In summer 2023, the Sexual & Gender Minority Research Office (SGMRO), the Office of Aids Research (OAR), and the Office of Intramural Training and Education (OITE) cosponsored a Summer Intensive Series (SIS) to enhance the knowledge of NIH summer interns and trainees about sexual and gender minority (SGM) health research. This series was open to all trainees, including summer interns, postbacs, predoc IRTAs, and postdoc IRTAs, who were interested in learning more about SGM health research and its intersection with science, policy, communication, and community engagement. The series met weekly and trainees heard from prominent SGM health researchers and engage in panel discussions, breakout groups, and journal club discussions. A certificate of completion was given to those who attended at least five of the seven sessions.

Summer Intensive Sessions:



Monday, June 12

Introduction to SGM Research
Location: Building 31, Room A/B*

  • Renee Rider, Program Director, Division of Genomic Medicine, NHGRI, NIH
  • Karen Parker, Director, SGMRO, NIH
  • Karina Walters, Director, THRO, NIH

No Session on June 19 due to Juneteenth Holiday

Wednesday, June 21

Intersection of Research and Public Policy in Health Disparities and SGM Health (Virtual Only)

  • Marissa Robinson, Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S. (EHE) Coordinator, Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy
  • Laura Durso, Senior Director, LGBT Research and Communications Project, The Center for American Progress
  • Caroline Medina, Director of Policy, Whitman-Walker Institute

Monday, June 26

Academic Career Paths: Navigating a Career in SGM Health Research
Location: Building 35, Room 610

  • Brian Mustanski, Director, Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing, Northwestern University
  • Mandi Pratt-Chapman , George Washington University

No Session on July 3 due to July 4 Holiday                             

Monday, July 10

Workforce Diversity at NIH: Challenges and Opportunities
Location: Building 35, Room 610

  • Anna Han, Senior Advisor for Social and Behavioral Sciences, Office of Intramural Training & Education, NIH
  • Pamela Tamez, Chief Officer, Scientific Workforce Diversity (COSWD) Office, NIH
  • Bali White, Principal Strategist for the Portfolio for Sexual and Gender Minorities, NIH

Monday, July 17

Career Options in SGM Health Research

  • Ashley Wilder Smith, Chief, Outcomes Research Branch, NCI, NIH
  • Ames Simmons, Senior Lecturing Fellow, Duke University School of Law
  • Sandy James, Trial Attorney, Civil Rights Division, Department of Justice
  • Asha Storm, Scientific Program Analyst, NIBIB, NIH
  • Shyam Patel, Communications Director, SGMRO, NIH
  • Irene Avila, Deputy Director, SGMRO, NIH

Monday, July 24

SGM Data Collection

  • Christina Dragon, Measurement & Data Lead, SGMRO, NIH
  • Kellan Baker, Executive Director and Chief Learning Officer, Whitman-Walker Institute

Monday, July 31

Topics in NIH-Funded SGM Research

  • Sarah Jackson, Intramural Research Scholar, National Cancer Institute
  • Jose Bauermeister, Chair of the Department of Family and Community Health, School Nursing and Psychiatry, Perelman School of Medicine
  • Jessica Fish, Assistant Professor, University of Maryland
  • Allen Mallory, Assistant Professor at The Ohio State University

Presentation of Certificate of Completion

  • Karen Parker, Director, SGMRO, NIH
  • Irene Avila, Deputy Director, SGMRO, NIH
  • Renee Rider, Program Director, Division of Genomic Medicine, NHGRI, NIH

Click here to learn more about the NIH Summer Intensive Programs, including information on how to apply. For Zoom-related questions, please contact Shyam Patel at or Nicole Kazi at For all other questions, please contact Renee Rider at


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