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David Frost ’03

Researching LGBT discrimination and its effect on physical and mental health.

For some, the senior-project experience ignites an undeniable passion for scientific study and the possibility of answering big questions. For David Frost ’03 (psychology major, anthropology minor), his senior project formed the basis for research interests that continue today. 

Frost, an assistant professor of population and family health at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, had a definitive experience conducting his senior-project research. He surveyed lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals to discover connections between the discrimination and prejudice they experienced in high school and the impact those experiences had on academic outcomes.

To obtain a large, geographically diverse sample, he used Internet survey methods, an emerging technology at the time, to include people beyond the New York metropolitan area.

His senior project was essentially the first study in a longer line of research he continues today, which focuses on the physical- and mental-health outcomes of prejudice and discrimination experienced by LGBT individuals and couples.

Frost is a highly accomplished researcher currently working on three large-scale projects funded by the National Institutes of Health with teams of collaborators at several universities—some of whom are senior investigators he once cited as sources in his senior project.