Ethan Cicero, PhD, RN is an Assistant Professor, tenure track, in the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Future of Nursing Scholar, and in 2022 they were named a Butler-Williams Scholar. Prior to joining Emory in August 2020, Dr. Cicero completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in the Biobehavioral Research Training in Symptom Science Program at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Nursing. He earned a PhD from the Duke University School of Nursing in 2018 and a BS in Nursing with Highest Honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2014. Dr. Cicero’s research centers on the health and well-being of transgender, nonbinary, and gender diverse adults, with a particular interest in methods used to promote healthy aging among these communities.

Areas of Expertise

Transgender Non Binary And Gender Diverse Adult Health
Marginalized And Minoritized Communities
Brain Health
Health Disparities
Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias
Neurocognitive Disease
Public Health Nursing
Symptom Science


Cicero, E. C., Lett, E., Flatt, J. D., Benson, G. P., & Epps, F. (2023). Transgender adults from minoritized ethnoracial groups in the U.S. report greater subjective cognitive decline. The Journals of Gerontology: Series B. https://doi.org/10.1093/geronb/gbad012

Cicero, E. C., Lunn, M. R., Obedin-Maliver, J., Sunder, G., Lubensky, M. E., Capriotti, M. R., & Flentje, A. (2022). Acceptability of biospecimen collection among sexual and gender minority adults in the United States. Annals of LGBTQ Public and Population Health. (in press)

Anderson Joel, G., Flatt Jason, D., Cicero, E. C., Kittle, K., Myers Carole, R., Rose Karen, M., & Wharton, W. (2022). Inclusive Care Practices and Policies Among Sexual and Gender Minority Older Adults. Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 48(12), 6-15. https://doi.org/10.3928/00989134-20221107-03

Flatt, J. D., Cicero, E. C., Kittle, K. R., Brennan-Ing, M., Anderson, J. G., Wharton, W., & Hughes, T.L. (2022) Advancing gerontological health research with sexual and gender minorities across the globe. Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 48(4), 13–20. https://doi.org/10.3928/00989134-20220304-03

Flatt, J. D., Cicero, E. C., Kittle, K. R., & Brennan-Ing, M. (2021). Recommendations for advancing research with sexual and gender minority older adults. The Journals of Gerontology: Series B, gbab127. https://doi.org/10.1093/geronb/gbab127

Bonds Johnson, K., Brewster, G. S., Cicero, E. C., Hepburn, K., Clevenger, C. K., Daniel, G., Pak, V., Paul, S., & Epps, F. (2021). Promoting Caregiver Mastery in Black American Dementia Caregivers. The Gerontologist. https://doi.org/10.1093/geront/gnab147

Flatt, J. D., Cicero, E. C., Lambrou, N. H., Wharton, W., Anderson, J. G., Bouldin, E. D., McGuire, L. C., & Taylor, C. A. (2021). Subjective cognitive decline higher among sexual and gender minorities in the United States, 2015–2018. Alzheimer's & Dementia: Translational Research & Clinical Interventions, 7(1), e12197. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1002/trc2.12197

Flentje, A., Clark, K. D., Cicero, E., Capriotti, M. R., Lubensky, M. E., Sauceda, J., Neilands, T. B., Lunn, M. R., & Obedin-Maliver, J. (2021). Minority Stress, Structural Stigma, and Physical Health Among Sexual and Gender Minority Individuals: Examining the Relative Strength of the Relationships. Annals of Behavioral Medicine. https://doi.org/10.1093/abm/kaab051

De Santis, J. P., Cintulova, M., Provencio-Vasquez, E., Rodriguez, A. E., & Cicero, E. C. (2020). Transgender women's satisfaction with healthcare services: A mixed-methods pilot study. Perspectives in Psychiatric Care, 1-13. https://doi.org/10.1111/ppc.12514

Cicero, E. C., Reisner, S.L., Merwin E., Humphreys, J.C., & Silva, S. G. (2020). The health status of transgender and gender nonbinary adults in the United States. PLoS ONE 15(2): e0228765. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0228765

Cicero, E. C., Reisner, S. L., Merwin, E. I., Humphreys, J. C., & Silva, S. G. (2020, Published ahead of print). Application of Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System sampling weights to transgender health measurement. Nursing Research, 69(4), 307-315. https://doi.org/10.1097/NNR.0000000000000428.

Alpert, A., & Cicero, E. (2020). Removing barriers to health care for transgender people with and without cancer. Ethics, Medicine and Public Health, 13, 100468. doi.org/10.1016/j.jemep.2020.100468

Bell, L.M., Brennan-Cook, J., Sisson, J., Steigerwald, M., Cook, C., Cicero, E. C., Cary, M.P. (2019) Learning about culturally humble care of sexual and gender minority patients. Teaching and Learning in Nursing. 14(3), 216-218. doi.org/10.1016/j.teln.2019.04.006

Cicero, E. C., Reisner, S. L., Silva, S. G., Merwin, E. I., & Humphreys, J. C. (2019). Health care experiences of transgender adults: An integrated mixed research literature review. Advances in Nursing Science. doi:10.1097/ans.0000000000000256. PMID: 30839332

Muckler, V. C., Leonard, R., & Cicero, E. C. (2019). Transgender simulation scenario pilot project. Clinical Simulation in Nursing, 26, 44-48. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecns.2018.10.007

Cicero, E. C., & Wesp, L. M. (2017). Supporting the health and well-being of transgender students. The Journal of School Nursing, 33(2), 95-108. https://doi.org/10.1177/1059840516689705. PMID: 28103750 [Featured article]

Cicero, E. C., & Black, B. P. (2015). “I was a spectacle…a freak show at the circus”: A transgender person’s ED experience and implications for nursing practice. Journal of Emergency Nursing. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jen.2015.08.012. PMID: 26429229


  • Evolution of Nursing Science (NRSG 700)


Dr. Cicero’s program of research is focused on evaluating the interrelationship between social inequities and the effects of adverse and affirming social conditions on the health and well-being of transgender, non-binary, and other gender diverse adults, with a particular interest in promoting healthy aging and reducing the risk for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

His scholarly work, supported by the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of Nursing Research, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, has led to national and international attention with media outlets like CBS News, Huffington Post, and Hospitals & Health Networks; served as scientific evidence in multiple U.S. Supreme Court cases; and shaped the position statements of several professional nursing organizations. Dr. Cicero has influenced the incorporation of transgender health-related topics into the curriculum of multiple schools of nursing, and he has presented on the topic at international and national nursing and research conferences.


  • Trailblazer, Duke University School of Nursing (2022)
  • Butler-Williams Scholar, National Institute on Aging (2022)
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Future of Nursing Scholar Postdoctoral Fellowship Research Award (2018-2020)
  • Duke University School of Nursing Commencement student speaker (2018)
  • The Health Status of Gender Minorities (F31NR017115), National Institute of Nursing Research (2017-2018)
  • World Professional Association for Transgender Health Student Initiative Grant awardee (2017)
  • Named a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Future of Nursing Scholar (2015)
  • Best Undergraduate Work in Sexuality Studies. University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Program in Sexuality Studies (2014)
  • Highest Honors Distinction. University of North Carolina,  Chapel Hill (2014)
  • Chancellor’s Award. The Robert B. House Distinguished Service Award, The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (2014)Pauline W. Brown Diversity Scholarship Award. The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, School of Nursing (2014)