Johanna Olson, MD is a pediatrician in the Division of Adolescent Medicine at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and Medical Director of the hospital’s Center for Transyouth Health and Development. She specializes in the care of transgender youth, gender variant children, youth with HIV, and chronic pain. Board certified in Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Dr. Olson is also an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California. She has appeared on ABC’s 20/20, The Dr. Phil Show, CNN, Dateline NBC and The Doctors to educate audiences about the needs of transgender youth.

Research Interests:
Johanna Olson, MD, Medical Director of the Center for Transyouth Health and Development at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, works closely with gender nonconforming children and adolescents to find ways to help them thrive. Gender-nonconforming youth are emerging at increasingly younger ages, and those experiencing gender dysphoria are seeking medical care at the onset of puberty, or sometimes even before. Youth with gender dysphoria are at high risk for depression, anxiety, isolation, self-harm, and suicidality at the onset of a puberty that feels wrong. Existing strategies for treating transgender youth depend on the developmental stage at which these youth present for care. For those transgender youth that present for care in the early stages of pubertal development, treatment is aimed at suppressing their endogenous puberty in order to avoid the development of undesired secondary sexual characteristics that intensify the distress associated with gender incongruence. For those youth in later stages of puberty, the goal of treatment is to use cross-sex hormones in order to induce the development of desired secondary sexual characteristics that bring the body into closer alignment with the youth’s internal sense of gender.


  • Laboratory Changes During Gender-Affirming Hormone Therapy in Transgender Adolescents Pediatrics. 2024 Apr 03. . View in PubMed
  • Acute HIV Diagnosis After Initiation of Pre-exposure Prophylaxis in a Young Adult Patient: A Case Report J Adolesc Health. 2024 01; 74(1):205-207. . View in PubMed
  • Psychosocial Functioning in Transgender Youth after HormonesReply. N Engl J Med. 2023 Oct 19; 389(16):1538-1539. . View in PubMed
  • Mental Health and Gender Affirmation of Black and Latine Transgender/Nonbinary Youth Compared to White Peers Prior to Hormone Initiation J Adolesc Health. 2023 11; 73(5):880-886. . View in PubMed
  • High Internalized Transphobia and Low Gender Identity Pride Are Associated With Depression Symptoms Among Transgender and Gender-Diverse Youth J Adolesc Health. 2023 06; 72(6):877-884. . View in PubMed
  • Psychosocial Functioning in Transgender Youth after 2 Years of Hormones N Engl J Med. 2023 01 19; 388(3):240-250. . View in PubMed
  • The effect of gender-affirming hormone treatment on serum creatinine in transgender and gender-diverse youth: implications for estimating GFR Pediatr Nephrol. 2022 09; 37(9):2141-2150. . View in PubMed
  • When the Human Toll of Conversion Therapy Is Not Enough JAMA Pediatr. 2022 05 01; 176(5):450-451. . View in PubMed
  • Understanding and Supporting Patients With Dynamic Desires for Gender-Affirming Medical Interventions JAMA Netw Open. 2022 07 01; 5(7):e2224722. . View in PubMed
  • Histrelin Implants for Suppression of Puberty in Youth with Gender Dysphoria: A Comparison of 50 mcg/Day (Vantas) and 65 mcg/Day (SupprelinLA) Transgend Health. 2021 Feb; 6(1):36-42. . View in PubMed
  • The Impact of Chest Binding in Transgender and Gender Diverse Youth and Young Adults J Adolesc Health. 2021 06; 68(6):1129-1134. . View in PubMed
  • Psychosocial Characteristics of Transgender Youth Seeking Gender-Affirming Medical Treatment: Baseline Findings From the Trans Youth Care Study J Adolesc Health. 2021 06; 68(6):1104-1111. . View in PubMed
  • Association of High-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol With Sex Steroid Treatment in Transgender and Gender-Diverse Youth JAMA Pediatr. 2021 05 01; 175(5):520-521. . View in PubMed
  • Low Bone Mineral Density in Early Pubertal Transgender/Gender Diverse Youth: Findings From the Trans Youth Care Study J Endocr Soc. 2020 Sep 01; 4(9):bvaa065. . View in PubMed
  • Physiological and Metabolic Characteristics of a Cohort of Transgender and Gender-Diverse Youth in the United States J Adolesc Health. 2020 09; 67(3):376-383. . View in PubMed
  • Long-term Puberty Suppression for a Nonbinary Teenager Pediatrics. 2020 02; 145(2). . View in PubMed
  • Impact of Early Medical Treatment for Transgender Youth: Protocol for the Longitudinal, Observational Trans Youth Care Study JMIR Res Protoc. 2019 Jul 09; 8(7):e14434. . View in PubMed
  • Resisting the Post-Truth Era: Maintaining a Commitment to Science and Social Justice in Bioethics Am J Bioeth. 2019 07; 19(7):W1-W3. . View in PubMed
  • Creating the Trans Youth Research Network: A Collaborative Research Endeavor Transgend Health. 2019; 4(1):304-312. . View in PubMed
  • The Impact of Cell Phone Support on Psychosocial Outcomes for Youth Living with HIV Nonadherent to Antiretroviral Therapy AIDS Behav. 2018 Oct; 22(10):3357-3362. . View in PubMed
  • Physiologic Response to Gender-Affirming Hormones Among Transgender Youth J Adolesc Health. 2018 04; 62(4):397-401. . View in PubMed
  • Chest Reconstruction and Chest Dysphoria in Transmasculine Minors and Young Adults: Comparisons of Nonsurgical and Postsurgical Cohorts JAMA Pediatr. 2018 05 01; 172(5):431-436. . View in PubMed
  • Research priorities for gender nonconforming/transgender youth: gender identity development and biopsychosocial outcomes Curr Opin Endocrinol Diabetes Obes. 2016 Apr; 23(2):172-9. . View in PubMed
  • Mental Health Disparities Among Transgender Youth: Rethinking the Role of Professionals JAMA Pediatr. 2016 05 01; 170(5):423-4. . View in PubMed
  • Baseline Physiologic and Psychosocial Characteristics of Transgender Youth Seeking Care for Gender Dysphoria J Adolesc Health. 2015 Oct; 57(4):374-80. . View in PubMed
  • Management of the transgender adolescent Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2011 Feb; 165(2):171-6. . View in PubMed