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!

Featured Investigators

Howa Yeung Headshot

June 2024: Howa Yeung, MD, MSc 
Assistant Professor of Dermatology
Emory University School of Medicine

Dr. Howa Yeung, MD MSc, is an Assistant Professor of Dermatology at the Emory University School of Medicine. His research focuses on understanding, preventing, and treating skin diseases that disproportionately impact LGBTQ+ populations, such as 1) acne in transgender and gender diverse individuals and 2) skin cancers in gay and bisexual men and persons with HIV. He completed an accelerated BS/MD program at the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education program, graduating with a BS, summa cum laude, from the City College of New York and an MD from New York University School of Medicine. He completed dermatology residency and an MSc in Clinical Research at Emory University. He is a World Professional Association for Transgender Health Standards of Care Version 8 certified member. He has published >100 peer-reviewed articles and serves as an Associate Editor of JAMA Dermatology


Tara McKayMarch 2024: Tara McKay, PhD 
Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Health & Society
Assistant Professor, Department of Health Policy (secondary)
Associate Director, Vanderbilt Center for Research on Inequality and Health
Associate Director, Vanderbilt LGBTQ+ Policy Lab
Vanderbilt University

Tara McKay is Assistant Professor of Medicine, Health, and Society and affiliated faculty in the Sociology Department at Vanderbilt University. She received a BA in Psychology from Occidental College and MA and PhD in Sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Before joining MHS, Tara was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholar in Health Policy Research at the University of California, Berkeley and the University of California, San Francisco. Her research and teaching interests include medical sociology, gender and sexualities, global health, and health policy. In much of her work, Tara has addressed the social, political and economic contexts that shape health and health policy with a focus on vulnerable populations in the US and Africa. Her interests in health, sexuality, and policy have prompted studies of: global AIDS policy formation; the role of clinical trials in providing access to basic health care for a subset of the US population; substance use, sexual identity formation and community membership among young African American and Latino gay men in the US; doctor-patient interactions in HIV/AIDS care in the US; relationship-level dynamics among HIV positive bisexual men. 

Recently, she has also begun two new projects examining how the Affordable Care Act will affect communities and how social networks affect health among older LGBT populations. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the American Council for Learned Societies, among others, and has been featured in Social Science & Medicine, American Journal of Public Health, Culture, Health & Sexuality, AIDS & Behavior.


January 2024: Sarah MacCarthy, ScD 
Magic City LGBTQ Health Studies Endowed Chair
University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health 

Dr. Sarah MacCarthy is the inaugural holder of the Magic City LGBTQ Health Studies Endowed Chair at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Dr. MacCarthy has more than 15 years experience in applying systematic mixed-methods research to address sexual and gender minority health in the United States and internationally. She grew up in Eswanti and Egypt then completed her undergraduate studies at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Her first job after college was formatting biosketches, which despite the sometimes-intense boredom, gave insight to all the pathways towards becoming a researcher. She went on to complete her master’s and doctoral studies at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and postdoctoral training with the Brown University-affiliated Miriam Hospital. She worked at RAND for 7 years in California before moving her family to Alabama in 2021. Dr. MacCarthy’s research examines individual, programmatic, and policy-related aspects of sexual and gender minority health. She has over 80 peer-reviewed articles and has also published her work in high readership venues such as Scientific American, US News & World Report, and The New Yorker. 


Phoenix MatthewsAugust 2023: Phoenix Matthews, PhD   
Professor Emeritus, the University of Illinois Chicago;   
Professor and Bobbi Berkowitz Endowed Research Chair   
Columbia University School of Nursing

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.  


Asa Radix HeadshotJune 2023: Asa E. Radix, MD, PhD, MPH, FIDSA   
Senior Director of Research and Education, Callen-Lorde Community Health Center   
Clinical Professor of Medicine, NYU Grossman School of Medicine   
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology, Columbia University

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. 



Jose Bauermeister HeadshotApril 2023: José A. Bauermeister, MPH, PhD   
Albert M. Greenfield University Professor of Human Relations   
Faculty Director, Eidos LGBTQ+ Health Initiative at the University of Pennsylvania   
Chair, Department of Family & Community Health, School of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania

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. 


Dustin Duncan HeadshotFebruary 2023: Dustin T. Duncan, ScD   
Associate Professor   
Co-Director, Social and Spatial Epidemiology Unit   
Director, Columbia Spatial Epidemiology Lab   
Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health   
Department of Epidemiology

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). 


