The mission of the IMPACT LGBT Health and Development Program is to conduct translational research that improves the health of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community and to increase understanding of the development of sexual orientation and gender identity. We seek to achieve this mission by:
Developing innovative, evidence-based interventions
The IMPACT Program studies sexual health, resiliency, mental health, and substance use, with a primary focus on adolescents and young adults.
Examples of IMPACT’s research projects include:
- Project Q2 - Studying individual and sociocultural predictors of mental health, substance use, HIV risk, and resilience. The longest longitudinal study of LGBT youth ever conducted.
- Crew450 - Analyzing the prevalence, course, and predictors of a syndemic of psychosocial health issues linked to HIV among young men who have sex with men (YMSM).
- KIU! 2.0 - Researching the efficacy of an online HIV prevention intervention for YMSM by addressing peer norms, personal vulnerability, behavioral intentions, and condom use.
Collaborating with the LGBT community
Extensive community ties have been a hallmark of the program since its inception, and IMPACT has close relationships with several community-based organizations throughout Chicago, including as a resident partner at the Center on Halsted, the most comprehensive LGBT resource center in the Midwest.
Training the next generation of LGBT scholars
Each year IMPACT trains and mentors graduate and medical students, postdoctoral scholars, and early stage investigators via a number of structured programs, and hosts undergraduate and graduate interns for research, film, web, and health journalism projects.
Disseminating research findings to scientific and general audiences
In addition to traditional scientific channels, IMPACT disseminates information on the IMPACT Program website, which houses weekly youth and research blogs, videos and interactive resources on sexual health topics, and descriptions of IMPACT’s research studies and findings, including a recent white paper, “A Healthy Chicago for LGBT Youth.”
Brian Mustanski, PhD
Director, IMPACT Program
Email Brian Mustanski
Assistant Director, IMPACT Program
Email George Greene