The LGBT Health & Development Program

Faculty & Staff



Brian Mustanski, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Medical Social Sciences and directs the IMPACT LGBT Health and Development Program. He received his doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Indiana University, where he trained extensively at the Kinsey Institute. The majority of his research focuses on the health and development of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth. These studies focus on translating basic findings about risk and resilience into the development of evidence-based interventions. Dr. Mustanski has been the Principal Investigator for multiple National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF), and other foundation research and training awards, including being named a William T. Grant Foundation Scholar. Much of his research is conducted in partnership with community-based organizations. Dr. Mustanski is a licensed Clinical Psychologist with a focus on the treatment of sexual and relationship problems.
George J. Greene, PhD, is the Assistant Director of the IMPACT Program. As a Community Psychologist working in national, multisite HIV-interventions and in local community healthcare clinics and grassroots organizations, he has tailored his work over the last 10 years to develop, implement, and evaluate HIV-preventive interventions in ethnic minority communities. Dr. Greene received an American Psychological Association Award to conduct doctoral research and his dissertation, “Contextualizing HIV prevention to predict high-risk sexual situations for young African-American and Latino men who have sex with men,” exemplifies his commitment to understanding HIV risk behaviors among these youth. As a practitioner of community-based participatory research, he was the Principal Investigator of a HRSA Special Projects of National Significance Grant to deliver outreach, care, and prevention programming for young men of color who have sex with men. Dr. Greene completed postdoctoral training in the CDC Illinois Public Health Research Program in the UIC School of Public Health and is currently a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Medical Social Sciences at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Michelle Birkett, PhD, is Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Medical Social Sciences at Northwestern University, and a Research Scientist within the IMPACT LGBT Health and Development Program. Dr. Birkett received her doctorate in Counseling Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and completed her clinical internship in Child and Adolescent Psychology at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Her research utilizes network and quantitative methodologies to understand the social contextual influences on LGBT adolescent health and well-being. Dr. Birkett collaborates on a variety of research projects related to LGBT adolescents, health and wellbeing, multilevel modeling, and network and contextual drivers of health disparities. Currently Dr. Birkett is the Principal Investigator a National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) funded project to understand the role of sex, drug, and social relationships in HIV transmission within young men who have sex with men (YMSM). Additionally, she is the Principal Investigator of the ninth wave of Project Q2, which is assessing the social contextual online environments of LGBT adolescents through in-depth Facebook interviews and network data collection. And finally, as the past recipient of several distinguished teaching awards, Dr. Birkett is committed to providing quality training experiences for young scholars and coordinates the educational and internship activities within the IMPACT Program.
Michelle_Burns 96x96Michelle Burns, PhD, was previously a software engineer and earned her Doctorate (2009) in Clinical Psychology from the University of Georgia. She then completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Technology-Assisted Mental Health Intervention in the Department of Preventive Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, where she is currently an Assistant Professor affiliated with the IMPACT Program. Dr. Burns’ research has focused on the following areas: 1) computerized, Internet, and mobile phone interventions for anxiety and depression; 2) the relationship of depression and anxiety to minority stress and related cognitions among sexual minority men and youth; and 3) co-occurring psychiatric disorders and outcomes of underserved populations in randomized controlled psychotherapy trials. She is currently the Principal Investigator of a National Institute of Mental Health Mentored Clinical Scientist Research Career Development Award (K08) that weaves each of these interests and her engineering experience together through the development and evaluation of a mobile phone application to deliver culturally tailored, cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety and depressive disorders to young sexual minority men. Dr. Burns is excited about the potential of technology to overcome barriers to psychotherapy and reach underserved communities.

Kathryn R. Macapagal, PhD, is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Medical Social Sciences at Northwestern University and a Research Scientist in the IMPACT Program. She received her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Indiana University, where she trained at The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction. Dr. Macapagal completed a clinical internship in HIV/AIDS and medical psychology at the Medical College of Georgia/Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center, and postdoctoral training in health services and outcomes research at Northwestern University. Her research interests include sexual/relationship health and well-being in same-sex couples and persons living with HIV, and sexual health messaging and sexual decision making among groups at risk for HIV. Currently, she contributes to a variety of projects related to sexual and relationship health at IMPACT and oversees the Adolescent Scientific Access Project (ASAP), designed to investigate ethical issues and barriers to participation in HIV prevention research in LGBT youth. Dr. Macapagal’s clinical experience has focused on underserved populations and individuals with chronic illnesses in medical and mental health settings.

