There is an enormous unmet need for research in transgender health and medicine. Transgender people experience systemic health disparities. An obstacle to growth of our understanding of the health care needs of transgender people, and our ability to effectively promote transgender health, is the lack of opportunities for interdisciplinary scientists to meet and exchange ideas about the key issues and methodological challenges in advancing scientific knowledge and evidence-based prevention and care for transgender people. The scientific meeting on research in transgender health and medicine research organized by TransNet, a newly established consortium of researchers focusing on transgender health and medical research, will fill this gap. To be held in the spring of 2015 at a suitable Washington, DC area venue, the scientific meeting will draw together a diverse national group of experts and promising new scientists to advance the state of the science in the study of transgender health and medicine. The meeting core objectives will be to 1) further develop a productive transgender health and medicine research consortium that would become a national forum for an evolving comprehensive research agenda in transgender health, as well as a mechanism for interdisciplinary collaboration in research on cross-sex hormone therapies, surgical interventions, STI/HIV prevention, and trans-appropriate primary and mental health care; 2) develop new research methodologies effective in conducting clinical research with transgender people, a stigmatized, vulnerable, and underserved population; 3) develop and use of standardized approaches to data collection, management, and analysis across a variety of clinical and non-clinical settings; and 4) incorporate community engagement in the research process within the structure and function of the consortium, including transgender community advisory representatives, LGBT community health centers, and community engagement procedures throughout the research process. In response to ongoing advances in the field, an Organizing Committee will select key topics to be addressed at the meeting by the invited speakers and meeting participants. Areas of focus for the spring 2015 meeting include health disparities; gender identity development across the lifespan; clinical management of gender nonconforming children and adolescents; the safety and efficacy of transgender hormone regimens; innovative research methods; and opportunities for collaboration. The format of the proposed spring 2015 meeting includes scientific presentations by invited speakers, presentations of work in progress from leader investigators in transgender health, discussions of methodological problems and solutions, and working group breakout sessions to prioritize a research agenda in transgender health and medicine. Meeting participants will include researchers and clinicians representing the breadth of transgender health and medical research.
The proposed scientific meeting will contribute to an understanding of the medical, behavioral and social science aspects of transgender health, and serve as a forum to develop a plan for transgender health and medical research across the life continuum. The meeting will develop needed methodologies to engage in scientifically rigorous health research relevant to the transgender patients and their care. This meeting will also provide a prioritization of and agenda for future research in transgender health and medicine. CRITIQUE NOTE: The sections that follow are the essentially unedited, verbatim comments of the reviewers assigned to this application. They are provided to illustrate the range of opinions expressed. The application was discussed and scored by all reviewers present. The attached commentaries may not necessarily reflect the position of the reviewers at the close of group discussion, nor the final majority opinion of the group.
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