inequity on health- and well-being-related outcomes among sexual and gender minorities, so as to eradicate disparities and promote queer joy. In the fall of 2024, Kaylee will begin her graduate training at Carnegie Mellon University where she will work toward her doctoral degree in Social/Health Psychology.


Webinar #15: How do we develop meaningful measures for SOGI?
Asking sexual orientation and gender identity on health surveys: Findings from cognitive interviews in the United States across sexual orientations and genders


  • Anthony Pho PhD, MPH, ANP-C
  • Nancy Bates, MA
  • Juno Obedin-Maliver, MD, MPH, MAS

February 27, 2024 – 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Eastern – Via Zoom Webinars



Abstract :  Questions assessing sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) are not consistently asked on U.S.-based health surveys and, as a result, sexual and gender minority (SGM) people are often invisible, obscuring insight into their health. In this webinar, we will review findings from the first phase of a multi-phase study to inform and improve SOGI demographic measurement. In this qualitative study, we sought to explore how people across different sexual orientations and genders preferred to be asked about SOGI on U.S.-based health surveys. Using in-depth cognitive interviews with 14 non-SGM (cisgender heterosexual men and women) and 30 SGM participants (cisgender sexual minority people as well as transgender and gender diverse people of any sexual orientation), we identified four major themes relating to SOGI disclosure: (1) purpose for asking, (2) context of information collection, (3) distrust of the government, and (4) fear. We will discuss our findings and frame next steps for our research agenda to improve SOGI demographic measurement. This research was funded by the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities and the NIH Sexual and Gender Minority Research Office [R21MD015878, 2020–2023].


Speaker Biographies:

Headshot of Anthony Pho
Anthony Pho PhD, MPH, ANP-C
Primary Care Nurse Practitioner at the Stanford LGBTQ+ Health Program
Former Postdoctoral Fellow, The PRIDE Study/PRIDEnet at Stanford School of Medicine

Anthony Pho PhD, MPH, ANP-C (he/him) is a primary care nurse practitioner at the Stanford LGBTQ+ Health Program, where in addition to his clinical and precepting responsibilities, he works with Stanford’s Gender Recognition and Affirmative Care through Education (GRACE) initiative to promote culturally competent LGBTQ+ care throughout the health enterprise. He was formerly a postdoctoral clinical scholar with The PRIDE Study/PRIDEnet at Stanford School of Medicine where he was an inaugural Propel Postdoctoral Scholar. Dr. Pho earned his PhD from Columbia University School of Nursing, where he was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Future of Nursing Scholar. He has held an adjunct faculty appointment at NYU Meyers College of Nursing since 2013. Dr. Pho’s doctoral research that explored online health information seeking, eHealth literacy, and human papillomavirus vaccination among transgender and gender diverse people, was awarded the Columbia Nursing Dissertation Excellence Award. He also earned BSN, MSN, and MPH degrees from Johns Hopkins University, and a BA from UC Berkeley.

Headshot of Nancy Bates
Nancy Bates, MA
Statistical Methodology Consultant on NIH Grant to Stanford University

Co-Chair, National Academy of Science and Medicine Consensus Panel Report: Measuring Sex, Gender Identity, and Sexual Orientation

Nancy Bates spent her career as a survey statistician/methodologist at the U.S. Census Bureau. Before she retired in 2020, she served as the Census Bureau’s Senior Methodologist for Survey Research. During her tenure in that position, she conducted research to improve measurement of same-sex couples in the Decennial Census and American Community Survey, served as co-chair of the research group on sexual orientation and gender identity for the Office of Management and Budget and the Federal Committee on Statistical Methodology, and co-edited a special issue on measuring LGBT populations for the Journal of Official Statistics. In retirement, she co-chaired the National Academy of Science and Medicine consensus panel report: Measuring Sex, Gender Identity, and Sexual Orientation. Additionally, she was a consultant on the NIH grant awarded to Stanford University: Identifying, refining, and testing demographic questions to detect and delineate sexual and gender minority populations for populations research. Nancy is an elected fellow of the American Statistical Association and enthusiastic participant in the League of Lady Statisticians. Nancy obtained an M.A. in Applied Sociology from the University of Oklahoma.

