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Vanessa Fabbre

​Assistant Professor
​PhD, University of Chicago

Phone: (314) 935 - 6812



Research interests:

​Aging and the Life Course
Health and Mental Health
Gender and Sexuality
Interpretive Methodology


Vanessa Fabbre, PhD, LCSW, is an Assistant Professor at the Brown School and Affiliate Faculty in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Washington University in St. Louis.  She received her PhD from the University of Chicago where her dissertation, Gender Transitions in Later Life, explored issues of gender, identity and aging. Prior to completing her doctoral studies, she served as the Coordinator of Older Adult Programs at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago and as a volunteer psychotherapist at the Center on Halsted, the Midwest’s largest LGBTQ community center.  

Fabbre’s research explores the conditions under which LGBTQ people age well, and what this means in the context of structural forces such as heteronormativity, heterosexism and transphobia. Her research is positioned at the intersection of LGBTQ issues and gerontology, and it highlights transgender and queer perspectives on aging and the life course. Fabbre’s research has been published in the Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, The Gerontologist, the Journal of Gerontological Social Work, and the Journal of Urban Health. Her current projects include a multi-site case study of senior housing developments geared toward LGBTQ older adults, as well as an interdisciplinary photography and interview project on transgender aging.

Fabbre is actively involved in the Gerontological Society of America and currently serves as a co-convener of the Rainbow Research Group, a formal interest group of the society. She is co-chair of the Aging Services and Gerontology conference cluster for the Society for Social Work Research and serves on the Membership Committee for the American Society on Aging. At the Brown School she teaches courses in social justice and human diversity, direct social work practice with older adults, social, economic and political environment, and qualitative research methods.

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