Michael E. Newcomb, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medical Social Sciences at Northwestern University and a research scientist in the IMPACT LGBT Health and Development Program. He received his doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago and completed his pre-doctoral internship in clinical psychology at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School in Behavioral Medicine. Dr. Newcomb’s research broadly focuses on health disparities in LGBT youth, including HIV/AIDS, alcohol and drug use, and mental health problems. He also has interests in factors that promote resilience in LGBT youth, including families and romantic relationships. He is currently funded as Principal Investigator by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the CDC, and he contributes to a variety of research projects funded by NIH and other foundations. Dr. Newcomb’s clinical work experience focuses on the treatment of depression and anxiety in the context of chronic medical illness using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and he has received training in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT).

Gregory Phillips II, PhD, MS is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Medical Social Sciences at Northwestern University and within the IMPACT Program. He received his doctorate in Epidemiology from The George Washington University (GWU) in 2012. His research focuses on understanding social, sexual, and network-level factors that drive the HIV epidemic among young men who have sex with men. During his graduate and postdoctoral career, he worked on a number of HRSA-, CDC-, and NIH-funded projects focused on behaviors associated with HIV infection, resulting in nearly 30 first author or co-authored manuscripts in peer-reviewed journal. He is currently working on Guy2Guy (G2G), a text messaging-based intervention around HIV preventive behaviors targeted at gay, bisexual, and queer adolescents, and RADAR, a longitudinal cohort study of young men who have sex with men.