Headshot of Juno Obedin Maliver
Juno Obedin-Maliver, MD, MPH, MAS

Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Epidemiology and Population Health at Stanford University School of Medicines Institute & Co-Director of The PRIDE Study 

Dr. Juno Obedin-Maliver (she/her/hers) is an Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Epidemiology and Population Health at Stanford University School of Medicine who provides clinical care and strives to advance scientific health knowledge, equity, and justice through her research. She focuses on promoting health equity and well-being for sexual and gender minority (SGM)/ LGBTQIA+ people, with a special emphasis on sexual and reproductive health. Dr. Obedin-Maliver, is the Co-Director of The PRIDE Study (pridestudy.org), a longitudinal cohort of SGM individuals and Co-PI of PRIDEnet (pridenet.org) a community-engagement network aimed at catalyzing LGBTQIA+ health research. 


Webinar #14: Rethinking Minority Stress: A Social Safety Perspective on the Health Effects of Stigma in Sexually Diverse and Gender Diverse Populations


June 8, 2023 – 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. Eastern – Via Webex




  • Lisa M. Diamond, Ph.D.


Event Description/Abstract:


For over two decades, the minority stress model has guided research on the health of sexually diverse individuals (those who are not exclusively heterosexual) and gender-diverse individuals (those whose gender identity/expression differs from their birth-assigned sex/gender).  According to this model, the cumulative stress caused by stigma and social marginalization fosters stress-related health problems.  Yet studies linking minority stress to physical health outcomes have yielded mixed results, suggesting that something is missing from our understanding of stigma and health.  Social safety may be the missing piece. Social safety refers to reliable social connection, inclusion, and protection, which are core human needs that are imperiled by stigma.  The absence of social safety is just as health-consequential for stigmatized individuals as the presence of minority stress, because the chronic threat vigilance fostered by insufficient safety has negative long-term effects on cognitive, emotional, and immunological functioning, even when exposure to minority stress is low.  We argue that insufficient social safety is a primary cause of stigma-related health disparities and a key target for intervention.

Speaker Biography:

Lisa M. Diamond, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Gender Studies, University of Utah

Lisa M. Diamond is a Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Gender Studies at the University of Utah and president-elect of the International Academy for Sex Research.  For nearly 3 decades, she has studied the development and expression of gender and sexuality across the life course.  Her current work focuses on the biobehavioral mechanisms through which social stigma, social stress, and social safety shape the health and well-being of sexually diverse and gender-diverse individuals at different stages of development.  Dr. Diamond is best known for her research on sexual fluidity, which describes the capacity for individuals to experience unexpected shifts in sexual identity and expression over time.  Her 2008 book, Sexual Fluidity, published by Harvard University Press, has been awarded the Distinguished Book Award from the American Psychological Association’s Society for the Study of LGBTQ Issues. Dr. Diamond is also co-editor of the first-ever APA Handbook of Sexuality and Psychology, published in 2014, and is a fellow of two divisions of the APA.  She has published over 140 articles and book chapters and has been invited to present her research at over 160 national and international Universities and conferences. Dr. Diamond has received awards for her work from the Developmental Psychology and LGBT Psychology Divisions of the APA, the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, the International Association for Relationship Research, the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, and the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues. Her current work focuses on the importance of social safety (unconditional social connection, inclusion, and protection) for the human immune system, and the negative long term health implications of living with chronic unsafety in one’s day-to-day life. Dr. Diamond also studies religious trauma among sexually-diverse and gender-diverse individuals raised in the Mormon church, and the factors that promote adjustment and acceptance among this population and their families.


