Over the past three decades, a growing cadre of scientists has painstakingly built the knowledge base around LGBT health concerns. It is now widely acknowledged that sexual and gender minority groups experience health disparities as a result of multiple socio-cultural factors. Studies have shown that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender populations have higher prevalence of life-threatening physical and mental health conditions, experience barriers to health care access, and face substantial threats to quality of life.
The Center for Population Research in LGBT Health supports and stimulates research to fill critical knowledge gaps related to the health of sexual and gender minorities, strengthening the foundation for culturally competent treatment and behavior change models. Our scientific vision is to create an infrastructure that will support the collaborative work of LGBT health researchers and integrate intellectual and methodological expertise in the interdisciplinary fields of LGBT health and population research. We aim for a synergistic increase in productivity as a result. The Center supports the work of collaborating scientists and partner organizations by creating opportunities to meet and plan further research, formalizing a mentorship process for junior scientists, making datasets available for further studies, and creating a platform for ongoing communication and shared projects among the group.
About The Center
Housed at The Fenway Institute (TFI) of Fenway Health in Boston , the Center for Population Research in LGBT Health develops and supports collaborative research and education programs to understand and improve the health of sexual and gender minorities. The Center was established with a five-year Population Research Infrastructure Program grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) within the National Institutes of Health, awarded to TFI in 2007 (award number R21HD051178).
The Center is marked by a number of “firsts.” The Fenway Institute is the first community-based organization to be awarded a Population Research Infrastructure Program grant by a federal agency and its location in a community-based organization makes it unique among population research centers. It is also the first federally-funded research center to focus specifically on sexual minority population research.
The Center’s goals for the first 5 years are to establish a public access research data archive at the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR); build a national pipeline program to train pre- and post-doctoral students in collaboration with the Boston University School of Public Health and other academic centers; support graduate students in LGBT health through a national mentoring program; and provide a dedicated space with effective administrative, communications, and computing resources as a community-based research home for leading scientists in the field of LGBT health. Our three signature areas are behavioral research on the sexual transmission of HIV, research on LGBT families and households, and demographic aspects of LGBT health, morbidity, disability, and mortality.