The Team

The Pride Study was created for the LGBTQ community by members of the LGBTQ community and their allies.

A few dedicated members of the LGBTQ and ally communities made this study possible, but it’s your support that will make The PRIDE Study a success!

Leadership

Matthew Capriotti, PhD Mental Health Lead
The PRIDE Study
Matthew (Matt) Capriotti, PhD
Mental Health Lead / The PRIDE Study
Pronouns: he, him, his

Matthew (Matt) Capriotti, PhD is a Clinical Psychology Fellow in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Matt earned his doctoral degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2015. His work has focused on developing, testing, and disseminating effective psychosocial treatments for mental and behavioral health problems. He has researched and published extensively on behavioral interventions for Tourette syndrome, trichotillomania (hair-pulling disorder), and other obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders. Matt is currently working in research and clinical roles on a collaborative project between UCSF and San Francisco Unified School District, evaluating a novel approach to implementing evidence-based school services for youth with attention and behavior problems.

The PRIDE Study’s goals of identifying and ending health disparities for sexual and gender minority people align with Matt’s passion for bringing appropriate, accessible, and effective mental health services to all people. He is thrilled to be a part of this team.

Annesa Flentje, PhD Mental Health Lead
The PRIDE Study
Annesa Flentje, PhD
Mental Health Lead / The PRIDE Study
Pronouns: she, her, hers

Annesa Flentje, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the UCSF School of Nursing, Department of Community Health Systems. Annesa completed her PhD at the University of Montana and pre- and post-doctoral fellowships at UCSF. Annesa is a clinical psychologist who focuses on reducing health disparities among sexual and gender minority individuals. Her research has targeted multiple ways to reduce these disparities including prevention, increasing visibility of sexual and gender minorities in research and electronic health records, and improving mental health services for sexual and gender minorities. She recently completed a 3-year National Institute on Drug Abuse-funded fellowship at UCSF wherein she investigated specific substance abuse treatment needs of sexual and gender minority people. She is currently developing an individually delivered psychotherapeutic intervention to reduce sexual minority stress and is investigating this as a means to improve both health and mental health outcomes for sexual minorities. Annesa is funded through a K23 Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award from the National Institute on Drug Abuse investigating the underlying physiological pathways whereby stress and discrimination are related to deleterious health outcomes.

Annesa is thrilled to see The PRIDE Study come to fruition as a means to give voice to the physical and mental health needs of the diverse sexual and gender minority community.

Carolyn Hunt, MPA Co-Principal Investigator
PRIDEnet
Community Engagement Lead
PRIDEnet
Carolyn Hunt, MPA
Co-Principal Investigator / PRIDEnet
Community Engagement Lead / PRIDEnet
Pronouns: she, her, hers

Carolyn Hunt, MPA is delighted to combine her passions for supporting underserved communities, advocating for sexual and gender minority (SGM) health, and facilitating community research collaboration as part of the PRIDEnet team.

Most recently, Carolyn worked at the UCSF Center for AIDS Prevention Studies (CAPS) supporting HIV prevention community research collaboration and managing an STD intervention evaluation in San Francisco's gay community. She has worked in LGBTQ smoking cessation as an advisor to UCSF's iquit and as Community PI for QueerTIPS, one of the first evaluated cessation programs within the SGM community. Prior to working at UCSF, Carolyn directed the statewide LGBT Drug and Alcohol Technical Assistance Project based in Oakland.

Carolyn earned her BA from Carleton College with a self-designed major focused on disenfranchised communities and Spanish and her Masters in Public Administration from the University of Rhode Island. She received a Presidential Management Internship from the NIH where she tailored projects to her community engagement interests. She also received the national Uncommon Legacy Award for lesbian activists.

Carolyn looks forward to working with the PRIDEnet team to build more opportunities for deep and meaningful community engagement in health research.

Mitchell R. Lunn, MD Co-Director
The PRIDE Study
Principal Investigator
PRIDEnet
Mitchell R. Lunn, MD
Co-Director / The PRIDE Study
Principal Investigator / PRIDEnet
Pronouns: he, him, his

Mitchell (Mitch) R. Lunn, MD is an Assistant Professor in Division of Nephrology of the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).

