Dalmacio Dennis Flores, PhD, ACRN, FAAN

Assistant Professor of Nursing

With an awareness of the personal and contextual factors that increase sexual and gender diverse individuals’ vulnerability for HIV/STI infection and poor care-related outcomes, the first study Dr. Flores led investigated the conditions that contributed to the recent HIV infection of young gay men in Atlanta.

That study has fueled his subsequent HIV/STI prevention work that includes both urban and rural community education, being a national spokesperson for HIV testing campaigns, and workforce development with around 1400 nurses across three continents. His commitment to HIV/AIDS care and nursing leadership throughout his career includes serving in various leadership roles for the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care.

Nurses across a variety of care settings have a tremendous capacity to positively impact the health of sexual minority youth and their families. My work at Penn Nursing is focused on formulating an array of sexuality-inclusive interventions that will result in better family dynamics to minimize sexual minority youth’s risks for adverse health outcomes. By focusing on assisting parents and sexual minority youth form risk-averse behaviors during childhood and adolescence, we will be able to make a dent in addressing the health disparities associated with this population.


  • PhD, Duke University, 2016
  • MSN, Emory University, 2012
  • BSN, Kennesaw State University, 2006

Social Justice

Dr. Flores’ research is focused on articulating the family’s role as a proximal sexuality and mental health resource for adolescents who identify as LGBTQ+. This youth population has disproportionately been affected by HIV/STI infections, suicidality, depression, and a host of other negative health outcomes. His team’s work at Penn Nursing is rooted in the commitment that, to eliminate these longstanding health issues, parents and the institutions they routinely interface with (e.g. schools, healthcare, local government) can effectively provide inclusive health education tailored to youths’ emerging attractions, behaviors, and/or sexual and gender identities. Countering hetero- and cisgender-normative ways of parenting and teaching is the first step to allowing LGBTQ youth to thrive and achieve their fullest potentials.


Dr. Flores is Course Director for Scientific Inquiry for Evidence-Based Practice (NURS 5470), Contemporary Issues in Human Sexuality (NURS 3030/5030), and LGBTQ Health (NURS 3420/5420). Additionally, he serves as content expert on conducting qualitative, intervention development and community-engaged research, nursing care for people and communities affected by HIV/AIDS, and disaster preparedness and response.


Dr. Flores leads several studies focused on preventing HIV/STI infection and negative mental health among sexual and gender diverse youth. His research investigates the role of parents in the sexual health education of LGBTQ+ youth. He is the Principal Investigator for Parents ASSIST (Advancing Supportive and Sexuality Inclusive Sex Talks) for families with gay, bisexual or queer sons, The SHIFTs (Sexual Health Inclusivity during Family Talks) Project centered on the needs of adolescent daughters who identify as lesbian, bisexual or queer, and The GIST (Gender Inclusive Sex Talks) Program for families with transgender and gender non-binary youth. Through inclusive parent-child sexuality communication, he believes that the early provision of sexual health information attuned to the emerging attractions, behavior, and identities of LGBTQ+ adolescents will reduce the formation of risky sexual behavior and their likelihood for HIV and STI infection.

Opportunities to Learn and Collaborate at Penn Nursing

Dr. Flores collaborates with interdisciplinary teams within and beyond Penn Nursing to conduct prevention and clinical research focused on reducing the risks of sexual and gender diverse youth and other populations for HIV and STI infections. Dr. Flores is also part of the Program for Sexuality, Technology and Action Research that seeks to identify innovative strategies to inform LGBTQ-focused sexual health promotion interventions.

Selected Career Highlights

  • Dean’s Award for Undergraduate Scholarly Mentorship (2022). University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing.
  • Trustees’ Council of Penn Women Award for Undergraduate Advising (2021). University of Pennsylvania.
  • Lucy Bradley-Springer Excellence in HIV Prevention (2019). Association of Nurses in AIDS Care.
  • 40 Under 40 Leaders in Minority Health, The 2018 National Minority Quality Forum. U.S. Congressional Black Caucus, Spring Health Braintrust. Washington, DC.
  • Awardee, Forever Duke Student Leadership Award (2017). Duke University Alumni Association.

Accepting Mentees?

  • Yes