About the Researcher Spotlight
The Sexual & Gender Minority Health Researcher Spotlight highlights both successful early and established NIH-funded investigators in the field of SGM health research. This feature is in an interview format, and explores pathways to and provides guidance for building a successful career in this field of inquiry. Click below to learn more about our featured investigators!
August 2023: Phoenix Matthews, PhD
Dr. Phoenix A. Matthews is a Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois Chicago, where they served as tenured faculty in the School of Nursing for twenty years. They are a Behavioral Sciences professor and Bobby Berkowitz, Endowed Research Chair at Columbia University School of Nursing. They earned a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Binghamton University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship funded by the National Cancer Institute at the University of Illinois Chicago. Dr. Matthews has engaged in cancer prevention and control research for twenty-five years with various underserved populations, including sexual and gender minorities. Primary research areas have included cancer survivorship, cancer screening, and the development of cancer risk reduction interventions. They have served as the Principle investigator of six NIH-funded research including conducting one of the first randomized clinical trials of a culturally targeted smoking cessation treatment for LGBTQ+ adults who smoke. Dr. Matthews' dedication to research excellence is reflected in their extensive publication record, with more than 175 peer-reviewed articles. They also contributed to three Institute of Medicine Reports related to cancer and LGBTQ health. Dr. Matthews has been a visiting research scholar in Japan, Thailand, and Malawi. Dr. Matthews is also an active member of several professional organizations, serving on committees and boards, such as the National LGBT Cancer Network, which aims to promote equity and justice in health and healthcare outcomes. They have received numerous awards, including the Distinguished Researcher Award from the School of Nursing at the University of Illinois Chicago, Induction into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame, receipt of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality Achievement Award, and the ‘Healthy Chicago Award’ from the Chicago Department of Public Health.
June 2023: Asa E. Radix, MD, PhD, MPH, FIDSA
Dr. Asa Radix is the Senior Director of Research and Education at the Callen-Lorde Community Health Center in New York and a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine. Dr. Radix is board-certified in internal medicine and infectious disease, holds a PhD in epidemiology from Columbia University, and has over two decades of clinical experience working with transgender and gender diverse individuals. They have published over 130 peer-reviewed articles and have contributed to national and international guidelines in transgender health care, including as co-chair of the World Professional Association of Transgender (WPATH) Standards of Care. Dr. Radix’s research predominately focuses on HIV prevention, and healthcare access and outcomes for trans and gender diverse people, as well as identifying health disparities and institutional practices that create inequities for LGBTQ+ communities. They serve on several committees, including the DHHS Panel on Antiretroviral Guidelines for Adults and Adolescents. In 2022, Dr. Radix was awarded The WPATH Gold Medal for their significant contributions to global trans health. They are an associate editor of the journals Transgender Health and the International Journal of Transgender Health.
April 2023: José A. Bauermeister, MPH, PhD
José Bauermeister is the Founding Faculty Director of the Eidos LGBTQ+ Health Initiative at the University of Pennsylvania. He is also the Albert M. Greenfield University Professor of Human Relations, Chair of the Department of Family and Community Health in the School Nursing and Psychiatry at the Perelman School of Medicine. José is an Aspen Institute’s Health Innovators Fellow, and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. José received his bachelor's degree from the University of Puerto Rico, and his graduate degrees in public health from the University of Michigan. His work focuses on synergizing systems-level interventions, community engagement, digital strategies, and clinical innovations to optimize the health and well-being of LGBTQ+ communities.
Over the past 20 years, Jose has conducted extensive research on the unique health challenges faced by sexual and gender minority communities. Currently, José is lead investigator of several clinical trials, including a digital life skills program for sexual minority adolescent men, and a social support platform focused on addressing stigma for Black and Latinx sexual and gender minority adolescents and young adults. José has led projects funded by the NIH, CDC, Ford Foundation, MAC AIDS Fund, HopeLab, and Herb Ritts Foundation. He has published over 250 peer-reviewed publications. José is a member of the NIH Sexual and Gender Minority Research Working Group and served as a co-author of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine consensus report: Measuring Sex, Gender Identity, and Sexual Orientation. He is a member of the editorial boards of the American Journal of Community Psychology, Journal of Community Psychology, Archives of Sexual Behavior, AIDS Education & Prevention, Annals of LGBTQ Public and Population Health, and Journal of Youth & Adolescence.
