The LGBT Health & Development Program

Faculty & Staff



Brian Mustanski, Ph.D., 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, Ph.D., 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, Ph.D., 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, Ph.D., 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, Ph.D., is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Medical Social Sciences at Northwestern University and the Associate Director of the LGBTQ Health track of the clinical psychology predoctoral internship at Northwestern University’s McGaw Medical Center. She received her doctorate in clinical psychology from Indiana University, where she trained at The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction. She 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 current interests include sexual/relationship health in LGBT couples, mental health and well-being of HIV+ LGBT people, and decreasing barriers to sexual and reproductive healthcare in the LGBT community. She contributes to a variety of projects at IMPACT and directs the Adolescent Scientific Access Project (ASAP), designed to investigate ethical issues and barriers to participation in HIV prevention research in LGBT youth. Her clinical experience has focused on the mental and behavioral health of underserved populations and individuals with chronic medical illness.

Michael E. Newcomb, Ph.D., 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, Ph.D., M.S., 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 (YMSM). 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. He is currently the Principal Investigator of a Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH)-funded project to evaluate 20 HIV prevention interventions being implemented in Chicago. Additionally, he is the Principal Investigator of a Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) supplement using network and phylogenetic data on YMSM to assist CDPH with identifying HIV microepidemics. He also collaborates with researchers at IMPACT on a number of NIH-funded projects that investigate network-level factors as drivers of the HIV epidemic among YMSM.


Emily Bettin, B.A., is a Research Assistant for the Data Management Team, working with multiple IMPACT research projects. She received her BA in Political Science and The Integrated Program in Humane Studies from Kenyon College. In 2012, she completed the Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Clinical Psychology certificate program from Northwestern University’s School of Professional Studies. Emily has previous research experience working at The Family Institute at Northwestern University as the Project Administrator for the Epstein Center for Psychotherapy Change, where she was active in the implementation, expansion, and continued evolution of the Systemic Therapy Inventory of Change (STIC©). Her clinical and research interests broadly include issues related to trauma and resilience, particularly among members of underserved and marginalized communities.
Christian F. Castro, M.A., 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.
Peter Cleary, B.A., is a Research Assistant on the RADAR project. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University double majoring in Biological Sciences and Psychology. His previous research involved social and media-related determinants of body image, and his undergraduate extracurricular involvement included programming for an LGBTQ+ student community group, peer mentorship, and education for high school students on accessing health resources.
Antonia Clifford, M.S.W., 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, M.A.,  is the Project Coordinator for ASAP and a facilitator with 2GETHER. He received his Masters in Clinical Professional Psychology (Counseling Practice) from Roosevelt University and a Bachelors 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, intimate partner violence, and prevention programming. His long term goals include providing mental health services to members of the LGBTQ community and pursuing a doctorate in psychology.
Trey V. Dellucci, B.A., is a Research Assistant for the Keep it Up! project. He received his BA in psychology from Southeastern Louisiana University in 2012, where he worked on a research project examining school readiness in preschool-aged kids. Trey is currently pursuing a Masters in Psychology at DePaul University. His masters’ thesis is examining the association between parenting styles and adolescent’s weight. Trey’s research and clinical interests include the psychosocial factors that influence adolescents’ health and health related behaviors. In particular, he is interested in researching the protective and risk factors related to LGBT+ youth’s eating disturbances, body satisfaction, and suicide ideation. His long term goal is to receive a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and develop an intervention program targeting eating pathology for LGBT+ youth.
Julia Dudek, M.P.H., is the Program Manager for the IMPACT Program. Her background combines global, reproductive, LGBT, and community health, infused with a commitment to social justice and to decreasing health inequities. Her career has spanned research, program development and evaluation, and capacity building assistance, integrated with web- and communications-related skills. She earned an MPH in Community Health Sciences from the University of California Los Angeles, a BA in Medical Anthropology from San Francisco State University, and a BFA in Graphic Communications from Washington University in St. Louis. 
Mallory Edgar, M.P.H., 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.
Brian Feinstein, Ph.D., is a Postdoctoral Scholar at the IMPACT Program. Dr. Feinstein received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Stony Brook University in 2015 after completing an APA-accredited internship at the University of Washington School of Medicine. During his graduate training, he was awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship to develop his program of research focused on risk and protective factors related to psychopathology among sexual minorities. He is particularly interested in understanding how different types of stress (e.g., discrimination, internalized stigma, rejection sensitivity) influence different types of psychopathology (e.g., depression, anxiety, substance use) and how these associations differ for specific groups of sexual minorities (e.g., bisexual versus monosexual individuals). As a postdoctoral scholar, Dr. Feinstein is working on various projects related to stress, health, and relationship functioning, including KIU!, a multisite RCT comparing two versions of an online HIV prevention program for young men who have sex with men.
Justin A. Franz, B.A., 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, B.A., 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, Ph.D., 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, M.A., 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, M.P.H., 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.
Liz McConnell, M.A., is a graduate student in the Clinical-Community Psychology Ph.D. program at DePaul University in Chicago. She received a BA from Oberlin College in Comparative American Studies, with a concentration in Identity and Diversity, and English. She works with Dr. Michelle Birkett at the IMPACT program using network, geospatial, and mixed methods approaches to better understand social contextual influences on the health of YMSM, particularly racial disparities in HIV. Liz is interested in the relationships between identity, systems of inequality, and well-being, with a focus on LGBT people and communities. Her research has examined factors that promote racial justice engagement for White students, attitudes towards transgender women among cisgender lesbians, and the relationships between social support and mental health among LGBT youth.
Sam McMillen, B.A., 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, B.A., is a Research Assistant for the RADAR project with the IMPACT Program. 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, B.A., 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, Ph.D., 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, M.S., M.P.H., D.H.S., 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.
Dan Ryan, M.S., 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, M.A., 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, B.A., 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.