Robert Garofalo HeadshotNovember 2022: Robert Garofalo, MD, MPH    
Chief, Division of Adolescent & Young Adult Medicine; Lurie Children's Hospital    
Potocsnak Family Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine

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.


Scout HeadshotAugust 2022: Scout, MA, Ph.D.    
Executive Director, National LGBT Cancer Network

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.


Amy Tishelman HeadshotJune 2022: Amy Tishelman, Ph.D.    
Research Associate Professor, Boston College, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience

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.


Typhanye Dyer HeadshotApril 2022: Typhanye V. Dyer, PhD, MPH, BS    
Associate Professor of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Maryland 

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.    


Jessica Fish HeadshotFebruary 2022: Kodiak Soled, MPhil, MSN, RN    
PhD Candidate, Columbia University School of Nursing; Vice President, Lesbian Health Fund

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.


Jessica Fish HeadshotDecember 2021: Jessica Fish, PhD    
Assistant Professor of Family Health and Wellbeing, Department of Family Health and Wellbeing, Department of Family Science, University of Maryland School of Public Health; Deputy Director for Research and Evaluation, University of Maryland Prevention Research Center

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.


Sean Arayasirikul HeadshotOctober 2021: Sean Arayasirikul, PhD    
Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of California San Francisco; Senior Research Scientist, Trans Research Unit for Equity, Center for Public Health, San Francisco Department of Public Health 

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. 

Sarah Jackson Headshot

September 2021: Sarah S. Jackson, PhD, MPH    
Research Fellow, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute    

Dr. Sarah S. Jackson has been a postdoctoral fellow at the National Cancer Institute in the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics (DCEG) since May 2018. In May 2021, she was inducted into the NIH Independent Research Scholar Program, sponsored by the Office of Intramural Research. Dr. Jackson has a background in public health, with experiences in the DC Department of Health, Whitman-Walker Health, and AIDS Clinical Trials Group. She earned her PhD in epidemiology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. Dr. Jackson’s research interests include sex differences in cancer incidence and cancer risk and outcomes among transgender and non-binary individuals.

Jody Herman Headshot

June 2021: Jody Herman, PhD    
Scholar of Public Policy, Associate Researcher, The Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law    

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.

Allen Malloryt Headshot

February 2021: Allen Mallory, PhD    
Presidential Postdoctoral Scholar, The Ohio State University    

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.

Tonia Poteat Headshot

December 2020: Tonia Poteat, PhD, MPH, PA-C, DFAAPA    
Assistant Professor of Social Medicine, Core Faculty in the UNC Center for Health Equity Research    

Tonia Poteat is an Assistant 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 role of intersectional stigma in driving health disparities. 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. In 2019, she was named to the National Academies of Science Consensus Panel on the Well-being of Sexual and Gender Minorities. She has published numerous articles on HIV among transgender adults. She is an Associate Editor for the journal, LGBT Health and served as a guest editor for a special issue of the Journal of the International AIDS Society on HIV among transgender populations.

Billy Caceres Headshot

September 2020: Billy A. Caceres, PhD, RN, FAHA    
Assistant Professor, Program for the Study of LGBT Health, Columbia University School of Nursing    

Dr. Billy A. Caceres is an Assistant Professor in the Program for the Study of LGBT Health at the Columbia University School of Nursing. Dr. Caceres’ research uses biobehavioral approaches to understand and reduce cardiovascular health disparities in stigmatized populations with a focus on sexual and gender minority (SGM) adults. He was the 2017 recipient of the American Heart Association’s Martha N. Hill New Investigator Award for his dissertation research on stress and cardiovascular disease risk in sexual minority women. Dr. Caceres recently served as the writing chair of the American Heart Association’s first scientific statement on the cardiovascular health of SGM adults. In 2019, Dr. Caceres began a Mentored Research Scientist Development Award from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. He is conducting an innovative study that uses a sibling design to examine the influence of adverse life experiences on physiological risk factors for cardiovascular disease in sexual minority women and their heterosexual sisters. His work on SGM cardiovascular health has been published in high-impact interdisciplinary journals. Dr. Caceres is a fellow of the American Heart Association and the New York Academy of Medicine. He received a PhD from New York University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Comparative and Cost-Effectiveness Research at Columbia University. Prior to completing his PhD, he worked as a cardiothoracic and vascular surgery nurse at New York University Langone Health.

Brian Mustanski Headshot

July 2020: Brian Mustanski, PhD    
Director, Northwestern Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing    

Brian Mustanski, PhD 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.

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