February 2023: Dustin T. Duncan, ScD
Dustin T. Duncan, ScD is an Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, where he directs Columbia’s Spatial Epidemiology Lab and co-directs the department’s Social and Spatial Epidemiology Unit. Dr. Duncan is an internationally recognized Social and Spatial Epidemiologist. His research broadly seeks to understand how social and contextual factors especially neighborhood characteristics influence population health. Dr. Duncan’s intersectional research focuses on Black cisgender gay, bisexual, and other sexual minority men and transgender women of color. His work appears in leading public health, epidemiology, medical, geography, criminology, demography, and psychology journals. Working in collaborations with scholars across the world, he has over 200 high-impact articles (>120 first or senior-authored), book chapters, and books cited over 8,100 times; his research has appeared in major media outlets including U.S. News & World Report, The Washington Post, The New York Times and CNN. Dr. Duncan’s recent work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the HIV Prevention Trials Network, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Verizon Foundation, and the Aetna Foundation. He has received several early career and distinguished scientific contribution, mentoring, and leadership awards including from the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), the Harvard University T.H. Chan School of Public Health (HSPH), and the Interdisciplinary Association for Population Health Science (IAPHS).
November 2022: Robert Garofalo, MD, MPH
Dr. Robert Garofalo is a Potocsnak Family Professor of Pediatrics and Preventive Medicine at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, Illinois. He is an attending physician at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital, where he serves as the Chief of the Division of Adolescent & Young Adult Medicine. He founded and now co-directs the Lurie Children’s Gender & Sex Development Program, the first comprehensive program providing multidisciplinary care to transgender/gender-nonconforming children and adolescents in the Midwest. His primary clinical and research activities relate to the care of marginalized youth populations including HIV-positive and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) young people. His research focuses on HIV prevention, mostly targeting either young men who have sex with men (MSM) or transgender individuals. He has more than 20 years of research experience in this field and is a national authority and advocate on LGBT health issues, adolescent sexuality, and HIV clinical care and prevention. In 2010, he was appointed to the National Academy of Science/Institute of Medicine Committee on LGBT Health Issues and Research Gaps and Opportunities. Dr. Garofalo is the Editor-in-Chief of the Transgender Health journal. He has received numerous awards from community-based and professional organizations for his community service and research. In 2019 he was awarded the Ellen Perrin Lifetime Achievement Award in LGBTQ Health by the American Academy of Pediatrics. He has over 175 peer-reviewed publications in scholarly journals, including seminal work related to LGBTQ youth and developing evidence-based HIV prevention and sexual health interventions for young gay men and transgender women, as well as medication adherence among youth living with HIV. In 2021 he was appointed by the Office of the Director to the Sexual and Gender Minority Health Research Working Group of the NH Council of Councils. In addition to his academic work, Dr. Garofalo is the founder of Fred Says (named after his dog), a 501©3 non-profit charity that since 2013 has raised and donated back to the community over $1 million to support care and services for HIV+ youth. In 2021 he co-authored the book When Dogs Heal: Powerful Stories of People Living with HIV and the Dogs That Saved Them which is based on his own personal journey living with HIV.
August 2022: Scout, MA, Ph.D.
Scout is the Executive Director of the National LGBT Cancer Network and the principal investigator of both the CDC-funded LGBTQ tobacco-related cancer disparity network and Out: The National Cancer Survey. He spends much of his time providing technical assistance for tobacco and cancer focusing agencies expanding their reach and engagement with LGBTQ+ populations. Scout has a long history in health policy analysis and a particular interest in expanding LGBTQ+ surveillance and research. He has faculty appointments at both Brown University and Boston Universities’ Schools of Public Health. He is a member of the NIH Council of Councils, the Co-Chair of the NIH Sexual and Gender Minority Research Office Work Group, on the Advisory Panel for NIH’s All of Us initiative, and a U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention delegate. His work has won him recognition from the U.S. House of Representatives, two state governments, and many city governments. Scout is an openly transgender father of three, a vegetarian, an avid hiker and runner.
June 2022: Amy Tishelman, Ph.D.
