The Eidos LGBTQ+ Health Initiative is partnering with Gaingels, a venture capital company, for a $5 million project to support LGBTQ medical research and startups.
For the next five years, Gaingels will leverage Penn’s academic resources to help its portfolio companies impact the health and well-being of LGBTQ communities. The initiative is set to begin later this spring.
The Eidos LGBTQ+ Health Initiative at the School of Nursing began in 2022 with a $750 million investment from Penn to spark STEM research projects serving LGBTQ people. Eidos seeks to combine education, research, and economic strategies to generate solutions for real-world problems affecting LGBTQ communities.
Gaingels is an LGBTQ private investment company dedicated to investing in emerging companies that reflect its mission of promoting diversity and inclusion.
Jake Prigoff, a partner at Gaingels, believes that the partnership between Eidos and Gaingels is especially essential now since the growth in the amount of people that identify as LGBTQ is outpacing medical development.
"The percentage of people who identify as LGBTQ+ has doubled in the past decade, and yet they still remain severely underserved,” Prigoff said in a press release. "This transformative commitment by Eidos and the University of Pennsylvania allows innovative private sector enterprises to benefit from leading academic research to ensure scalable and effective means of improving the lives of LGBTQ+ people everywhere."
The 2020 National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine consensus report highlighted the relevancy of this partnership by prescribing LGTBQ communities with disproportionate likelihoods of enduring medical disparities compared to the general population.
José Bauermeister, founding faculty director of Eidos and a professor at the Nursing School, said that the partnership is important in ensuring that LGBTQ people receive the medical resources they need.
“This academic-industry partnership will help shorten the pipeline from discovery to social impact," Bauermeister told the Nursing School. "Often, great ideas are proposed by researchers and entrepreneurs, and yet there are limited opportunities for collaboration and synergy.”