Christian F. Castro, MA, is a Research Project Coordinator for RADAR. Christian is a nationally-recognized program director with over 13 years’ experience administering major public policy and public health programs. He is the architect of large-scale events and social movements in partnership with national organizations. He has a long history of training, teaching, and educating volunteers, students, and community leaders. He has worked previously at Center on Halsted; Latino Commission on AIDS; University of Maryland, College Park; the National Association of People with AIDS; NeighborWorks America; and the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center. He received his master’s in geography from University of Maryland, College Park and his bachelor’s in geography from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Sungsub Billy Choo, BS, is a Research Assistant for the RADAR project and works on data harmonization. He received his bachelor’s degree in Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University, where he graduated with honors for having written a senior thesis about how bilingualism and cultural fluency of Korean transnational young adults impact their information and communication technology use and future plans. He is interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in clinical psychology to study family dynamics, social adjustment, and LGBT identity of transnational Asian Americans.
Antonia Clifford, MSW, is the Project Coordinator for NHBS-Chi Guys, a pilot project extension of the National HIV Behavioral Surveillance project. She has previously worked as a Coordinator on Project Q2, the longest running longitudinal study of LGBTQ youth. At IMPACT, Antonia has worked to actively recruit, engage, and retain youth and adult participants on several key projects. She received her BA in Sociology from the University of Chicago and a Masters in Social Work from the School of Social Administration. Antonia has worked on positive youth development in community centers and residential facilities, specifically focusing on the experiences of LGBTQ youth, youth of color, and juveniles in the justice system. She recognizes the unique role of research in synthesizing, innovating, and improving the tools and programs necessary to best support the growth and health of our communities.
Ryan Coventry, BA,  Ryan Coventry is the Program Assistant for The IMPACT Program. He is currently pursuing a Masters in Clinical Professional Psychology (Counseling Practice) at Roosevelt University and previously received his B.S. in Psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, graduating with distinction. Ryan’s clinical and research interests include interpersonal relationships, LGBTQ mental health, sexual identity, dating violence, and sexual assault. His long term goals include providing mental health services to members of the young adult LGBTQ community, pursuing a doctorate in psychology, and improving the global climate on sexual assault.
Julia Dudek, MPH, is the Program Manager for the IMPACT Program. Prior to IMPACT, Julia worked at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, managing CDC- and NIH-funded projects focused on preventing HIV among young gay men and transgender youth. Her public health experience began over a decade ago in San Francisco, where she oversaw a non-profit Chinese medicine clinic that served people living with HIV/AIDS, as well as homeless and substance using populations. Her career has spanned research, advocacy, and direct service, infused with a commitment to social justice and to decreasing the social determinants of health that drive health inequities. She holds an MPH in Community Health Sciences from the University of California Los Angeles, a BA in Cultural Anthropology from San Francisco State University, and a BFA in Graphic Communications from Washington University in St. Louis. 
Mallory Edgar, MPH, is the Project Coordinator for the Center for the Evaluation of HIV Prevention Programs in Chicago. Mallory earned her BA in sociology and gender and women’s studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2009 and a Master of Public Health in health behavior and health education from the University of Michigan in 2013. Between her undergraduate and graduate studies, she worked for multiple organizations in Chicago’s HIV/AIDS field for two years doing direct service, prevention advocacy, and research. As a graduate student, Mallory assisted with research about structural factors impacting HIV transmission among sexual minority youth in the Detroit Metro Area at the University of Michigan’s Center for Sexuality and Health Disparities. After finishing graduate school, she completed a two-year fellowship program sponsored by the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, where she worked at the City of Milwaukee Health Department and a Milwaukee-based LGBT public health organization called Diverse & Resilient. Mallory’s professional interests include HIV/STI prevention, sexual health, program planning, and evaluation.
Justin A. Franz, BA, is the Biomedical Coordinator for RADAR. Justin has over 10 years’ experience conducting HIV and STI clinical trials. He has coordinated HIV and other STI vaccine studies, as well as various treatment trials. Justin has been involved in this research at the San Francisco Department of Public Health and most recently at University of Illinois-Chicago, where he coordinated large-scale HIV/STI Vaccine Studies for both NIH-funded grants and pharmaceutical companies. Justin’s research interests include novel HIV prevention tools.
Sydney Hammond, BA, is a Research Assistant for Keep It Up! 2.0 with the IMPACT Program. She earned her BA at Colby College, with a double major in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Science, Technology, and Society. Sydney’s preferred research methodology takes a feminist qualitative approach. Her research interests revolve around the improvement of sexual health education, and her professional efforts are geared towards developing more inclusive, effective, and accessible sexual health information for diverse adolescent and young adult populations. She aims to pursue her passions at a graduate level in the future.
Patrick Janulis, PhD, is postdoctoral fellow at the IMPACT program. Patrick received his doctorate in Ecological-Community Psychology from Michigan State University in 2014 where he conducted research on the impact of substance use on HIV and hepatitis C virus risk behavior with a focus on using advanced statistical methods such as social network analysis to examine social contextual influences on these behaviors. During this time, he also worked as a NIDA pre-doctoral fellow studying drug dependence epidemiology. Currently, Patrick is primarily working on RADAR, a longitudinal cohort study of young men who have sex with men (YMSM) which includes longitudinal network data collection in effort to better understand how social, sexual, and drug use networks effect the health of YMSM.