Dr. Amy Tishelman is a clinical and research psychologist, and a Research Associate Professor at Boston College in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience. She previously worked at Boston Children's Hospital (BCH) for close to three decades where she last held the positions as Director of Clinical Research in the Behavioral Health, Endocrinology, and Urology (BE-U) Program and Gender Multispecialty Service (GeMS) at Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH). These programs provide clinical care to youth, young adults, and families related to differences of sex development (DSD), intersex conditions, and gender. She was also a Senior Attending Psychologist at BCH and an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Tishelman previously worked extensively in the areas of child maltreatment and trauma. Dr. Tishelman has been awarded several NIH grants as an MPI or Co-I, investigating well-being and/or gender development in children and adolescents, and youth/young adults with DSD. She also co-authored a clinical report for the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), published in Pediatrics, on fertility and sexual function counseling for at-risk pediatric patients. Dr. Tishelman was selected by the World Association of Transgender Health (WPATH) to be the international leader in developing new global standards of care for prepubescent children, and by the American Psychological Association to co-chair a national task force on DSD. She is on several journal editorial boards and speaks and publishes frequently in her areas of expertise.
April 2022: Typhanye V. Dyer, PhD, MPH, BS
Typhanye Vielka Dyer is an epidemiologist and health disparities scholar whose research examines the influence of social, psychological, and behavioral factors on STI and HIV risk in Black populations. Her work examines syndemics (intersecting psychosocial and structural barriers), including the impact of trauma, poor mental health, and criminal justice involvement on STI/HIV outcomes for Black sexual and gender minorities, as well as Black women living with HIV in the DC Metro Area.
February 2022: Kodiak Soled, MPhil, MSN, RN
Kodiak Soled is a Ph.D. candidate at the Columbia University School of Nursing and a National Institutes of Health Ruth Kirschstein Predoctoral Research Fellow. Kodiak’s community-informed research explores multidimensional social support among sexual and gender minority (SGM) childbearing parents throughout the perinatal period. She is particularly interested in the unique ways SGM childbearing individuals are resilient during an intensified period of hetero-and cis-normativity and its impact on perinatal and infant outcomes. She hopes to generate foundational knowledge through this study to develop and test future culturally competent, community-based social support interventions that promote perinatal health and well-being among SGM families.
December 2021: Jessica Fish, PhD
Dr. Jessica Fish is a human development and family science scholar whose research focuses on the health and well-being of sexual and gender minority (i.e., lesbian/gay, bisexual, and transgender) people and their families. Broadly, Dr. Fish studies the social and interpersonal factors that shape the development and health of sexual and gender minority youth and adults. Her overarching goal is to identify modifiable factors that contribute to sexual and gender minority health disparities in order to inform developmentally-sensitive policies, programs and prevention strategies that promote the health of sexual and gender minority people across the life course.
October 2021: Sean Arayasirikul, PhD
Dr. Sean Arayasirikul is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). They are also a Senior Research Scientist at the Trans Research Unit for Equity (TRUE) and the Center for Public Health Research (CPHR) at the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SF DPH). They earned a Ph.D. in Medical Sociology at UCSF and were a pre-doctoral Fellow at the Alcohol Research Group, University of California, Berkeley (UCB), a Minority Fellow of the American Sociological Association, and a Diversity Scholar of the Adolescent Medicine Trials Network for HIV/AIDS interventions (ATN). Dr. Arayasirikul is the PI or Co-PI of three current projects: 1) an NIAID DP2 New Innovator Award to develop and apply new methods and measures to characterize intersectional stigma for sexual and gender minorities of color (SGMoC) in the House and Ballroom Community (HBC) and optimize HIV prevention and care continua outcomes; 2) an NIMH R34 implementation science study to pilot a mobile screening and navigation intervention to improve utilization of substance use and mental health-related services among trans women living with HIV; and 3) an NIMH R25 training program, called SHINE Strong, to build the pipeline of HIV behavioral scientists with expertise in trans population health.
September 2021: Sarah S. Jackson, PhD, MPH
June 2021: Jody Herman, PhD
February 2021: Allen Mallory, PhD
December 2020: Tonia Poteat, PhD, MPH, PA-C, DFAAPA
September 2020: Billy A. Caceres, PhD, RN, FAHA
July 2020: Brian Mustanski, PhD