Headshot of John FrankJohn Frank, B.A., is a Psychology Resident in the LGBTQ Health Track of the Clinical Psychology Internship Program at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine. He is completing his doctorate in Counseling Psychology at New York University where the goal of his dissertation will be to develop and test a psychosocial model for suicide ideation among a sample of transgender and non-binary youth. John’s other research interests include exploring the roles of social support and affirmative experiences in the development of resilience among LGBTQ youth and the impact of physical abuse and neglect on LGB older adults. John’s clinical training has involved work with children, adolescents, and adults in a number of settings including a children’s hospital, college counseling center, and inpatient and outpatient rotations at an addiction institute.
Headshot of Darnell MotleyDarnell N. Motley, M.A., is a Psychology Resident in the LGBTQ Health Track at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. Darnell received his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a Certificate in African American Studies from Princeton University. He received his Master’s degree in Clinical Community Psychology from DePaul University. In his master’s thesis, Darnell explored how African American adolescents conceptualize their ideal dating and sexual partners. Most recently, Darnell achieved doctoral candidacy at DePaul and is currently working on his dissertation, a qualitative study exploring how young Black HIV-positive men who have sex with men navigate dating and sex. Largely, Darnell is interested in broadening and deepening understandings of marginalized communities’ romantic and sexual functioning. He is committed to the use of qualitative methods and an intersectional lens to illuminate these experiences. Darnell is also a clinician with extensive experience working with gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals living with HIV.
Headshot of Kinton RossmanKinton Rossman, M.Ed., is a Psychology Resident in the LGBTQ Health Track at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine. They are completing their doctorate in Counseling Psychology at the University of Louisville. Over the last four years their research has focused on risk and protective factors for LGBT youth, non-binary/genderfluid individuals and gender privilege and oppression in trans populations. Kinton is highly committed to increasing medical and mental health access to care for the trans community and has conducted outreach with trans individuals and providers and trans health issues. Their dissertation research focuses on the relationship for between and gender and sexuality for trans individuals and their romantic/sexual partners.


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
Mollie McQuillan, Ph.D. student, Northwestern University
Paul Salamanca, undergraduate student, Northwestern University
Lingxiao Song, M.A. student, Claremont Graduate University

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