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 a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Medical Social Sciences and a research scientist in the IMPACT Program. She graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a doctorate in Counseling Psychology. Her research interests center on the health and mental health of LGBTQ adolescents. She approaches this research from a strengths-based, social-ecological perspective, considering the impact of multiple contextual systems such as peer groups, families, and school environments. She is also interested in the use of social network analysis, multilevel modeling, and methodology measuring the impact of contextual systems on young adolescents. Michelle completed her clinical internship in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Rochester Medical Center, with a special focus on children and adolescents. Her clinical interests continue to revolve around treating diverse adolescents, young adults, and families within a multicultural framework.
|Gayle R. Byck, PhD, works on the Genes Environment Neighborhood Interaction (GENI) project; the goal of the research is to test a bioecological model to explain variability in a cluster of HIV risk factors among impoverished minority youth. She received an undergraduate degree in marketing from the University of Michigan School of Business Administration and a doctorate in public health from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her previous research has focused on health workforce, genetic services, and access to care for underserved populations.|
Michael E. Newcomb, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medical Social Sciences 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 Hospital in Behavioral Medicine. Dr. Newcomb’s research broadly focuses on health disparities in LGBT youth and adults, including HIV/AIDS, alcohol and substance use, and mental health problems. He has received research funding as Principal Investigator from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and he has contributed to a variety of research projects funded by NIH and other foundations. Dr. Newcomb’s clinical work focuses on 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).
|Katie Andrews, MA, MEd, is the Data Manager for Project Q2, a federally funded longitudinal research project that studies the health and development of 247 LGBT youth, and the Crew450 Social Networking study, a project that examines the structure and processes of youths’ socio-sexual networks. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in psychology at Colorado State University and graduate work in psychology and education at Arizona State University. Her previous research focused on identifying how characteristics of children and adolescents – such as behavioral style and social-cognitive processes – and their environments – including differing types of relationship histories and relationship processes – are associated with their psychological development and adjustment. Katie’s statistical experience includes multiple regression, structural equation modeling, and growth modeling.|
|Alan W. Ashbeck, BA, is a Research Assistant for GENI, Crew450, and the Crew450 Social Network studies. Alan received a BA in Applied Psychology for the University of Illinois at Chicago. His research interests include translational research in Clinical Psychology/Neuropsychology, neuroplasticity, and treatment of affective disorders.|
|Lou Bigelow, BA, is the Director of Outreach, Recruitment, and Retention at IMPACT Program. Lou has worked with young people in the context of summer camps, soccer teams, children’s centers, and St. Paul, MN’s Juvenile Detention Center. These experiences have instilled a passion for voice and resiliency that he focuses on LGBTQ youth through IMPACT Program. Bigelow received his Bachelor’s Degree from Macalester College, where he majored in Sociology and learned the importance of research as a tool to gain and disseminate knowledge within our communities. He works across all of IMPACT’s studies to achieve high outreach, recruitment and retention goals, including 91% retention of the 247 LGBTQ youth from Project Q2 at year one.|
|Antonia Clifford, AM, is the Participant and STI Tracking Coordinator on Keep It Up! 2.0, an innovative online HIV Prevention intervention for YMSM. Antonia worked to actively engage, retain, and connect with the 248 participants of Project Q2, another IMPACT Program project, and contributed to retention rates over 80% at the 3.5 and 4 year follow ups. With a background in clinical Social Work and Sociology, 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.|
|L. Zachary DuBois, PhD, is a postdoctoral scholar working with Dr. Mustanski in the Department of Medical Social Sciences. He received his doctorate in Biological Anthropology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was awarded an NSF dissertation-improvement grant for his doctoral research. His dissertation, “Biocultural perspectives on gender, transitions, stress, and immune function” examined stress experience and health among transgender men as they transitioned from female to male. For this cross-sectional study, Zachary conducted in-depth in-person interviews with 65 trans men in New England and collected multiple biomarkers (including ambulatory blood pressure and salivary cortisol) in order to examine the mechanisms through which stress may influence health during transition. In addition to his interest in the psychobiology of stress response, he is interested in working to combat social disparities in health through applied research and community organizing.|
Steve Du Bois, MA, is a Ph.D. student in Clinical Psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). He received his B.A. in Psychology in 2005 from the University of Michigan, where he researched affective working memory and rumination. His recent research at UIC and the Howard Brown Health Center in Chicago has focused on self-regulatory behaviors, e.g. sexual risk and correct condom usage, HIV-treatment adherence, and substance use, and how these relate to psychosocial vulnerabilities, e.g. depression. Steve has also investigated eating and physical activity behaviors among elementary school youth. He hopes to integrate his research on self-regulation and exercise within MSM populations.
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.
|Steve C. Garcia, MA, is a doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology PhD program at the University of Illinois at Chicago. As a multicultural clinical-scientist in training, his developing program of research examines the mechanisms underlying gender nonconformity and psychological distress in sexual-minority populations and how those mechanisms intersect with race/ethnicity. He also studies the role of attitudes both toward and within LGBTQ communities and their association to health outcomes; and how emotion regulation, including its related mechanisms, buffers or exacerbates the effects of sexual prejudice and stigmatization on health among these communities. His clinical interests include cognitive-behavioral treatment of mood and anxiety disorders, mindfulness and acceptance-based strategies in therapy, and bilingual (English/Spanish) psychological service provision. Prior to becoming a full-time graduate student, Steve served the IMPACT program as a project director for both Project Q2 and Keep It Up!. Before this, he served as a project manager in the Mental Health Services & Policy Program at Northwestern University, where his interest in culturally-competent, evidence-based services emerged.|
|Brian Jauregui, BS, is a Research Assistant for the Queer Sex Ed (QSE) Project with the IMPACT Program. He received his B.S. from Arizona State University and is currently working on his M.A. at Roosevelt University, both in Psychology. For over four years he has been involved in different aspects of research including: participant recruitment and retention, data collection, data management, and intervention facilitation. Brian is interested in working with at-risk and underserved populations, especially within the LGBTQ community. His research and dissemination efforts aim to inform communities, programs, and interventions that serve his population of interest.|
|Laura 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.|
|Beatriz Menendez, BA, is a Research Assistant working on a study with the IMPACT Program called LYNC (Linking Young Networks in Chicago). The study is using social network analysis to construct and analyze a macro-network of young men who have sex with men by utilizing data collected from Crew 450. She has a background working in research projects in various hospitals around Chicago, and has worked in the Department of Medical Social Sciences at Northwestern University for the past 3 years.|
|Melissa 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).|
|Robin Morrissey, MFA, is the Program Assistant for the Impact Program in the Department of Medical Social Sciences at Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine. She is currently working on a Masters in Literature and is interested in interdisciplinary projects exploring the decentered self in contemporary art and literature.|
|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.|