Webinar #13: Identifying barriers and supports in STEM recruitment among sexual and gender minority youth and young adults


March 29, 2023 – 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Eastern – Via Webex (Register Here)



  • Casey D. Xavier Hall, MPH, Ph.D. (he/his)
  • Luis Antonio Leyva, Ed.M., Ph.D. (he/his)

Event Description/Abstract:


Recent research has identified barriers faced by sexual and gender minority (SGM) adults in STEM higher education and professional careers. However, there is limited work focused on SGM youth, which can add insights about formative experiences that impact children’s and adolescents’ early STEM interests. Although a robust body of research has accounted for how structural racism and misogyny constrain diversity in the STEM workforce, research on SGM adults’ experiences has left unexamined how these systemic forces intersect with heteronormativity and transphobia in STEM contexts to create unique barriers of persistence and success among SGM people of color. To address these gaps in the literature, this presentation highlights findings from analyses examining STEM recruitment and retention issues among SGM youth and young adults, including anti-SGM bullying, STEM identity, perceptions of STEM climate, and STEM career intentions. The findings raise implications for transforming STEM educational and professional practices to eliminate barriers that SGM populations encounter and promote inclusion across intersections of racial, gender, and sexual identity.


Speaker Biographies:

Headshot of Casey Xavier Hall

Casey D. Xavier Hall, MPH, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor in the Center of Population Sciences for Health Equity in the College of Nursing
Assistant Professor (courtesy appointment) in the College of Social Work at Florida State University

Dr. Xavier Hall (he/him) is a queer-identified scientist and educator. He employs mixed-methods research focused on health disparities particularly mental health, violence, and sexual health among sexual and gender minority populations. His post-doctoral fellowship was completed at the Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority and Wellbeing at Northwestern University. He is the Principal Investigator of a U01 funded by the Food and Drug Administration examining perceptions of mRNA vaccine trial participation among Latinx SGM populations. He is also co-investigator for three NIH-funded R grants addressing SGM health. He has a growing body of research addressing the experiences of SGM populations in STEM fields. 

Luis Antonio Leyva, Ed.M., Ph.D.Headshot of Luis Antonio Levya
Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education in the Peabody College of Education & Human Development at Vanderbilt University
Director of Power, Resistance & Identity in STEM Education (PRISM) Research Lab

Dr. Leyva's educational research centers the voices of historically marginalized student populations in STEM, including queer and trans students of color. He examines how overlapping systems of power, including racism and cisheteropatriarchy, shape undergraduate students’ experiences of oppression and success as aspiring STEM majors. His research characterizes educational practices that disrupt oppressive learning opportunities and affirm students' intersectional identities to promote retention as well as inclusion in STEM fields. Dr. Leyva's scholarship has been published in various top-tier journals, including the American Educational Research JournalJournal for Research in Mathematics Education, and The Journal of Higher Education. His research has received funding support from the National Science Foundation, National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation, and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.


Webinar #12: Project Resist: Community-Engaged Research to Co-design and Evaluate Tailored Anti-Smoking Messages for U.S. Young Adult Sexual Minority Women 


November 28, 2022 – 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Eastern – Via Webex



  • Andy Tan, Ph.D.

Event Description/Abstract:


Young adult sexual minority women including lesbian and bisexual women (SMW thereafter) have elevated odds of cigarette smoking than heterosexual women and are at increased risks of smoking-related cancers and heart disease. There is limited research on the effectiveness of using LGBTQ-tailored anti-smoking campaign messages on smoking behaviors and intentions to address cigarette smoking disparities among young adult SMW. We relied on principles of the Responsive Feedback Approach and co-designed anti-smoking messages intended to reduce smoking intentions and increase quitting intentions among young adult SMW. Partnering with LGBTQ community leaders, we obtained feedback from advisors, conducted a series of message pretesting surveys and interviews with young adult SMW, and iteratively adapted the design of anti-smoking messages to be most responsive to the needs of the intended audience and future implementers of an anti-smoking campaign. We further evaluated the effects of repeated exposures to tailored anti-smoking messages created through this process on SMW’s quitting intention, cigarette purchase intention, and anti-tobacco industry perceptions using a longitudinal randomized controlled experiment among 2214 participants. This talk will focus on the message co-design process, preliminary findings of the message effects experiment, and implications for future community-engaged research in communication and health equity.