Headshot of Laura KuperLaura E. Kuper, MA, is a graduate student in the Clinical Psychology PhD. program at the University of Illinois at Chicago where she works with Dr. Brian Mustanski in the IMPACT LGBT Health and Development Program. After graduating Vassar College with a B.A. in psychology, Laura worked as a Clinical Research Assistant at McLean Hospital on two NIDA-funded grants of a new manual-based group therapy for women with substance use disorders (SUDs). There she also contributed to the development of qualitative methods to study women’s experiences with SUD treatment. Her current research interests include the processes through which LGBTQ individuals develop understandings and representations of their identity. More specifically, she is interested in conceptualizing experiences related to gender fluidity, intersectional identity, and developmental resiliency, with a particular focus on qualitative and mixed methods approaches.
Krystal Madkins, MPH, is the Project Coordinator for Keep It Up! (KIU), an online HIV intervention for young MSM who have recently tested negative for HIV. She received her B.A. in Sociology from Bryn Mawr College and her M.P.H. in Epidemiology from the University of Illinois at Chicago’s School of Public Health. After graduating from UIC, Krystal worked on a project that focused on reducing sexual risk behaviors among drug using MSM. Krystal’s research interests in health disparities and STI prevention in overlooked populations is reflected in other past research that has focused on populations such as women who have sex with women (WSW) and older adults.
Sam McMillen, BA, is a Research Assistant for 2GETHER and Chi Guys with the IMPACT Program. He received a BA in Anthropology and Biology with a minor in Spanish from Texas Christian University. While studying at TCU, Sam conducted research on transgender health topics, gender affirmation, and trans politics in healthcare. His research interests also include PrEP culture, HIV discourse within social media, disparities in healthcare accessibility, and the conditioning effects of mass media consumption, especially relating to fear, health, and the intersection between gender and sexuality.
Melissa Mongrella head shotMelissa Mongrella, BA, is a Research Assistant for the Keep It Up! program with IMPACT. She received her BA in Psychology with a minor in Spanish from the University of Chicago. Her previous research experience has been in the domain of eating disorders, specifically emotion regulation and the efficacy of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), as well as youth sexual and reproductive health. Most recently, she worked on an adolescent sex education research project in Cuenca, Ecuador. Her current research interests are in the relationship between culture and sexual health, especially in the role of cultural factors, particularly machismo, and acculturation status in risky sexual behavior in men who have sex with men (MSM).
Headshot of Tessa OwensTessa Owens, BA, is a Research Assistant for the Keep It Up! 1.5 project with the IMPACT Program. She received her BA in gender & sexuality studies with a minor in Spanish from Northwestern University. Her undergraduate extracurricular work focused on sexual health education and sexual assault awareness and prevention. She has assisted in developing comprehensive education about sexuality for young people that emphasizes active consent, explores cultural norms about gender roles, and includes violence prevention education. Tessa is also interested in women’s and reproductive health, and recently completed an internship as a Patient Counselor and Translator for Richmond Medical Center for Women. She hopes to pursue a graduate degree in Social Work.
Julia PJ. A. Puckett, PhD, is a postdoctoral research fellow at the IMPACT Program. They completed their doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of Massachusetts in 2014. In addition, they were part of the first cohort of LGBTQ health interns in the HRSA funded, APA accredited internship started by Northwestern University and IMPACT. Their research interests focus on minority stress experienced by sexual and gender minorities, especially the increased rates of victimization and marginalization experienced by transgender and gender nonconforming individuals, as well as studying internalized stigma in the lives of LGBTQ individuals and the ways this develops/changes. Dr. Puckett received an F-32 National Research Service Award to fund their postdoctoral training to conduct a study on transgender health. This study aims to provide a more nuanced understanding of how HIV risk, substance use, and mental health disparities emerge in the lives of transgender men and women. Specifically, this study examines various interpersonal (e.g., gender affirmation) and intrapersonal (e.g., internalized transphobia) mechanisms that connect external experiences of marginalization with these health issues.
Headshot of Thom Remble Thomas Remble, MS, MPH, DHS, is the Project Director for RADAR and a Clinical Research Associate with Northwestern’s Department of Medical Social Sciences. Dr. Remble is a Clinical Sexologist and earned a Doctorate in Human Sexuality at the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality (IASHS) in San Francisco. Other degrees include Master’s in Public Health (IASHS) and Clinical & Health Psychology (University of Florida), with residency training at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. Prior to joining IMPACT, Dr. Remble was the Research Manager for the UCSF Center for Reproductive Health. Previously, he worked as Program Manager for the RIC Center for Pain Studies, and as the Research Finance Manager for Hematology/Oncology at Rush University Medical Center. Dr. Remble’s research and areas of expertise from clinical and professional training have included: Reproductive Health and Infertility, Sexual Health and Disorders, Sexual Health Behavior and HIV Prevention, LGBT and Minority Health, Neurological Disorders, Chronic Neuropathic Pain, Physician-Patient Communication, Substance Abuse, and Disability and Sexual Health. Thom is a member of the American College of Sexologists.
Zenaida Rivera, MA, LPC, is a research assistant for ASAP!, with previous contributions to Guy2Guy, 2GETHER!, and Project Q2. She received her BA in Psychology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and her MA in Counseling Psychology from Northwestern University. In addition to her work at IMPACT, she also holds a position as a clinical staff therapist working with individuals, families, and groups at Turning Point Behavioral Health Care Center in Skokie, IL. Her research interests include cultural, gender, and sexual minority populations, sexual health and romantic relationships, HIV prevention, minority stress and mental illness, evidence-based therapies and mixed methods research.
Dan Ryan, MS, is the Data Manager for Crew450. He received his B.S. and M.S. in Community Health from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a specialization in health policy. He has previous experience working at Washington University in St. Louis coordinating data management and analysis for federally funded epidemiologic and occupational safety research projects. He has had the opportunity to conduct statistical analyses for peer-reviewed journal articles, grant applications, and conference presentations as well as teach statistics while a graduate student at the University of Illinois. His interests include conducting research that strives to improve the health of communities, particularly underserved populations,with an emphasis on influencing public or health policy with evidence-based research findings.
Greg Swann, MA, is the Data Manager for the Genes-Environment-Neighborhood Interaction (GENI) Project. He received his B.A. from the University of California, Stanislaus, and his M.A. from Arizona State University, both in Psychology. His previous research work has been in quantitative and molecular behavioral genetics. Specifically, using twin modeling and measured gene research to help determine how genetic, environmental, and hormonal factors impact the development of psychopathology in children and adolescents. His current research interests are in gene-environment interplay, especially in the context of longitudinal and applied research.
Headshot of Roky Truong Roky Truong, BA, is a Phlebotomist and Research Assistant for the RADAR project with the IMPACT Program. He received his BA in Public Health with an emphasis in epidemiology and infectious diseases from the University of California, Berkeley. His undergraduate research and intervention focused on HIV/STI transmission rates and sex education within the Asian American population in San Francisco’s Bay Area. More recently, he worked in stem cell transplant research with leukemia patients undergoing high-dose chemotherapy regimens at Indiana University Simon Cancer Center. Ro is currently interested in HIV/STI infection surveillance and interventions programs for inmates in state prisons.