Mitch is a long-standing advocate for sexual and gender minority (SGM) inclusion in research and higher education who lectures around the country on SGM medical education, SGM health, and SGM community engagement. He serves on the Advisory Committee for the Medical School Campus Pride Index, is a member of the American Society of Nephrology’s Diversity and Inclusion Work Group, and is a founding member of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Medical Education Research Group (LGBT MERG) at Stanford University School of Medicine. LGBT MERG’s study on SGM health-related content in medical school curricula has influenced individual institutions and national organizations to examine their policies, procedures, educational environments, and curricular content to improve the culture of academic medicine for SGM people. In recognition of his work, he received the 2015 UCSF Chancellor’s Award for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Leadership.

Mitch is delighted to be joining his passions of SGM health research, internal medicine, and medical education in The PRIDE Study and PRIDEnet. Other areas of active research and interest include use of emerging technologies in research, SGM institutional climate, and methods of evaluation, particularly in undergraduate and graduate medical education.

Mitch earned his Bachelor of Science degree with highest thesis honors from Tufts University in 2004 and his Doctor of Medicine degree from Stanford University School of Medicine in 2010 before completing internal medicine residency training at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (Boston, MA) in 2013 and nephrology fellowship at UCSF in 2016.

Juno Obedin-Maliver, MD, MPH Co-Director
The PRIDE Study
Co-Investigator
PRIDEnet
Juno Obedin-Maliver, MD, MPH
Co-Director / The PRIDE Study
Co-Investigator / PRIDEnet
Pronouns: she, her, hers

Juno Obedin-Maliver, MD, MPH is a Clinical and Research Fellow in Advanced Women’s Health with joint appointments at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Juno graduated from Stanford University School of Medicine in 2010. While at Stanford, Juno maintained a focus on promoting social justice in medicine. Juno was honored with The Kaiser Permanente eQuality Scholarship for service to the LGBTQ community as well as the Markowski Leach Memorial Scholarship for LGBT Activism & Leadership.

Combined with a strong focus on women’s health, Juno continued her dedication to advancing LGBT health initiatives while completing her clinical residency in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences at UCSF in 2014. While at UCSF, she has been honored with the San Francisco General Hospital Julius R. Krevans Award for Community Service and The UCSF Chancellor’s Award for GLBT Leadership. During her residency, Juno was active in health policy through helping to legally redefine consideration of sexually intimate partner status and remove the Medicare Non-Coverage Determination ruling on “transsexual surgery.”

Juno is enthusiastically combining her interests in research, advocacy, and medicine to design and conduct The PRIDE Study. Other areas of active clinical, research, and advocacy activities include the gynecological and obstetrical health of transgender men and women and the health of veterans.

Micah Lubensky, PHD Project Manager
The PRIDE Study/PRIDEnet
Micah Lubensky, PHD
Project Manager / The PRIDE Study/PRIDEnet
Pronouns: he, him, his

Micah Lubensky, PHD has always held a deep passion for and dedication to social justice for sexual and gender minority, racial/ethnic minority, and low-income communities. These passions helped motivate his graduate education at the University of California at Santa Cruz, and manifest his career as an applied social psychologist. After earning his doctorate, Micah spent almost 10 years at the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, managing HIV-prevention and holistic health promotion programming for Black/African-diasporic sexual and gender minorities in the San Francisco Bay Area. While there, he also contracted at the California STD/HIV Prevention Training Center as a national trainer of CDC HIV interventions for Black/African-diasporic gay and bisexual men, and provided technical assistance and capacity building assistance to organizations implementing those interventions. Most recently, Micah worked at the Global Forum on MSM & HIV (MSMGF), managing multi-million-dollar grant-funded programs focused on coordinating and synergizing efforts to support the HIV-related health and human rights programming for sexual and gender minorities in resource limited regions of the world. He also collaborated with MSMGF’s global team of young gay and bisexual men to provide strategic direction for the organization.

