Brian Mustanski, PhD, is tenured Professor of Medical Social Sciences, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Psychology, and Infectious Diseases at Northwestern University. He is the Director of the Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing and Director of the Third Coast Center for AIDS Research (CFAR). The majority of his research focuses on the health and development of sexual and gender minority youth and the application of new media and technology to sexual health promotion and HIV prevention with young men who have sex with men (MSM). Dr. Mustanski’s work spans the translational spectrum and includes epidemiological studies, longitudinal cohort studies focused on developmental trajectories and rick/protective mechanism, the development and testing of HIV interventions, and implementation science. He has been a Principal Investigator of over $70 million in federal and foundation research and training awards. His current projects include a NIDA-funded cohort study of young gay/bisexual men that seeks to gain a multilevel perspective on the drivers of substance use and HIV in this population, two hybrid effectiveness-implementation randomized controlled trials of HIV prevention program for adolescent and young adult gay/bisexual men (NIDA, NIMH, NIMHD), and NIAID funding to coordinate the use of implementation science in the federal Ending the HIV Epidemic initiative. Dr. Mustanski has published over 360 peer reviewed journal articles. He is a frequent advisor to federal agencies and other organizations on LGBTQ health and HIV prevention, including serving as an appointed member of the National Advisory Council on Minority Health and Health Disparities and the NIH Council of Councils Sexual and Gender Minority Research Working Group. Some recognition for his work includes being named a William T Grant Scholar, the Award for Distinguished Scientific Contribution from the Society for the Psychological Study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues of the American Psychological Association, and NBC News selecting him in 2017 from 1,600 nominees to their inaugural list of 30 changemakers and innovators making a positive difference in the LGBTQ community. In 2020, he served as the 46th President of the International Academy of Sex Research.
Jagadīśa-devaśrī Dācus, PhD, MSSW(he/him)
Jagadīśa-devaśrī Dācus, PhD, MSSW, is a research assistant professor and the Associate Director of the Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing. He received his MSSW with a concentration in advanced generalist practice and programming from the Columbia University School of Social Work and his doctorate from The Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY) in social welfare. Before joining the faculty at ISGMH, he completed a NIH-funded postdoctoral research fellowship at the HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies at Columbia University and the New York State Psychiatric Institute in the Division of Gender, Sexuality, and Health. Dr. Dācus’ research takes a qualitative seeks to identify and understand the psychological, social, and spiritual strengths and resiliencies that contribute to maintained HIV-seronegativity in Black men who have sex with men. His NIH-funded dissertation research (R36 MH106357) received the 2018 Center for LGBTQ Studies (CLAGS) Paul Monette-Roger Horwitz Dissertation Prize and the 2019 Society for Social Work and Research Outstanding Social Work Dissertation Award. To his role as the Associate Director, Dr. Dācus brings over 20 years’ worth of professional experience in senior-level nonprofit organization and government agency leadership, administration and management with an emphasis on the development and implementation of organizational growth and development initiatives. He has lead organizational change activities such as strategic planning, developing/revising mission and vision statements, and developing goals and objectives for organizational advancement and growth.
Ben Polancich is Center Administrator for the Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing. Most recently, Ben served as Senior Director of Business Administration at DePaul University's School of Music, where he oversaw construction and opening of the Holtschneider Performance Center in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood and served as the dean's chief of staff. Previously, Ben held various leadership roles in finance and administration at Northwestern University's Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences (where his portfolio encompassed faculty onboarding and compensation, budget planning and forecasting, financial analysis, and dean's office initiatives) and served as Account Executive at Allied Integrated Marketing in Chicago. He received a BS in Communications-Advertising from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.