Clinicians Engaged in LGBTQ Research

Many Boston Children’s clinical staff and researchers are studying and improving the health of LGBTQ children and adolescents through community-based outreach, national advocacy efforts and multi-center national studies. They include:

  • S. Bryn Austin, ScD, Division of Adolescent/Young Adult Medicine, whose primary research is in the behavioral sciences and social epidemiology, addressing social and physical environmental influences on physical activity, nutritional patterns, and eating disorders risk in school and community settings. Her research interests also include lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender adolescent health, in which she is examining sexual orientation group disparities in health in adolescence and identifying determinants with the goal of eliminating these disparities.
  • Brittany M. Charlton, MSc, ScD, Division of Adolescent/Young Adult Medicine, whose research interests include contraceptives, HPV/cervical cancer and LGBT health disparities. See her video abstract on sexual orientation differences in teen pregnancy and contraception use here.
  • Yee-Ming Chan, MD, PhD, director of the Reproductive Endocrinology Program, who studies delayed puberty, disorders of sex development and transgender youth using clinical research and human genetic approaches.
  • Allegra R. Gordon, MPH, ScD, postdoctoral research fellow in the Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine, who studies the mental and physical health impacts of discrimination and the effects of gender norms on the health of young people. She has worked in the field of LGBT health for the past 14 years, first as a sexuality educator and HIV counselor and then in survey research and program evaluation.
  • Carly Guss, MD, medical fellow, Division of Adolescent/Young Adult Medicine, who researches transgender and gender nonconforming adolescents’ experiences in primary care as well as the relationship of gender identity and body image. She has done research related to contraceptive education and provision in adolescents and young adults.
  • Sari L. Reisner, ScD, associate scientific researcher in the Division of General Pediatrics, who researches health disparities and inequities in LGBT populations, the epidemiology of infectious diseases in marginalized, underserved populations and mental health and substance use/abuse risks
  • Norman Spack, MD, co-director (with Urologist-in-Chief David A. Diamond, MD) of the Gender Management Service (GeMS) program at Boston Children’s, is a frequent speaker about transgenderism and advocate for medical treatment and anti-discrimination laws. He has treated more than 250 transgender adults and 250 adolescents. He is part of the team that wrote groundbreaking guidelines about how to treat children with gender identity disorder.
  • Amy C. Tishelman, PhD, director of Clinical Research and senior staff psychologist in the Disorders of Sex Development (DSD) and Gender Management Service (GEMS), who works with clinicians and researchers to design research on DSD and transgender health care issues and also mentors trainees and fellows in research. She was one of the key people at Boston Children’s to secure an National Institutes of Health (NIH) award for a five-year, four-site study designed to provide evidence-based information on the safety and physiological and psychosocial impact of hormone blockers and cross-sex hormones in the transgender population.
  • Sabra L. Katz-Wise, PhD, research scientist in the Division of Adolescent/Young Adult Medicine, who investigates sexual orientation and gender identity development, sexual fluidity and health disparities related to sexual orientation and gender identity in adolescents and young adults. She is working on a National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded study to examine how the family environment affects the health and well-being of transgender adolescents.

Meet the clinicians and learn about their work in our Disorders of Sex Development (DSD) and Gender Management Service (GeMS) teams.

 The Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) Working Group

  • The Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) working group, based at Boston Children’s and the Harvard School of Public Health, brings together experts from diverse disciplines whose work focuses on the intersections of sexual orientation, gender and health. Biweekly meetings provide a space for members to discuss, critique and develop research, advocacy and public health projects focused on promoting health equity among gender and sexual minority groups.