Speaker Biography:

Headshot of Andy Tan

Andy Tan, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Annenberg School for Communication 
Senior Fellow, Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics

Andy Tan is an Associate Professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication. His research program aims to advance communication science to achieve health equity. His work in tobacco prevention and control involves community-engaged research in collaboration with community leaders and members to design and develop culturally appropriate communication interventions. He utilizes mixed-methods research designs, including sequential designs integrating multiple data collection and analytic methods. His work has received funding from the FDA, NCI, NIDA, and private foundations. He received his medical degree from the National University of Singapore, his Master's in Public Health and Master in Business Administration from Johns Hopkins University, and his Ph.D. in Communication from the Annenberg School for Communication. Prior to his doctoral work, Tan has over 5 years of medical and health promotion experience.


Webinar #11: COVID, Racial Trauma, and Sexual and Gender Minorities in the US: New Evidence from the National Couples’ Health and Time Study


August 31, 2022 – 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Eastern – Via Webex




  • Claire Kamp Dush, Ph.D. (she/hers)
  • Wendy D. Manning, Ph.D. (she/hers)

Event Description/Abstract:


In the United States, COVID-19 unfolded alongside profound racial trauma. Drawing on a population-representative sample of 20-60 year-olds who were married or cohabiting, the National Couples’ Health and Time Study (N =3,642), we examine two specific sources of stress: COVID-19 and racial trauma. We leverage the fully powered samples of respondents with racial/ethnic and sexual minority identities and find that COVID-19 and racial trauma stress were higher among individuals who were not White or heterosexual most likely due to racism, xenophobia, and cis-heterosexism at the individual and structural levels. Both COVID-19 and racial trauma stress were associated with poorer mental health outcomes even after accounting for a rich set of potential mechanistic indicators, including discrimination and social climate. We argue that the inclusion of assessments of stress is critical for understanding health and well-being among individuals impacted by systemic and interpersonal discrimination.

Speaker Biographies:

Headshot of Claire Dush

Claire Kamp Dush, Ph.D.
Department of Sociology, University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Co-Director, Development Core, Minnesota Population Center

Claire Kamp Dush (she/her) is Professor of Sociology and co-director of the Development Core at the Minnesota Population Center at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. She is a family demographer who studies intimate relationships and their intersection with human development. She is the principal investigator of two population health data collections funded by NICHD - the National Couples' Health and Time Study (with Dr. Wendy Manning) and NIA - the third repeated cross-section of the Work and Family Life Study (with Dr. Miles Taylor). Dr. Kamp Dush is a member of the NIH CSR Social Sciences and Population Studies B study section. She is a passionate teacher and mentor who was awarded the Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching at The Ohio State University. She enjoys reading, exercising, and spending time with her family.

Headshot of Wendy Manning

Wendy D. Manning, Ph.D.
Dr. Howard E. Aldrich and Penny Daum Aldrich Distinguished Professor of Sociology, Bowling Green State University
Co-Director, National Center for Family and Marriage Research 

Wendy D. Manning (she/her) is the Dr. Howard E. Aldrich and Penny Daum Aldrich Distinguished Professor of Sociology and co-director of the National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University. She is a family demographer focusing on trends in family formation, dissolution, and well-being for individuals identifying as sexual minorities as well as same-gender and different-gender couples. Her research examines social relationships and the health and well-being of children, parents, and adults in the United States. She has contributed to major data collections including the seven-wave Toledo Adolescent Relationships Study and the two-wave National Couples’ Health and Time Use Study.

