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Sari L. Reisner

Research Fellow

Department of Epidemiology

Kresge, Room 911
677 Huntington Ave
Boston, MA 02115

I am a Research Fellow in the Department of Epidemiology at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and an Associate Scientific Researcher in the Division of General Pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital/ Harvard Medical School (BCH/HMS). I am also Affiliated Research Scientist at The Fenway Institute at Fenway Health and part of the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) Working Group based at the Chan and BCH/HMS. Trained as a Social Epidemiologist, my global health research portfolio focuses on: (1) health disparities and inequities in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) populations, with a focus on local, national, and global transgender and gender nonconforming health; (2) the epidemiology of infectious diseases including HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in marginalized, underserved populations, with specialization in biobehavioral intervention design and development; (3) psychiatric epidemiology concentrating on mental health and substance use/abuse risks and resiliencies in adolescents and young adults. I use a participatory population perspective to work “with” not “on” communities in research, guided by community-based participatory research principles.


  • Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, Department of Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, 2013-2015
  • ScD, Department of Social & Behavioral Sciences, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, 2009-2013
  • MA, Brandeis University, 2004-2006
  • BA, Georgetown University, 1997-2001

Research Affiliations:

Currently Funded Domestic (U.S.) Projects:

  1. Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) CER-1403-12625: Reisner (PI) 12/01/2014-11/30/2016. PCORI: Preventive Sexual Health Screening Among Female-to-Male (FTM) Transgender Adult Patients. This project (Trans Masculine Sexual Health Collaborative) examines utilization of preventive sexual health screening in FTM transgender patients in Boston, MA. Using a mixed-methods design, a biobehavioral acceptability and feasibility study will be conducted of cervical cancer and STI preventive screening technologies, including self-swabs in this underserved patient population. Role: PI
  2. Harvard University Center for AIDS Research (HU CFAR): Reisner (PI) 03/05/2015-3/04/2016. HU CFAR: Adapting Couples Voluntary HIV Counseling and Testing (CVCT) for Transgender Women and Their Non-Transgender Male Sexual Partners. The goal of this study (Project LUST) is to culturally-adapt and pilot test CVCT for transgender women and their non-transgender male sexual partners. Role: PI
  3. NICHD U01 HD040533: Wilson (PI). Adolescent Trials Network (ATN) Protocol 130 Harper (Protocol Chair) 11/15/2014-11/14/2015. NICHD: Assessing the Engagement of Transgender and Other Gender Minority Youth Across the HIV Continuum of Care. This U.S. national study aims to assess the barriers to and facilitators of engagement in each stage of the continuum of HIV care for gender minority youth across 14 ATN sites. Utilizing a mixed methods design guided by a developmental socio-ecological framework, the study collects data from diverse transgender and other gender minority youth age 16-24 years of any HIV serostatus. Role: Protocol Vice-Chair
  4. R01 HD078526: Meyer (PI) 02/04/2015-02/03/2016. NICHD: Administrative Supplement to Identity Stress and Health in Three Cohorts of LGB Individuals. This administrative supplement conducts TransPOP, the first ever probability sample study of the U.S. transgender population. The aims are to describe: (a) demographic parameters of the U.S. transgender population; (b) health outcomes and behaviors; (c) experiences with interpersonal and institutional discrimination; (d) transgender identity history and transition experiences. Role: Co-I
  5. R01 MH094323-01A1: Garofalo & Mimiaga (MPIs) 06/13/2011-03/31/2016. NIMH: HIV Prevention Intervention for Young Transgender Women. The purpose of this study is to test the efficacy of a uniquely targeted group-based empowerment-focused HIV risk reduction intervention (“LifeSkills”) for young transgender women, ages 16 to 29 years in Chicago IL and Boston MA, at risk for HIV acquisition or transmission. Role: Co-I
  6. R01 MH094323-01A1: Garofalo & Mimiaga (MPIs). Reisner (PI of administrative supplement) 06/02/2014-03/31/2016. NIMH: Administrative Supplement to HIV Prevention Intervention for Young Transgender Women. This administrative supplement aims to adapt and pilot test a sexual risk reduction intervention (“LifeSkills for Men”) with young transgender men who have sex with cisgender males (TMSM) ages 18 to 29 years in the Boston area at risk for HIV acquisition or transmission. Role: PI of administrative supplement

