Skip to main content

Kirsty A. Clark

Assistant Professor of Medicine, Health, and Society
Assistant Professor of Public Policy Studies


Office Hours

Tuesdays, 11:30am-12:30pm in 339 Buttrick Hall, or virtually by appointment. Please email Dr. Clark to set up a virtual appointment.


PhD, University of California, Los Angeles
MPH, Yale School of Public Health
BA, University of Virginia


Dr. Kirsty A. Clark (she/her/hers) is a social and psychiatric epidemiologist. She serves as an Assistant Professor of Medicine, Health & Society and Public Policy Studies at Vanderbilt University and as a core faculty member in the Vanderbilt LGBT Policy Lab. Dr. Clark’s program of research focuses on examining mental health disparities, especially suicide, impacting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) populations and developing evidence-based interventions to disrupt the course of such disparities. Dr. Clark’s training background spans interdisciplinary fields of psychology, public health, and epidemiology, and her research profile reflects this interdisciplinary nature through robust qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-methods health disparities research projects. Dr. Clark is the PI of a National Institute of Mental Health Mentored Research Scientist Development Award (K01) which aims to use novel real-time assessment methods to capture associations between stigma-related stressors and suicidal ideation among LGBTQ+ adolescents.

Dr. Clark’s first-authored research has been published in high-impact journals such as JAMA Pediatrics, Social Science & Medicine, Archives of Sexual Behavior, Annals of Epidemiology, and Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity. Her research has been reported on by CNN, US News & World Report, Newsweek, and many other national and international outlets. Dr. Clark completed a PhD in Epidemiology at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, a Master of Public Health at Yale University, and a BA in Psychology at the University of Virginia. Additionally, she completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Yale LGBTQ Mental Health Initiative.


  • LGBTQ health
  • Health disparities
  • Mental health
  • Epidemiology
  • Public health

Representative Publications

Clark, K., Björkenstam, C., Kosidou, K. & Björkenstam, E. (2021) Psychological distress, suicidal ideation, and suicide attempt among lesbian, gay and bisexual immigrants: Population-based findings from the Stockholm Public Health Cohort. Archives of Sexual Behavior. Forthcoming.

Clark, K.A., Dougherty, L.R. & Pachankis, J.E. (2021) A Study of Parents of Sexual and Gender Minority Children: Linking Parental Reactions with Child Mental Health. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity.  

Clark, K.A., Cochran, S.D., Maiolatesi, A.M. & Pachankis, J.E. (2020) Prevalence of bullying among LGBTQ youth who died by suicide: A review of death records in the National Violent Death Reporting System, 2003-2017. JAMA Pediatrics.

Clark, K.A., Mays, V.M., Arah, O.A., Kheifets, L.I., & Cochran, S.D. (2020). Sexual orientation differences in lethal methods used in suicide: findings from the National Violent Death Reporting System. Archives of Suicide Research, 1-17.

Clark, K.A., Blosnich, J.R., Coulter, R.W., Bamwine, P., Bossarte, R.M., & Cochran, S. D. (2020). Sexual Orientation Differences in Gun Ownership and Beliefs About Gun Safety Policy, General Social Survey 2010–2016. Violence and Gender, 7(1), 6-10.

Clark, K.A., Mennies, R.J., Olino, T.M., Dougherty, L.R., & Pachankis, J.E. (2020). Parent versus child report of children’s sexual orientation: associations with psychiatric morbidity in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study. Annals of Epidemiology, 45, 1-4.