Nanette Gartrell, Williams Institute Visiting Distinguished Scholar

Nanette-Gartrell Nanette Gartrell, M.D., is a Williams Institute Visiting Distinguished Scholar. Dr. Gartrell also has a Guest Appointment at the University of Amsterdam, and she was previously on the faculty at Harvard Medical School and UCSF.  Dr. Gartrell graduated Stanford University (B.A., 1972) and University of California (M.D., 1976), and completed a psychiatric residency and fellowship at Harvard Medical School (1979).

Dr. Gartrell is the principal researcher of the US National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study (NLLFS), which since the 1980s, has been following and reporting on a cohort of planned lesbian families with children conceived through donor insemination. The NLLFS examines the social, psychological, and emotional development of the children as well as the dynamics of planned lesbian families. This is the longest-running and largest prospective investigation of lesbian mothers and their children in the United States. For more than a quarter century, this study has been providing information to specialists in healthcare, family services, adoption, foster care, sociology, feminist studies, education, ethics, same-sex marriage, civil union, and public policy on matters pertaining to LGBT families. The NLLFS was named one of the top 100 science stories of 2010 by Discover Magazine. In 2012, Dr. Gartrell’s work on this study was featured in a UCLA Today story, “Researcher sorts out fact from fallacy in groundbreaking study of lesbian families.” Dr. Gartrell has appeared on network television (including PBS, Good Morning America, CNN, NBC, CBS, and Fox News), and on public, talk, and Sirius satellite radio. Her articles have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the San Francisco Chronicle Magazine, the Ladies Home Journal, and the Christian Science Monitor.

In 2013, Dr. Gartrell was the recipient of the Association of Women Psychiatrists Presidential Commendation Award for her “selfless and enduring vision, leadership, wisdom, and mentorship in the fields of Women’s Mental Health, Ethics, and Gender Research.” In 2014, Dr. Gartrell received the Gay Lesbian Medical Association Achievement Award, and together with her spouse of 40 years, Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Dr. Dee Mosbacher, was awarded the Mathew O. Tobriner Public Service award from the Legal Aid Society, Employment Law Center.

Dr. Gartrell has a private psychiatry practice, and for 13 years she volunteered her psychiatric services to chronically mentally ill homeless people in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District. Among other honors, Dr. Gartrell has been a recipient of the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award of the Society for the Psychological Study of Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Issues (Division 44, American Psychological Association), and named “Researcher of the Year” by the UCSF Lesbian Health Research Center.

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