Currently Funded Global Health Projects:

  1. R34 MH104072: Clark, Mimiaga, Reisner (MPIs) 04/01/2014-03/31/2016. NIMH: TransPrEP: Social Network-Based PrEP Adherence Intervention for Transgender Women in Peru. The purpose of this study is to develop and pilot test a social network-based intervention to promote pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) adherence among transgender women in Peru. Role: MPI
  2. amFAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research Grant #109071-57-HGMM: Llama (PI) 12/01/2014-11/30/2017. amFAR: Gender-Affirmative Transgender Care to Improve the HIV Treatment Cascade in Transgender Women in Peru. The aim of this study is to improve the HIV treatment cascade among transgender women in Peru via an innovative implementation science service delivery model that integrates HIV prevention and treatment services with gender-affirming transgender medical care (including feminizing hormones) supported by peer health navigation. Role: Site PI

Selected Peer-Reviewed Publications (out of 80+):

Reisner, S.L., Vetters, R., Leclerc, M., Zaslow, S., Wolfrum, S., Shumer, D., Mimiaga, M.J. (2015). Mental health of transgender youth in care at an adolescent urban community health center: A matched retrospective cohort study. Journal of Adolescent Health, 56(3), 274-279. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2014.10.264

Reisner, S.L., Hughto White, J.M., Dunham, E.E., Heflin, K.J., Begenyi, J.B., Coffey-Esquivel, J., Cahill, S. (2015). Legal protections in public accommodations settings: A critical public health issue for transgender and gender non-conforming people. Milbank Quarterly, 93(3), 484-515. doi: 10.111/1468-0009.12127

Reisner, S.L., Bradford, J., Hopwood, R., Gonzalez, A., Makadon, H., Todisco, D., Cavanaugh, T., VanDerwarker, R., Grasso, C., Zaslow, S., Boswell, S.L., Mayer, K. (2015). Comprehensive transgender healthcare: The gender affirming clinical and public health model of Fenway Health. Journal of Urban Health, 92(3), 584-592. doi: 10.1007/s11524-015-9947-2

Reisner, S.L., Greytak, A., Parsons, J.P., Ybarra, M. (2015). Gender minority social stress in adolescence: Disparities in adolescent bullying and substance use by gender identity. Journal of Sex Research, 52(3), 243-256. doi: 10.1080/00224499.2014.886321

Reisner, S.L., Conron, K.J., Anatale-Tardiff, L., Jarvi, S., Gordon, A.R., Austin, S.B. (2014). Monitoring the health of transgender and other gender minority populations: Validity of natal sex and gender identity survey items in a U.S. national cohort of young adults. BMC Public Health, 14, 1224. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-14-1224

Reisner, S.L., Biello, K., Rosenberger, J.G., Austin, S.B., Haneuse, S., Perez-Brumer, A., Novak, D.S., Mimiaga, M.J. (2014). A two-step method to measure transgender identity in Latin America/the Caribbean, Portugal, and Spain. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 43(8):1503-14. doi: 1007/s10508-014-0314-2

Peitzmeier, S.M., Khullar, K., Reisner, S.L., Potter, J. (2014). Pap test use is lower among female-to-male patients than non-transgender women. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 47(6), 808-812. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2014.07.031

Reisner, S.L., Bailey, Z., Sevelius, J. (2014). Racial/Ethnic disparities in history of incarceration, experiences of victimization, and associated health indicators among transgender women in the U.S. Women and Health, 54(8), 750-769.doi: 10.1080/03630242.2014.93289

Oldenburg, C.E., Perez-Brumer, A.G., Reisner, S.L., Mattie, J., Mayer, K.H., Mimiaga, M.J. (2014). Global burden of HIV among men who engage in transactional sex: A systematic review and meta-analysis. PLOS ONE, 9(7), e103549. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0103549

Reisner, S.L., White, J.M., Bradford, J., Mimiaga, M.J. (2014). Transgender health disparities: Comparing full cohort and nested matched-pair study designs in a community health center. LGBT Health, 1(3), 177-184. doi: 10.1089/lgbt.2014.0009