Webinar #10 (Pride Month Edition): National Academies Report on Measuring Sex, Gender Identity, and Sexual Orientation

June 9, 2022 – 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Eastern – Via Webex




  • Kellan Baker Ph.D. (he/his)
  • Nancy Bates, Ph.D. (she/hers)
  • Aliya Saperstein, Ph.D. (she/hers)

Event Description/Abstract:
This will be a special Pride Month webinar, with invited speakers from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine on a newly published Consensus Panel Study on Measuring Sex, Gender Identity, and Sexual Orientation. This report, commissioned by 19 components of the NIH, was developed by a multidisciplinary team of experts and reviews the current evidence base on measurement and data collection related to SGM populations. The report outlines guidelines, recommendations, and best practices for collecting sexual orientation and gender identity information in research and non-research surveys, along with medical and other administrative records, to improve the NIH’s ability to identify and address the specific needs of these populations. This presentation will be provided by members of the consensus study panel and provide an overview of the development, scope, and recommendations of the report. 

Speaker Biographies:

Headshot of Kellan Baker

Kellan Baker, Ph.D.
Centennial Scholar & Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Research Scholar
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health 

Kellan Baker (he/him) is the Centennial Scholar and a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Research Scholar in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, where his research focuses on economics, policy, and methodology issues in transgender health. He is a health policy expert and health services researcher with an extensive background in regulatory policy, public health, health equity, and federal statistics. Previously Kellan was a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress in Washington, DC, where he worked on health equity and data collection policy at the federal and state levels and was a founding Steering Committee Member of Out2Enroll, a nationwide campaign in partnership with the White House and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to connect low-income LGBT populations with coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Kellan has consulted on LGBT health and health equity issues with the Joint Commission, the Open Society Foundations, and Kaiser Permanente, among others, and he currently serves as a consultant for the National Academy of Sciences on a consensus study report assessing the well-being of LGBTQI+ populations. He has published widely on data collection, health law and policy, and LGBT population health and was one of the authors of the 2014 GenIUSS Group report on gender identity data collection. Kellan is the board chair of the Equality Federation and also serves on numerous scientific and community engagement bodies. He holds a Ph.D. in health policy and management with a focus on health services research and health economics from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, a Master of Public Health from the George Washington University, a Master of Arts in International Development from the Elliott School of International Affairs at the George Washington University, and a BA with high honors in astrophysics and Russian from Swarthmore College.

Headshot of Nancy Bates

Nancy Bates, Ph.D.
Co-Chair, Consensus Study Report Committee
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

Nancy Bates is an international expert in the measurement of SOGI. She is currently working as a consultant with Stanford University on an NIH grant on SOGI measurement. Bates recently retired from the Census Bureau where she served as the senior methodologist for survey research. She oversaw and contributed to the research that formulated inclusive relationship questions resulting in the reduction of measurement error for same-sex couples in the 2020 decennial census. Bates was the co-chair of the Office of Management and Budget and the Federal Committee on Statistical Methodology SOGI research group from 2015 to 2019. She recently co-edited a Journal of Official Statistics special issue on measuring LGBT populations (2019). She served as a planning committee member for the Institute of Medicine, a national academy workshop on SOGI data collection in electronic health records (2012). Bates is also an elected fellow of the American Statistical Association. She is an accomplished researcher with over 30 peer-reviewed papers. She earned her MA in applied sociology from the University of Oklahoma. 

Aliya Saperstein, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Sociology
Benjamin Scott Crocker Professor in Human Biology
Stanford University

Aliya Saperstein received a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Washington and a Ph.D. in Sociology and Demography from the University of California-Berkeley. In 2016, she received the Early Achievement Award from the Population Association of America. She has also been a Visiting Scholar at Sciences Po and the Russell Sage Foundation. Her research focuses on the social processes through which people come to perceive, name, and deploy seemingly immutable categorical differences —such as race and sex—and how such processes create and maintain social inequality. This research has been published for social science audiences in the American Journal of Sociology, the Annual Review of Sociology, Demography, Gender & Society and Ethnic and Racial Studies, among other venues, and for general science audiences in Science, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and PLoS One. It also has been recognized with multiple article awards and gained attention from national media outlets, including NPR (twice) and The Colbert Report.



