Travis Salway

Assistant Professor

Faculty of Health Sciences

Travis Salway

Assistant Professor

Faculty of Health Sciences

Areas of interest

Social epidemiology, sexual and gender minority (2SLGBTQ) populations, sexual health, mental health, suicide


  • B.A. in Social Welfare, University of California, Berkeley
  • M.Sc. in Epidemiology, McGill University
  • Ph.D. in Epidemiology, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto


Dr. Salway is a social epidemiologist whose research investigates population health inequities in the context of stigma. He joined SFU Faculty of Health Sciences in 2019, coming with 18 years of experience working with sexual minority (lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer) communities to inform and improve public health interventions.

Dr. Salway’s research has resulted in an improved understanding of patterns and causes of mental health outcomes among sexual minority populations. In 2019, he presented this research to the Canadian House of Commons Standing Committee on Health, in the context of their historic study on LGBTQ2 Health in Canada. Dr. Salway is the co-founder and facilitator of The Roundtable: BC’s LGBTQ2S Mental Health & Substance Use Networking Space. He is a Michael Smith Scholar (2019-2024) and an Affiliated Researcher/Faculty at the BC Centre for Disease Control, the Centre for Gender and Sexual Health Equity, and the Community-Based Research Centre.

Research interests

Dr. Salway maintains three active areas of research related to stigma and health.

1) Population health inequities in the context of social stigma: Dr. Salway uses a broad range of approaches (including epidemiology, qualitative research, and mixed methods) to understand how and why some socially-defined populations (e.g., sexual minority people) experience multiple, co-occurring and avoidable health disparities. Much of this research focuses on mental (e.g., suicide, anxiety) and sexual health outcomes.

2) Social epidemiologic methods in the context of stigma: In addition to causing ill health, social stigma challenges the ways in which we accurately sample and measure stigmatized populations. Thus, Dr. Salway investigates how to characterize and correct for selection and information biases in socially relevant health research.

3) Tailored and equity-informed public health service: One consequence of stigma and stress processes is that socially stigmatized individuals may avoid, delay, or conceal information during healthcare encounters and thereby miss opportunities for early/preventive mental healthcare. Dr. Salway therefore works with public health and community partners to describe how public health settings (e.g., sexual health clinics) can address unmet healthcare needs of sexual minority clients. This research additionally explores the co-occurrence and interaction of sexual and mental health among sexual health service clients.

Teaching interests

  • Epidemiology
  • Social epidemiology
  • Mixed methods
  • Social determinants of health