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.

Michael E. Newcomb, PhD, is a Research 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).


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 eDAPT, GENI, Crew450, and the Parent-Adolescent Health Study. 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, affective disorders, anxiety disorders, and technology-assisted interventions and preventions methods.
Dawn Dawn_Brown_96x96Brown, MS, is a Research Assistant for the Keep It Up! 2.0 program at IMPACT. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Miami and her Master’s degree in General Psychology from DePaul University. Her undergraduate research experience focused on the recovery of function in mice after traumatic brain injury. Most recently, she completed her Master’s thesis on generational transmission of maternal parenting attitudes and the influences of maternal attachment and childhood experiences of physical punishment and psychological control. She has also worked with Project Q2 couples data, focusing on stressors experienced among young LGBT couples. In addition, she is currently writing a book titled Invisible Femmes: Our Stories, regarding the experiences of feminine-appearing lesbian, bisexual, and queer women and their feelings of invisibility.
Antonia Clifford, MSW, is the Project Coordinator for 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. 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.

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.

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.

Kathryn Kathryn R. Macapagal, PhD
, is a postdoctoral research fellow at the the IMPACT program and the Center for Healthcare Studies. She received her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Indiana University in 2012, where she trained extensively at The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction. Her research interests include sexual decision making, sexual health, and intimate relationships among people living with HIV or at risk for HIV, including LGBT youth. She received an individual National Research Service Award from the National Institute of Mental Health for her dissertation research on the roles of attentional processes and sexual health messaging during emerging adults’ sexual decision making. She completed her clinical psychology residency at the Medical College of Georgia/Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center, where her work focused on medical psychology and HIV/AIDS. Her clinical interests include improving the mental, behavioral, and sexual health of people living with HIV, LGBT individuals, and women using a strengths-based, integrative framework.
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.
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).
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.
Gregory Phillips II, PhD, MS, is a postdoctoral scholar in the IMPACT Program. He received his doctorate in Epidemiology at The George Washington University (GWU) in 2012. His dissertation, entitled “A Comparative Analysis of Two Data Collection Years and Sampling Methods of the National HIV Behavioral Surveillance (NHBS) System Conducted in Washington, DC,” looked at the methodologies and weighting processes of respondent-driven sampling and venue-based sampling. During his graduate and postgraduate career, he worked on a number of HRSA, CDC, and NIH-funded projects at GWU focusing on behaviors associated with HIV, specifically among men who have sex with men, and has first authored or co-authored more than 20 manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals. In his spare time, he is an avid traveler, having lived in Italy and visited places as diverse as Tokyo, Cairo, Stockholm, Seoul, and Budapest.
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.


YvetteYvette Hill is an LGBT Health Track Psychology Resident at Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University. She is completing her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Indiana University, where she trained extensively at the Kinsey Institute for Sex, Gender and Reproduction Research. Her research interests involve the development of a comprehensive understanding of the factors that predict sexual aggression and coercion. Her research focuses on arousal and attentional biases to sexual stimuli in sexually aggressive men
JaninaJanina Mayeux, MA, is a Psychology Resident in the LGBTQ Health Track at the Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine and the IMPACT LGBT Health and Development Program.  While earning her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Texas Tech University, Janina has studied the negative correlates of Childhood Sexual Abuse in adult female survivors, including Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), risk recognition deficits, sexual behaviors, distress, and cognitive complexity. Janina is also interested in examining various aspects of trauma in underserved LGBTQ populations in order to inform public policy and public health interventions. She continues to research Childhood Sexual Abuse within MSM populations, as well as Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, parental and peer attachment, and sexual assault in LGBTQ populations. Her clinical interests include working with underserved populations, LGBTQ individuals, HIV risk, trauma, PTSD, Severe Mental Illness, Dialectical Behavior Therapy and Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
Julia PJulia A. Puckett, MS, is an LGBT Health Track Psychology Resident and currently a Clinical Psychology doctoral student at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and her master’s in Clinical Psychology at Barry University. For the past 7 years, Julia has been conducting qualitative and quantitative research focused on marginalization in LGBTQ populations. A few areas of interest are: increased rates of victimization and heterosexist experiences associated with gender nonconformity, how sexual and gender minorities cope with stigmatization, and experiences of subgroups within the LGBTQ community (e.g., sexual minority parents, racial minorities). Her dissertation examines psychological and social mechanisms that underlie the connection between internalized homophobia and increased psychological distress.


Vanessa Bermudez, BA
Mollie McQuillan, PhD student, Northwestern University
Claire Feinberg, BA
John Fleming, PhD student, Northwestern University
Elizabeth McConnell, PhD student, DePaul University
Zenaida Rivera, MA, QMHP
Amanda Rohrs, MA student, Roosevelt University
Ariana Salazar, MBA
Sarah Scheinman, BS student, DePaul University

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