not picturedReese Minshew, MA, is a Psychology Resident in the LGBTQ Health Track at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine. Reese recently completed a degree in Clinical Psychology at the New School for Social Research in New York and has been conducting research on psychophysiological responses to traumatic stress for the past four years. Autonomic reactivity and neuroimaging feature heavily in Reese’s research; these outcome measures play a translational role in Reese’s clinical work, which also focuses on complex responses to traumatic stress, particularly in the LGBTQ community.
Headshot of Tyson ReuterTyson Reuter, MA, LPA, is a Psychology Resident in the LGBT Health Track of the Clinical Psychology Internship Program at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. He is completing his doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of Houston, where for the past four years he has worked extensively with severe, treatment refractory inpatient adolescents in both clinical and research settings. His research focuses on emerging personality disorder in adolescence, teen dating violence, and sexual orientation, specifically how these constructs intersect and interact with one another from a developmental psychopathology framework. His dissertation explores prevalence, risk factors, and persistence of teen dating violence in sexual minority youth.
Headshot of Bryon RoodBrian Rood, MA, MPH, is a PhD student at Suffolk University in Boston and currently a Psychology Resident in the LGBT Health Track of the Clinical Psychology Internship Program at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. His clinical work has included training in chronic and serious mental illness, psychosocial stabilization and rehabilitation, and forensic psychology. For the past seven years, his research activities have focused almost exclusively on the health of LGBT individuals, with an emphasis on HIV prevention and sexual health promotion. He is particularly interested in the development, implementation, and evaluation of HIV prevention interventions—both primary prevention for populations at risk for HIV and secondary prevention for populations already living with HIV. Brian is also interested in factors that contribute to mental health problems and HIV health risk behaviors in individuals who identify as transgender or gender nonconforming, which represents his current dissertation research.


Peter Cleary, undergraduate student, Northwestern University
David Drustrup, M.A. student, the Family Institute at Northwestern University
John Fleming, Ph.D. student, Northwestern University
Kelsey Howard, Ph.D. student, Northwestern University
Robert W. Mehney, M.S., Michigan State University
Elizabeth McConnell, Ph.D. student, DePaul University
Mollie McQuillan, Ph.D. student, Northwestern University
Paul Salamanca, undergraduate student, Northwestern University

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