Brittany Charlton
Secondary Faculty

Brittany Charlton

Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology


Other Positions

Associate Professor of Population Medicine

Population Medicine

Harvard Medical School

Harvard Catalyst Presenter

Clinical and Translational Science Center

Harvard Medical School


Dr. Brittany Charlton is an Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute in the Department of Population Medicine and at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in the Department of Epidemiology. She is also the Co-Director of the Harvard SOGIE (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression) Health Equity Research Collaborative and Adjunct Faculty at The Fenway Institute.

Dr. Charlton is known as a leading scholar documenting reproductive health disparities affecting sexual and gender minorities. The second focal area of her research is on contraception use and family planning among people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. Her research has sustained continuous funding for the last decade from the NIH and foundations including the American Cancer Society. She has been the Principal Investigator on 18 grants including her most recent NIH-funded R01 award focused on sexual orientation-related disparities in obstetrical and perinatal health. Additionally, she collaborates with colleagues across the globe on a host of large-scale studies. Dr. Charlton has published over 50 original research papers—more than 30 of which she has been the first or senior author—including in the BMJ, American Journal of Preventive Medicine, and American Journal of Public Health.

In addition to Dr. Charlton’s research program, she co-leads Harvard SOGIE—a 100+ member collaborative that brings together internationally-recognized experts from diverse disciplines whose research focuses on the intersections of sexual orientation, gender identity, and health. Dr. Charlton has also individually mentored more than 35 scholars including junior faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and trainees. She founded Harvard’s Postdoctoral Fellowship in LGBTQ Reproductive Health Disparities Research and she has been the primary mentor on NIH-funded career development awards. Dr. Charlton is the Course Director for a number of classes across Harvard in epidemiology and reproductive health research. In the realm of medical education, she helps to lead efforts with Harvard Medical School's Sexual and Gender Minority Health Equity Initiative—a multi-year enterprise to enhance the ability of medical school students and faculty to provide evidence-based care by integrating sexual and gender minority health content across the curriculum.

Dr. Charlton received her MSc and ScD from the Department of Epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

MSc, 05/2011, Epidemiology
Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA

ScD, 05/2014, Epidemiology
Harvard School of Public Health , Boston, MA



Contraceptive use varies across sexual orientation groups

A study that looked at contraceptive use across different sexual orientation groups in the U.S. found that lesbian women were less likely than heterosexual women to have ever used any method of contraception. The study also found that…