Current Projects

Gene expression outcomes in interventions for substance-using, HIV+ minority men​​​​​

Funding: National Institute on Drug Abuse & Center for AIDS Research, UCSF Gladstone Institute

Image description: White and black outlines depicting inflammatory cells (LabTV Educational Foundation)How does sexual minority stress get "under the skin"? This study examines the direct and indirect pathways (i.e., through stimulant use) whereby sexual minority stress (comprised of internalized stigma, concealment, experiences and expectations of discrimination, violence, or mistreatment) may be associated with gene expression and DNA methylation related to functional inflammatory processes among sexual minority men living with HIV who use substances.

Within The PRIDE Study:
The Biological Underpinnings Stress Among SGM People

Stress can change our behavior and the way our body works. Our goal is to learn more about the biological impact of minority stress and substance use, mental health, and changes in DNA methylation over time among LGBTQ+ people across the country.

The PRIDE Study

Mitchell Lunn & Juno Obedin-Maliver (Co-Directors), & Annesa Flentje (Associate Director and UCSF Site Director)

With over 18,000 participants currently enrolled, The PRIDE Study is a national, online, prospective, longitudinal cohort study that asks: How does being a sexual or gender minority influence physical, mental, and social health? Dr. Flentje is Associate Director of The PRIDE Study, leading the mental and social health portions of The PRIDE Study. Our lab also works on studies nested within The PRIDE Study; current topics of study include substance use and employment discrimination.



Within The PRIDE Study: Physical, Mental, & Social Impacts of the Novel Coronavirus on SGM People

The novel coronavirus (officially called SARS-CoV-2), which causes COVID-19 disease, has spread across the world and is now classified as a pandemic. This study will examine how the novel coronavirus has impacted LGBTQ+ communities including physical, mental, and social health impacts. It will also identify the emergence of symptoms of the novel coronavirus among LGBTQ+ people and will assess the experiences of health care interactions for those with respiratory illnesses.

The PRIDE Study

Ancillary Study: Trauma and Victimization Among Sexual and Gender Minority People

LGBTQ people often face discrimination and violence in their communities. This study will identify which LGBTQ communities are most at risk for discrimination and violence.

   1. Sexual Minorities
   2. LGBTQ+ People

Funding: National Institute on Drug Abuse & Lesbian Health Fund

Image description: Two people holding hands, one wearing a rainbow sweatband on their wrist.

AWARENESS is a new 9-session, 1-on-1 cognitive-behavioral intervention targeting sexual minority stress. We piloted and tested the intervention with sexual minority men living with HIV. Currently, we are piloting and testing the interventon with sexual minority women and LGBTQ+ people.