Celebrating Dr. Lori Brotto’s Promotion to Professor

Lori Brotto

The Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of British Columbia, is delighted to announce that Dr. Lori Brotto was promoted to Professor retroactively from July 2015. As part of the celebration of Dr. Brotto’s numerous accomplishments, the Department is pleased to provide a brief description of her career trajectory up to the time of her promotion.

Professor Brotto is a clinical psychologist who specializes in Reproductive and Sexual Medicine and she is best known for her work on female sexual arousal disorder. She holds a joint appointment in the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (75%) and Psychiatry (25%) at the University of British Columbia (UBC). Dr. Brotto received her undergraduate degree (B.Sc. Biopsychology, 1997), Masters degree (M.A. Clinical Psychology, 1999), and Doctoral degree (Ph.D. Clinical Psychology, 2003) from UBC and completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Reproductive and Sexual Medicine at the University of Washington. She joined the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at UBC as an Assistant Professor in January 2005 and was promoted to Associate Professor in July 2010.


Dr. Brotto’s contributions toward our department’s educational mandate are exceptional. She is highly valued as a teacher in her specialized field of sexual medicine by undergraduate students, residents, fellows, and graduate students, both within and outside the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Dr. Brotto is an authority in her field, and keeps abreast of recent developments. Most of Dr. Brotto’s teaching involves training future academics, clinicians and psychologists.

Over the last several years Dr. Brotto has provided approximately 16-17 hours of classroom instruction and approximately 150 hours of clinical teaching annually. She has made a total of 29 presentations at Continuing Medical Education events and Grand Rounds since 2005. She has also delivered 17 workshops at national and international conferences in Canada and the United States. Between 2005 and 2014, Dr. Brotto served as the supervisor on 47 research trainee projects involving 12 undergraduate students, 7 unclassified students, 5 medical students, 9 graduate students, 8 residents (Psychology and Obstetrics/Gynaecology) and 6 postdoctoral fellows. In addition, she has been a member of the supervisory committee for 9 graduate students.

First year medical undergraduate students in Dr. Brotto’s class on ethnic and socio-cultural factors in sexual medicine rate her lectures as excellent. Typical comments include

“This was a good and eye-opening presentation.”
“It ….allowed us to think a little more about the broader context of gender inequality even in Canadian society.”

Faculty members in charge of residents have also praised Dr. Brotto’s ability to inspire trainees.

“She is an amazing asset both in terms of senior mentorship of all of our trainees and educational involvement in our program. Dr. Brotto consistently receives the highest ratings possible in seminar training, and is our most popular teacher and trainer in this regard. Her supervisor ratings for the Psychology Residency Program are at the highest level.”

Dr. Brotto has played an active role in teaching and supervising 3rd year Obstetrics and Gynaecology residents and has consistently supervised 3 residents/year during their 10-12 week Sexual Medicine Rotation. Student feedback on Dr. Brotto’s teaching includes

“….she is very engaged in the mentorship of residents and is a strong role model for effective patient encounters in clinical settings…. Her academic capabilities speak for themselves: she is clearly a capable and strong academic.”

Peer reviews of Dr. Brotto’s teaching are highly complementary with comments such as

“This lecture was very well delivered and we received excellent feedback from the students for her presentation.”
“Dr. Brotto is clearly a skilled presenter and regarded by the Obstetrics & Gynaecology community as a respected authority on sexual health.”
“I would regard Dr. Brotto has a “master” presenter and really an example for myself and other young faculty to emulate and learn from.”

Dr. Brotto is described as an excellent supervisor and mentor to her research trainees. A postdoctoral fellow, wrote

“She is a passionate, cutting-edge, and hard-working researcher, and it has been a pleasure and honour working with her.”

Another postdoctoral trainee, commented that

“She is tremendously productive, innovative, organized, and bright, and I admire her greatly both professionally and personally.”
“Her supervision style helps to create a motivating, energized, and welcoming work environment, and she has shaped her laboratory setting to be collegial and supportive.”