Micah Lubensky is excited to join the PRIDE team as The PRIDE Study/PRIDEnet Project Manager. The Project Manager position provides a unique opportunity for him to integrate his project management, community engagement and mobilization, and research skills to contribute to this project of immense potential.

Staff

Matthew Beld Research Assistant
The PRIDE Study
Matthew Beld
Research Assistant / The PRIDE Study
Pronouns: he, him, his

Matthew Beld is a Medical Student Program Coordinator in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). He supports student interest in women’s health and runs the UCSF/Kaiser Permanente Undergraduate Research Internship.

Matthew received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, San Diego. Since graduating, he has worked in higher education and has discovered a passion for clinical research and public health while employed at UCSF. His research interests include LGBTQ health disparities, geriatrics, and advocacy in medical education. He is interested in epidemiology and biostatistics, and is excited to help The PRIDE Study as it works toward improving the health of LGBTQ people nationwide.

Branden Barger Research Assistant
The PRIDE Study
Branden Barger
Research Assistant / The PRIDE Study
Pronouns: he, him, his

Branden Barger is a Graduate Student at UCSF in the Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics perusing a Master of Advanced Studies degree in Clinical Research. Over the course of his program, Branden is designing research in The PRIDE Study that intersects healthcare needs and LGBTQ community advocacy. Branden has spent time conducting community-based participatory research through the lens of the BDSM/kink community with UCSF's Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute and honing skills in biopsychosocial research analysis. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Health from UC Berkeley and has an academic background in study design and patient engagement within healthcare systems.

Since graduating, Branden has been working full-time as an HIV counselor in an Oakland,CA-based free healthcare center focusing on the prevention of HIV and other STDs among at-risk members of the queer community. From collaborative risk assessment building to increasing sexual health literacy and education, Branden has had a deep passion for bringing a broader understanding of public health into clinical care — work that encourages industry stakeholders, community participants, and healthcare providers to collectively contribute toward increased communication dynamics and better health outcomes.

Laura Duncan Research Assistant
The PRIDE Study
Laura Duncan
Research Assistant / The PRIDE Study
Pronouns: she, her, hers

Laura Duncan is a student in the Medical Scientist Training Program at UCSF pursuing joint MD/PhD in Medical Anthropology degrees. Her anthropology research focuses on the experiences of LGBT, queer, and gender-expansive communities within healthcare as well as techniques and theories of medical education. Before medical school, she served as a full-spectrum doula and researched stigma within treatment for opioid-dependence. She is excited to join The PRIDE Study as it works to transform medical research and care.

Oliver Guevarra Research Assistant
The PRIDE Study
Oliver Guevarra
Research Assistant / The PRIDE Study
Pronouns: he, him, his

Oliver Guevarra is a recent graduate from the University of California, Berkeley with a degree in Integrative Biology with a minor in Dance and Performance Studies. His interests include patient-physician communication and the intersection of identity and access to healthcare. Oliver's ultimate goal is to attend medical school and improve healthcare services for vulnerable populations. He is extremely grateful to be part of The PRIDE Study, as it aligns with his plan of making medicine more approachable for all.

Evie Kalmar, MD, MS Research Assistant
The PRIDE Study
Evie Kalmar, MD, MS
Research Assistant / The PRIDE Study
Pronouns: she, her, hers

Evie Kalmar, MD, MS is a third-year resident in the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Primary Care Internal Medicine Program. She has a diverse and dynamic set of interests, and is grateful for the opportunity to apply her energy to The PRIDE Study. She is a proud alumna of Bryn Mawr College and the University of California, Berkeley - UCSF Joint Medical Program.

Sophie Lieberman Research Assistant
The PRIDE Study
Sophie Lieberman
Research Assistant / The PRIDE Study
Pronouns: they, them, theirs

Sophie Lieberman grew up in San Francisco and graduated from Barnard College with a BA in neuroscience and behavior. In the two years before beginning medical school, they have been working in an immunology lab studying complications of bone marrow transplantation such as graft-versus-host disease. Sophie is excited to pursue a medical career with the goal of reducing health disparities among vulnerable populations.