Webinar #9: COVID-19 Health Research with and for SGM Communities

April 26, 2022 – 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Eastern – Via Webex



Event Description:
This will be a special webinar event, cohosted by SGMRO and the NIH SGM Health SIG, that will spotlight and discuss SGM-specific COVID-19 research efforts. During this webinar, four invited panelists will present their work and will participate in a moderated panel discussion. After the discussion concludes, there will be an audience Q&A. Topics presented will include:

Presentation Abstracts:

•    SGM people and COVID-19: Vulnerability, medical mistrust, and the imperative of SOGISC data collection
•    The Confluence of COVID-19 and Health in U.S.-based LGBTQ+ Populations
•    LITE CONNECT: Addressing testing gaps and epidemiologic disparities of COVID-19 among transgender people in the US
•    COVID-19 health behaviors in a sexual minority sample: The impact of internalized stigma

SGM people and COVID-19: Vulnerability, medical mistrust, and the imperative of SOGISC data collection

Sean Cahill, Ph.D. -  Fenway Institute

Abstract: Sexual and gender minority (SGM) people are more likely to work in front-line jobs like retail and food services, and experience higher rates of comorbid conditions and risk behaviors such as smoking and vaping. Therefore SGM people may be at elevated risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection, and complications should they become sick with COVID-19. High rates of medical mistrust and lack of access to care—especially common among sexual minority women, transgender people, and/or people of color—may interfere with vaccine uptake. More than two years into this global pandemic, there is an urgent need for the collection and use of sexual orientation, gender identity, and sex characteristics (SOGISC) data in testing, care, and vaccination to understand the impact of COVID-19 on SGM populations. I will review steps public health leaders could take to encourage SOGISC data collection and use to understand the impact of COVID-19 on SGM populations, including state-level data collection and federal data opportunities.

The Confluence of COVID-19 and Health in U.S.-based LGBTQ+ Populations

Perry N Halkitis, Ph.D., MS, MPH - Rutgers School of Public Health

Abstract: Our team at the Center for Health, Identity Behavior & Prevention Studies at Rutgers School of Public Health undertook a series of studies to examine the manifestation and impact of COVID-19 in LGBTQ+ and/or HIV-seropositive populations. Our first sought to delineate the health impacts of COVID-19 in a geographically and demographically diverse sample of LGBTQ+ people in the United States after March 13, 2020, when COVID-19 was declared a national emergency including but not limited to SARS-CoV-2 exposure and testing. We collected data between May and July 2020, for adults residing in the U.S. (N=1,090) who completed an internet-based survey that assessed sexual, mental, and economic health at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Findings from this study will be presented with preliminary findings from our current study of COVID-19 and other vaccination behaviors in sexual and gender minority individuals in New York and New Jersey.

LITE CONNECT: Addressing testing gaps and epidemiologic disparities of COVID-19 among transgender people in the United States

Sari L. Reisner, ScD - Harvard School of Public Health

Abstract: Transgender (TG) people are an NIH-designated health disparities population with high morbidity and mortality across multiple health conditions, including HIV infection, mental health, and substance use. These conditions are a product of and exacerbated by historical and ongoing discrimination and inequities in access to healthcare. In early 2020, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) were recognized as a global pandemic. To date, no data exist on COVID-19 disease in TG people. There is an urgent need to understand the burden of COVID-19 disease, investigate its impact on other health conditions and vulnerabilities burdening TG populations, and identify future public health intervention targets. The current proposal aims to fill this gap. To accomplish these goals, disparities in access to testing among TG people must be identified and mitigated. The parent LITE study enrolled a baseline sample of more than 1500 TG women in the eastern and southern U.S. to assess HIV risk across 24 months of biobehavioral follow-up using technology-enhanced, digital methods of data capture. Leveraging the LITE infrastructure and in partnership with two community-based organizations, we aim to develop LITE-CONNECT, a rapid, community-engaged mixed-methods assessment that will enroll over 2,000 TG men and women across eastern and southern U.S. The objective of this supplemental study is to characterize access and barriers to COVID-19 testing, provide access to and evaluate the use of home-based COVID-19 antibody testing to identify past infection and potential immunity, connect TG men and women to available community-based COVID-19 testing and support services, and identify community-based solutions to support access to COVID-19 testing, interventions, and care among TG people. Results from this study will be rapidly used to inform community-based efforts and a national COVID-19 response that is inclusive of TG people. The proposed research will provide critical and timely insights about COVID-19 disease in TG people in a space in which almost no information currently exists. Early identification of disparities in COVID-19 morbidity and access to COVID-19 testing and care is critical to ensuring access to services as the pandemic continues. We will leverage our existing infrastructure and community collaborations to gather new data, including unprecedented data from TG men, to guide urgently needed interventions to improve and optimize the health and wellbeing of TG people in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 health behaviors in a sexual minority sample: The impact of internalized stigma

