Postdoctoral Researcher Earns Competitive $1.4 Million Grant to Study Social Media’s Impact on LGBT People

César G. Escobar-Viera, a postdoctoral associate at the University of Pittsburgh Center for Research on Media, Technology and Health, received a $1.4 million competitive federal research grant to study whether social media connects and promotes acceptance among LGBT people or could fuel depression in that population.

“The odds are that the impact of social media use on gay, lesbian and bisexual people is not so black-and-white,” said Escobar-Viera, a native of Paraguay, where he previously served as chief medical officer of the country’s only public psychiatric hospital. “There is likely a middle ground where it brings some good with the bad, but we need to understand that in a quantifiable, scientific context because social media is with us for the foreseeable future. Instructing people to stay away from it is not practical and may not be particularly beneficial.”

The award comes from the National Institutes of Health’s Pathway to Independence program, which provides up to five years of support and mentoring for postdoctoral trainees. Read more at UPMC.