Rowan Lowden Research Assistant
The PRIDE Study
Rowan Lowden
Research Assistant / The PRIDE Study
Pronouns: he, him, his or they, them, theirs

Rowan Lowden lives in New York City and works at a healthcare startup concentrating on improving the healthcare system by building preventative based, technology driven health insurance. He is a Mount Holyoke College graduate and Columbia University Public Health Scholar where he focused on health policy affecting trans and gender non-conforming inmates. He is excited to continue connecting his interests in public health, research, technology, and advocacy as he helps The PRIDE Study with various media-based projects.

Satyanand Satyanarayana, JD Mental Health Research Assistant
The PRIDE Study
Satyanand Satyanarayana, JD
Mental Health assistant / The PRIDE Study
Pronouns: he, him, his

Satyanand Satyanarayana, JD is a post-baccalaureate student in psychology at University of California, Berkeley. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School and was a litigator in San Francisco prior to entering the field of psychology. His research interests focus on class and minority statuses and their impact upon mental health. He is excited to be involved with the PRIDE Study and to improving our understanding of the mental health needs of sexual and gender minorities.

Leslie Suen, MD Research Assistant
The PRIDE Study
Leslie Suen, MD
Research Assistant / The PRIDE Study
Pronouns: she, her, hers

Leslie Suen, MD is an internal medicine resident at UCSF. Prior to medical school at UCSF, she worked for the San Francisco Department of Public Health and Tom Waddell Urban Health Clinic focusing on quality improvement projects for homeless, HIV-positive, and LGBTQ populations. Her research interests include improving health care systems and delivery for underserved urban populations as well as finding the best public rooftop park in the city. As a native San Franciscan, she is very excited to be a part of The PRIDE Study and is proud to have it jump start in her hometown.

Advisors

Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, PhD, MD, MAS
Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, PhD, MD, MAS
Advisor
Pronouns: she, her, hers

Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, PhD, MD, MAS is the Lee Goldman, MD Endowed Chair in Medicine and Professor of Medicine and of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. She is the Director of the UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations at San Francisco General Hospital, a Board Member of UCSF’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), Director of the CTSI Clinical and Translational Science Training (CTST) Program and a faculty member for its K Scholar Program. She is the PI of two collaborative center grants from the NIH/NIMHD - the Center for Health And Risk in Minority youth and adults (CHARM) addressing disparities in chronic disease in youth and young adults, and BUILD an infrastructure and training grant with San Francisco State University. She is also the joint PI of Bring It Down - an NIH/NINDS U54 research center addressing stroke prevention and stroke disparities in collaboration with Kaiser Permanente Northern California. A general internist at San Francisco General Hospital and faculty member in the Division of General Internal Medicine, Dr. Bibbins-Domingo has expertise in cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, and diabetes risk in young adults. Her work focuses on racial, ethnic and income differences in manifestations of chronic disease, the intersection of biological, behavioral, and environmental factors that influence risk, and effective clinical, public health, and policy interventions aimed at prevention. Dr. Bibbins-Domingo has interest in local, national, and global prevention efforts and has collaborated with investigators in Mexico, Argentina, Chile, and China. She has been a member of the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) since 2010 and is currently co-Vice Chair of the USPSTF. She is an inducted member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation.

Mark Pletcher, MD, MPH
Mark Pletcher, MD, MPH
Advisor
Pronouns: he, him, his

Mark Pletcher, MD, MPH is a Professor of Epidemiology & Biostatistics and of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). As an epidemiologist and a general internal medicine physician, his research is designed to inform clinical decision-making and policy. This work focuses on prevention of cardiovascular disease with particular interests in early life causes of atherosclerosis, primordial and primary coronary heart disease and stroke prevention, clinical decision-making regarding use of preventive medications (statins and anti-hypertensives), and screening for subclinical cardiovascular disease. He serves as a principal investigator for the Health eHeart Study, an online technology-enabled cardiovascular cohort study. Dr. Pletcher has specific expertise in study design, decision and cost-effectiveness analysis, risk prediction, and evaluating the clinical utility of biomarkers. He utilizes this expertise in his leading role with UCSF’s nationally recognized clinical research training programs by teaching clinical research methods as well mentoring students, fellows, and junior faculty members.