Dr. David Solomon, Ph.D. – Western Carolina University


Abstract: COVID-19 has been identified as a public health crisis that can be avoided by preventative health behaviors such as social distancing, the use of a cloth face covering when in public, and regular handwashing or sanitizing. Although identifying predictors of preventive health behaviors related to COVID-19 is important across the general population, it may be especially pertinent in marginalized populations including sexual and gender minorities particularly due to the role of minority stress and internalized stigma in predicting health behaviors. The purpose of this study was to expand the current COVID-19 literature to investigate whether internalized stigma regarding sexual orientation and gender minority status may impact COVID-19 preventative health behaviors. For all the COVID-19 health behaviors examined, internalized stigma and gender minority status accounted for significantly more variance than predictors that were not specific to sexual or gender minority status. However, different facets of internalized sexual minority predicted varying preventative health behaviors. For instance, sexuality dissatisfaction predicted leaving home for nonessential reasons whereas belief in negative stereotypes predicted less frequent handwashing and less use of face masks and social distancing in public places. 


Speaker Biographies:

Headshot of Sean Cahill

Sean Cahill, Ph.D.
Director of Health Policy Research
Fenway Institute

Sean Cahill, Ph.D. is Director of Health Policy Research at the Fenway Institute, Affiliate Associate Clinical Professor of Health Sciences at Northeastern University, and Adjunct Associate Professor at Boston University School of Public Health. Cahill serves on the Massachusetts Special Legislative Commission on LGBT Aging, and the HIV and Aging Policy Action Coalition. He is Director of Policy for the HRSA HAB-funded 2iS Coordinating Center for Technical Assistance. An Associate Editor at LGBT Health, Cahill has authored or coauthored over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles, monographs, chapters, and books on LGBTQ+ health, LGBTQ+ public policy issues, and HIV/STI prevention and care.

Headshot of Perry Halkitis

Perry N Halkitis, PhD, MS, MPH
Professor, Biostatistics & Urban-Global Public Health
Director, Center for Health, Identity, Behavior & Prevention Studies (CHIBPS)
Rutgers School of Public Health

Perry N Halkitis, Ph.D., MS, MPH  is a public health psychologist, infectious disease epidemiologist, applied statistician, researcher, educator, and advocate. For three decades, the focus of his research has been on the emergence, prevention, and treatment of infectious diseases, specifically, HIV, HPV, and other sexually transmitted infections, and more recently SARS-CoV-2. His program of study has sought to disentangle the biological, behavioral, psychosocial, and structural mechanisms that predispose people and populations to these infectious diseases, and the synergies of infectious disease with mental health burdens - including drug abuse – primarily in sexual, gender, and racial, and ethnic minority populations.
Dr. Halkitis is currently dean and professor of biostatistics and urban public health at the Rutgers School of Public Health. He is also the founder and director of the Center for Health, Identity, Behavior & Prevention Studies (CHIBPS) and a primary member of the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and the Global Health Institute. He holds the status of Professor Emeritus at the College of Global Public Health at New York University.
Dr. Halkitis is the author of numerous books, including Out in Time: The Public Lives of Gay Men from Stonewall to the Queer Generation and The AIDS Generation: Stories of Survival and Resilience. He has also authored some 300 peer-reviewed academic manuscripts and also actively disseminates knowledge to mainstream media, appearing frequently on television, radio, print, and podcasts. Dr. Halkitis has been the Editor in Chief of Behavioral Medicine since 2013 and is the Founding Editor in Chief of Annals of LGBTQ Public and Population Health.