Dr. Brotto’s teaching excellence is manifest in her nomination for a CREOG Teaching Award (Council on Resident Education in Obstetrics and Gynecology of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) for excellence in teaching residents in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology Residency Program. Her trainees have won many awards including 4 CIHR Masters Awards, 3 CIHR Doctoral Awards, 2 CIHR Postdoctoral Fellowships, and 1 Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Postdoctoral Fellowship. In summary, Dr. Brotto is an exceptional and gifted teacher who inspires her clinician and research trainees through classroom and clinical teaching.


Currently, Dr. Brotto has over 100 refereed papers, most frequently published in sub-specialty journals dealing with sexual medicine, with impact factors around 3-4.

Primary focus of research

Dr. Brotto’s research is focused on the study of women’s sexual health, with the goal of improving the lives of women with sexual health problems for whom existing treatments are inadequate. Her research over the past decade has demonstrated that mindfulness based group treatment significantly improves disrupted sexual functioning and genital pain, and is effective across different delivery modalities.

 Ability to acquire funding

Dr. Brotto has received numerous competitive operating grants as a Principal Investigator and also Co-Investigator totaling several million dollars. She has also received 2 salary awards and several other competitive funds for her program of research and knowledge translation. Funding has been forthcoming primarily from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and also from various agencies such as the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, the Leslie Diamond Foundation, the BC Cancer Agency, and the BC Mental Health and Addictions Network. The list below summarizes the funding that Dr. Brotto has received from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research as Principal Investigator.

2004-2008 Operating grant $163,483
2005-2012 Salary support $250,000
2006-2011 Operating grant $200,000
2010-2014 Operating grant $100,000
 2011-2015 Operating grant  $480,388
 2012-2015 Operating grant $321,981
 2013-2014 Knowledge translation $24,988
2013-2014 Knowledge translation $24,305
2014-2019  Operating grant $462,340


As is evident from the list above, Dr. Brotto’s funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research has been consistent and ongoing.

Importance of her funded research

Dr. Brotto’s research agenda serves both the knowledge creation and knowledge translation mandates of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Her knowledge dissemination projects have directly impacted standard care in at least two academic hospital centres at the University of British Columbia and have been disseminated through over 100 peer-reviewed publications, a co-edited book, 8 treatment manuals, and nearly 200 conference and workshop presentations. Her involvement with social media extends from interviews with national and international television (CTV, Global, Fox News, Discovery Channel) and radio shows (CBC Radio, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, National Public Radio), to podcasts and online news stories (including several interviews with the New York Times). At present, Professor Brotto writes a monthly column for the Globe and Mail.

Impact and international reputation as a scholar

Brotto ImpactA citation analysis of Dr. Brotto’s publications through the Institute of Scientific Information’s Web of Science database reveals that Dr. Brotto’s papers have been cited a total of 1,766 times and her h-index is 26. The accompanying figure shows that citations to Dr. Brotto’s published papers have been increasing rapidly in recent years. These citation counts from the Institute of Scientific Information’s database are conservative compared with citations to Dr. Brotto’s publications on Google Scholar. Google Scholar lists 4,687 citations to her work and 11 publications with over 100 citations each.

Dr. Brotto was one of four individuals invited to serve on the Sexual Dysfunctions Working Group of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-5), published in May 2013. She was a text editor for DSM-5, editing approximately 30 chapters in the manual. Her publication describing hypoactive sexual desire disorder (Brotto LA. The DSM diagnostic criteria for hypoactive sexual desire disorder. Arch Sex Behav 2010;39:221-239) is a comprehensive review of low sexual desire problems in women and it has been cited extensively, along with generating a large amount of media attention, including a featured spread in the New York Times magazine.

Dr. Brotto guest edited, together with Dr. Meg Barker, a double special issue (Vol 28, 1-2) of the Journal, Sexual and Relationship Therapy, May 2013 and wrote the leading article on mindfulness in women with provoked vestibulodynia. It was Dr. Brotto’s early work that first applied mindfulness to sexual dysfunction and since then, sexuality researchers and clinicians have adopted mindfulness as a treatment for sexual dysfunction in men and women.

