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The RISE Research Lab is the lab of Dr. Kimberly Balsam and her graduate student advisees in the Psychology Department at Palo Alto University. This lab is focused broadly on conducting empirical research to advance our knowledge of the psychology of diverse sexual and gender minority people.  The lab takes an intersectional, social justice perspective on understanding the role of identities, power, and privilege in the psychological experiences of LGBTQ+ people and on using the tools of research to design and evaluate strategies to address health disparities and promote well-being.


Our research includes both qualitative and quantitative methods. Particular areas of interest include developing questionnaire measures to assess LGBTQ+-specific constructs, training providers in culturally competent practice, mental and physical health concerns of LGBTQ+ adults, identifying factors and processes that contribute to health disparities between LGBTQ+ and heterosexual/cisgender populations, understanding trauma and minority stress experiences of diverse LGBTQ+ people, unique stressors and resilience factors among LGBTQ+ people of color, LGBTQ+ relationship issues, and developing strategies to promote health and well-being among LGBTQ+ people and communities. We are also conducting several studies to critically examine gender identity and gender roles. 


Students and postdoctoral fellows who participate in this lab have the opportunity to engage in research projects at all phases, including developing hypotheses, writing grants, translating research questions into research designs, developing human subjects proposals, developing surveys and interview guides, recruiting and engaging with research subjects, conducting focus groups, collecting data, managing databases, conducting statistical analyses, and preparing presentations and manuscripts based on results. Research is conducted collaboratively, with multi-level mentoring and support tailored to a student’s specific interests and career goals.

RISE Lab June 2021.jpg

L to R Standing: Em Matsuno, Michael Richards, Roger Mohr, Predair Robinson, Kimberly Balsam, Kiet Huynh, Kaila Young, Alexis Garcia, Molly Fagan

L to R Seated: Jasmine Mueller-Hsia, Max Hart, Nat Bricker

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