Headshot of Sari Reisner

Sari L. Reisner, ScD
Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology
Harvard School of Public Health

Dr. Sari Reisner is an assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; assistant professor of medicine at the Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital; director of transgender research at Brigham and Women’s Hospital based in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Hypertension; and director of transgender health research at The Fenway Institute of Fenway Health, a federally qualified community health center specializing in the provision of care to sexual and gender minority LGBTQIA people in Boston, MA. Trained as a social and psychiatric epidemiologist, Reisner focuses on:(1) health disparities and inequities in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning (LGBTQ) populations; (2) the epidemiology of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs); and (3) psychiatric epidemiology of mental health and substance use risks and resiliencies across adolescence and young adulthood.

Headshot of David Solomon

Dr. David Solomon, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology
Western Carolina University

Dr. David Solomon completed his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Central Michigan University in 2017. He currently works as an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at Western Carolina University where he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in assessment, multicultural psychology, and introduction to clinical and counseling psychology. His research interests involve predictors of risk and resiliency in marginalized individuals, particularly sexual and gender minorities, as well as predicting outcomes for survivors of trauma.

Webinar #8: Minority Stress and Cardiovascular Health among Sexual and Gender Minority Populations


  • Lauren B. Beach, JD/Ph.D. (she/they) - Research Assistant Professor, Department of Medical Social Sciences and Department of Preventative Medicine, Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine; Interim Director, Evaluation, Data Integration, and Technical Assistance (EDIT) Program, Northwestern Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing. 

February 17, 2021 – 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Eastern – Via Webex


AbstractSexual and gender minority (SGM) individuals comprise a significant and growing percentage of the US population. Compared with cisgender and heterosexual populations, SGM populations have higher levels of psychosocial distress and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors. Minority stress theory (MST) is a leading framework proposed to explain the wide-ranging health disparities observed among minoritized populations. MST-derived frameworks posit stigmatization at the individual, interpersonal, and structural levels contribute to SGM CVD health disparities. This presentation will employ an intersectional lens to examine associations between minority stress and cardiovascular risk factors and outcomes over the life course among SGM populations. New and forthcoming datasets to investigate CVD among SGM populations will also be highlighted.  

Speaker Biography:

Headshot of Lauren Beach
Lauren B. Beach, JD/PhD (she/they)
Research Assistant Professor, Department of Medical Social Sciences and Department of Preventative Medicine, Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine; Interim Director, Evaluation, Data Integration, and Technical Assistance (EDIT) Program, Northwestern Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing. 

Dr. Lauren B. Beach investigates the epidemiology of chronic physical health conditions over the life course among diverse SGM populations and people with HIV. She also studies how multilevel health and identity-related stigmas affect chronic condition management and health outcomes of minoritized populations. They are PI of a R01 in the CARDIA cohort to characterize the cardiovascular disease epidemiology and health disparities impacting SGM populations in the CARDIA cohort study (R01HL149866). They are also a PI for Project Recognize – a project to develop novel and standardized measures of sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity (R01AA029076).

Dr. Beach is also active in community-engaged, evidence-informed advocacy efforts to improve the health of bisexual populations. She is a founding Steering Committee Co-Chair of the Chicago Bisexual Health Task Force (CBHTF). She is also nationally active in bisexual health policy leadership circles and has spoken at the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to present recommendations for improving bisexual health outcomes and bisexual data collection methods. You can follow them on Twitter @laurenbbeach.

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



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.



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).

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