Newswise — Silenzio received his MD from Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and his MPH from Rutgers School of Public Health. His graduate work focused on cross-cultural variation in models of HIV prevention and clinical care. He completed a residency and fellowship training in family medicine at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, where he continued his research work on LGBTQ community health. Dr. Silenzio served as a founding member of the Center for LGBT Health at Columbia. He and his colleagues produced a white paper on LGBT Health for the Department of Health and Human Services, which eventually led to the first companion document on LGBT health to be included in the Healthy People 2010 report.
Silenzio’s current work focuses on the use of social media and other sources of big data for LGBTQ mental health and wellbeing research, with a particular focus on suicide prevention research. Over the past decade, he has been collaborating on research and training projects in Mongolia, Philippines, China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Indonesia, Myanmar, and South Africa, focusing on technology innovation in addressing global health challenges, especially in the areas of mental health and HIV/AIDS. He is the author of over 50 peer-reviewed papers, has presented widely, and served as the editor of the Journal of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association (GLMA) - co-editing the two-volume GLMA Handbook of LGBT Health, which was published this past June.
“The School is honored to welcome Dr. Silenzio,” said Perry N. Halkitis, dean of the Rutgers School of Public Health. “Dr. Silenzio’s research with and for all parts of the LGBTQ population is critical. As noted by the 2011 National Academy of Medicine Report, the population has been underserved in healthcare for too long. The health of the LGBTQ population continues to be undermined through laws, polices, and the rise of hate crimes, including homicide, against the community. Dr. Silenzio’s work builds upon our ongoing commitment to all populations, especially those that are marginalized, harassed, and victimized because of any aspect of their identities. He will help advance the stellar scholarship and research we have undertaken with a commitment to social justice and health equity.”
“The department of urban-global public health looks forward to welcoming Dr. Silenzio and his global health and LGBTQ expertise to our department,” said Leslie Kantor, chair of the department of urban-global public health. “Dr. Silenzio’s expertise will be invaluable to our students, department, and School as well as to the broader community with which we partner closely.”
“I’m excited to come back to Rutgers after many years of working in Philadelphia, New York, and Rochester,” said Silenzio. “I was one of the first graduates of the MD/MPH program, and that prepared me well for the work I went on to do. That says a lot about the program and why I’m so committed to continuing the School’s growth. I am proud to be able to help train the next generations of public health practitioners and researchers who will be the recognized leaders of these efforts, and I am very proud of Rutgers, my alma mater, for taking the lead in creating the LGBTQ health program and for its role in exploring the intersection of urban and global public health.”
“As a practicing physician who has ‘walked the walk’ for many years in caring for people and families representing all colors of the LGBTQ+ rainbow, I’ve seen first-hand the challenges in addressing the effects of prejudice, discrimination, and outright violence directed at members of these communities. Despite all the progress we’ve seen, events in recent years have underscored how this is still just as true here in the U.S. as it is around the globe. Whether it’s a nightclub in Orlando or a prison in Chechnya, or any of the far too many other examples, it is clear that we have a lot of work to do,” concluded Silenzio.
Silenzio joins the Rutgers School of Public Health from the University of Rochester where he currently holds appointments as an associate professor in the departments of psychiatry, public health sciences, and family medicine, and has been a core collaborator within the Goergen Institute for Data Science.
The Rutgers School of Public Health is New Jersey’s only accredited school of public health that seeks to improve health and prevent disease in diverse populations in New Jersey and around the world through educating students to become well-qualified and effective public health leaders, researchers, and practitioners; conducting research to advance public health science and policies; and providing service programs that promote population and individual health. Visit us at https://sph.rutgers.edu and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn to learn how we're "keeping the ‘public’ in public health.”