Dr. Brotto was the invited Chair of the recent International Consultation on Sexual Medicine’s Committee on women’s sexual dysfunction. This Committee convenes every 6 years to provide an extensive review and recommendations covering the entire field of sexual medicine. The results of the consultation were published in a textbook for clinicians and summarized in a manuscript published by Dr. Brotto (Brotto et al. J Sex Med. 2010;7:586-614). Clearly, Dr. Brotto has developed an international reputation that has reflected positively on her, her Division, and the University of British Columbia as her work is cutting-edge, innovative and has had a significant impact in the field of sexual medicine.


Dr. Brotto is the Head of the Division of Gynaecologic Specialties within the Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology. In this role, Dr. Brotto provides leadership and mentorship to Division members, encourages collaboration in education and research, facilitates research productivity and works to create sustainable research infrastructure. She is also a member of the Departmental Executive Committee.

At the Department level, Dr. Brotto has been actively involved on several committees. She chairs the Department’s Awards Committee and the Department’s Knowledge Translation and Exchange Committee. Further, she is a current member of the Academic Day Committee, the Resident Research Advisory Committee, the Dr. Fred Bryans Faculty Forum Committee, and the Department Appointment, Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure Committee. Dr. Brotto also provides mentorship to early career faculty and academic mentorship to members of her division. In 2013, Dr. Brotto initiated a Community of Practice (CoP) to promote opportunities for sharing knowledge between division and Department members. This CoP has been successful in providing a forum for informal discussions on topics such as curriculum vitae development, research infrastructure, and grant writing.

At the University level, Dr. Brotto has participated as a member of the committee for ranking CIHR Masters and Doctoral awards from 2008 to 2013. In 2014, she acted in the role of reviewer for the CIHR Open Operating Grants competition. In January 2014, she was nominated to be the Departmental representative on the Faculty of Medicine Awards Committee.


At the national level, Dr. Brotto is a member of the Canadian Psychological Association and the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada. Further, she is the President-Elect for the Canadian Sex Research Forum. At the international level, Dr. Brotto is a member of the Society for Scientific Study of Sexuality, the International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health, the Society for Sex Therapy and Research and the International Academy of Sex Research.

Dr. Brotto actively participates as a grant reviewer for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and other agencies. She has acted in the role of Scientific Program Chair for several research forums and as an ad hoc journal reviewer for a number of scientific journals. Dr. Brotto is currently the Associate Editor for the Archives of Sexual Behavior and is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, International Journal of Sexual Health, Journal of Sex Research, and Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality.

Dr. Brotto has provided significant contributions to the public through knowledge dissemination in the media including television, documentaries, radio broadcasts, online news, and podcasts. She is a well-known figure in the sexual health community in Vancouver and is considered an expert within the medical field and by members of the public.

National and international recognition

Lori Brotto


Dr. Brotto’s peers at the national level have praised her and acknowledged that

“Dr. Brotto has made important contributions to the field of women’s sexuality. Her sustained funding by CIHR is strong evidence of her research [ability]….”
“Dr. Brotto’s service to UBC has been outstanding….”
“Dr. Brotto has an impressive teaching portfolio in sexual medicine at the undergraduate, graduate and CPE level….”
“….Dr. Brotto is an outstanding clinician-researcher whose work has had an international impact.”
“Relative to others in her discipline I would consider her productivity to be excellent.”




At the international level as well, experts in Dr. Broto’s area of expertise have lauded her contribution to science and knowledge translation.

“At her relatively young age, she has clearly already established herself as one of the field’s most respected sex researchers [through] ….her industriousness as well as the originality and clinical impact of her work.”
“Although often dismissed by academia as unimportant, Dr. Brotto’s numerous media contributions are in fact crucial to the public dissemination of knowledge about sexuality.…”
“The quality of Dr. Brotto’s scholarly output is outstanding and internationally esteemed. She is one of the most recognized and respected sex researchers in the world.”
“The breadth, quantity and quality of her publications and presentations attest to her significant contributions in the field….”
“Her work on the International Consultation on Sexual Medicine is impressive, as this body defines the field in terms of both clinical care and research.”

In summary, there is unanimity and unqualified praise for Dr. Brotto’s scholarship, research productivity, teaching, clinical impact and community service.


The Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of British Columbia is delighted to celebrate Dr. Lori Brotto’s promotion to Professor as she has proven herself to be a dedicated and effective teacher, a productive research scholar, an exceptional academic and an excellent citizen of our Department.