Reisner, S.L., Conron, K.J., Scout, Nfn., Mimiaga, M.J., Haneuse, S., Austin, S.B. (2014). Comparing in-person and online survey respondents in the U.S. National Transgender Discrimination Survey: Implications for transgender health research. LGBT Health, 1(2), 98-106. doi:10.1089/lgbt.2013.0018

Reisner, S.L., Gamarel, K.E., Nemoto, T., Operario D. (2014). Dyadic effects of gender minority stressors in substance use behaviors among transgender women and their non-transgender male partners. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, 1(1), 63-71. doi: 10.1037/0000013

Conron, K.J., Landers, S.J., Reisner, S.L., Sell, R.L. (2014). Sex and gender in the US health surveillance system: A call to action. American Journal of Public Health, 104(6), 970-976. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2013.301831

Reisner, S.L., Van Wagenen, A., Gordon, A., Calzo, J.P. (2014). Disparities in safety belt use by sexual orientation identity among US high school students. American Journal of Public Health, 104(2), 311-318. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2013.301745

Poteat, T., Reisner, S.L., Radix, A. (2014). HIV epidemics among transgender women. Current Opinion HIV/AIDS, 9(2), 168-173. doi: 10.1097/COH.0000000000000030

Rosario, M., Reisner, S.L., Corliss, H.L., Wypij, D., Frazier, A.L., Austin, S.B. (2013). Disparities in depressive distress by sexual orientation in emerging adults: The roles of attachment and stress paradigms. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 43(5), 901-916. doi: 10.1007/s10508-013-0129-6

Reisner, S.L., Gamarel, K.E., Dunham, E., Hopwood, R., Hwahng, S. (2013). Female-to-male transmasculine adult health: A mixed-methods community-based needs assessment. Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association, 19(5), 293-303. doi: 10.117/10783903500693

Mimiaga, M.J., Reisner, S.L., Grasso, C., Crane, H.M., Safren, S.A., Kitahata, M.M., Schumacher, J.E., Mathews, W.C., Mayer, K.H. (2013). Substance use among HIV-infected patients engaged in primary care in the United States: Findings from the Center for AIDS Research Network of Integrated Clinical Systems cohort. American Journal of Public Health, 103(8), 1457-1467. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2012.301162

Reisner, S.L., Falb K.L., Van Wagenen, A.V., Grasso, C., Bradford, J. (2013). Sexual orientation disparities in substance misuse: The role of childhood abuse and intimate partner violence among patients in care at an urban community health center. Substance Use & Misuse, 48(3), 274-289. doi: 10.3109/10826084.2012.75570

Reisner, S.L., Mimiaga, M., Bland, S.E., Driscoll, M.A., Cranston, K., Mayer, K.H. (2012). Pathways to embodiment of HIV risk: Black men who have sex with transgender partners, Boston, Massachusetts. AIDS Education and Prevention, 24(1), 15-26. doi: 10.1521/aeap.2012.24.1.15

Reisner, S.L., Falb, K.L., Mimiaga, M.J. (2011). Early life traumatic stressors and the mediating role of PTSD in incident HIV infection among US men, comparisons by sexual orientation and race/ethnicity: Results from the NESARC, 2004-2005. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, 57(4), 340-350. doi: 10.1097/QAI.0b013e31821d36b4

Reisner, S.L., Perkovich, B., Mimiaga, M.J. (2010). A mixed methods study of the sexual health needs of New England transmen who have sex with nontransgender men. AIDS Patient Care STDs, 24(8), 501-513. doi: 10.1089/apc.2010.0059

Reisner, S.L., Mimiaga, M.J., Johnson, C.V., Bland, S., Case, P., Safren, S.A., Mayer, K.H. (2010). What makes a respondent-driven sampling “seed” productive? Example of finding at-risk Massachusetts men who have sex with men.  Journal of Urban Health, 87(3), 467-479. doi: 10.1007/s11524-010-9439-3

Mentorship Opportunities:

Interested in finding out about available LGBT health Internships, Research Assistants, or Postdoc positions with me? Please email members of my team to learn more!