The IMPACT Program was founded and is directed by Dr. Brian Mustanski. We conduct translational research on LGBT Health and Development. By “translational,” we mean that we seek to identify health issues, understand factors that put people at risk or protect them, and turn that knowledge into programs that advance the health of LGBT people and communities. “Translate” also means that we try to explain some of the fascinating but complicated language of science into lessons that everyone can benefit from. The study of LGBT development is also part of our mission. We seek to understand how sexual orientation and gender identity develop because we believe they are core parts of human identity and worthy of understanding. The IMPACT program actively collaborates with community based organizations. We feel privileged to have been awarded over $20 million in research funding from the National Institutes of Health and major foundations such as the William T Grant Foundation and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
The IMPACT Program is based in the Department of Medical Social Sciences (MSS) in the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University. The Department of Medical Social Sciences (MSS) provides a unique scientific home for applied researchers who integrate biomedical and social science approaches to improvement of health and health care delivery in diverse populations across the lifespan. Established in March, 2009 under the direction of Dr. David Cella, the department’s core scientific themes include measurement science, health information technology, applied qualitative and quantitative methods, mechanisms of health and disease, application of clinical interventions, and research with underserved and diverse populations.
Extensive community ties have been a hallmark of the IMPACT Program since its inception, and we’re now proud to begin a historic collaboration with the Center on Halsted. The Center on Halsted is the most comprehensive LGBT resource center in the Midwest and includes a large HIV testing program, a state-wide HIV/STD hotline, mental health serves, and a large and active youth program. The integration of the IMPACT Research Program within the Center facilitates the translation of research into practice, state-of-the art evaluation of practice, training of clinical-researchers in LGBT health, engagement of the LGBT community with research, and provides “on the ground” expertise to inform our research agenda and methods.