Jae Sevelius, PhD
Jae Sevelius, PhD
Advisor
Pronouns: she, her, hers

Jae Sevelius, PhD is a licensed clinical psychologist and Assistant Professor with the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies (CAPS) in the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Sevelius leads several research projects at the Center of Excellence for Transgender Health to promote increased access to culturally competent health care for transgender people. With funding from the National Institutes of Health and the California HIV/AIDS Research Program, Dr. Sevelius’ research is focused on leveraging data to develop culturally relevant, transgender–specific programs and interventions to promote holistic health and wellness among transgender people, with an emphasis on serving transgender women of color and those affected by HIV. Dr. Sevelius is currently conducting a pilot randomized controlled trial of ’Sheroes’, a sexual risk reduction and empowerment intervention developed in collaboration with and for transgender women of color (R34MH102109) with funding from NIMH. She is also developing an intervention for transgender women incarcerated in the San Francisco County Jail (R34DA038541) with funding from NIDA to increase engagement in health care upon reentry into the community. Additionally, Dr. Sevelius is Co-Investigator on several transgender-focused projects, including a national demonstration project testing interventions to engage and retain HIV+ transgender women of color in care (PI: G. Rebchook), and formative research with transgender women in Brazil (PI: S. Lippman).



With great appreciation, The PRIDE Study thanks its former team members for their contributions:
Seema Bhakta
Jeffrey Ferrell
Ariane Marcus
Ruth McFarlane

A Message from the Directors

Mitchell R. Lunn
My interest in LGBTQ health began in medical school when I became frustrated about how little we knew about the healthcare inequities LGBTQ people face. As an out gay man, I feel connected to LGBTQ populations with a sense of responsibility to improve the quality of the data available with the overarching goal to improve health. Our research showed that medical students are taught little about LGBTQ-related health, but new question arose: what are the LGBTQ-related health topics that must be taught to the physician workforce? That question requires notable evidence about the disparities, and these data are unavailable.

In 2011, the Institute of Medicine composed a report on LGBT health, which stated: “The relative lack of population-based data presents the greatest challenge to describing the health status and health-related needs of LGBT people.” That quote is particularly powerful to me and serves as a call to action! Unfortunately, sexual and gender minorities remain largely excluded from national demographic assessments, health studies, and clinical trials. Without long-term longitudinal studies, detailing the factors that influence health and disease in the LGBTQ populations will be challenging. But I believe that current scientific and sociopolitical environments are ripe for change!

The time is now for all LGBTQ people to come out for PRIDE! By doing so, we can get the data we need to improve health for everyone!

Juno Obedin-Maliver
I never intended to focus my time on LGBTQ health. But as an out lesbian, I knew that, regardless of what I did professionally, I needed to know how to take care of my friends and the members of my communities that I care so much about. I had lesbian friends who developed cervical cancer even though they “weren’t supposed to.” I had trans friends who were having kids even though medical science said they “couldn’t,” and I had gay friends who were more worried about their risk of heart disease than HIV but couldn’t get the information they needed. So, when the topic of LGBTQ health issues never came up in my medical training, I got fired up to start researching and advocating for LGBTQ health beyond my circle of friends.

But the more I looked, the more I found a lot of dangerous misinformation and unanswered questions. I found that LGBTQ people were categorized and stigmatized, but our experiences were never understood. Medical science seemed blind to the uniquely beautiful and challenging ways that LGBTQ people have navigated and created their lives.

It is time for us to be counted. It is time for medical science to understand our health so we get the care and services we need.

This is what The PRIDE Study is all about, a chance to put LGBTQ lives front and center so we can ask and answer the questions that matter to us.