Postdoctoral Fellows

lbLauren Beach, J.D., Ph.D., (she/her) is a postdoctoral research fellow at ISGMH in the research group of Dr. Gregory Phillips, II. Scientifically, Lauren investigates how stigma affects chronic disease management and health outcomes in LGBTI populations. As an alumna of the Joint Degree Program in Law, Science & Technology, she received her JD specialized in Health Law & Bioethics from the University of Minnesota Law School in 2012 and her PhD in Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology & Genetics from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities in 2014. For her PhD dissertation research in the lab of Dr. Louis Mansky, she studied the molecular mechanism of action of how ribonucleotide reductase inhibitors inhibit HIV-1 and HIV-2 replication. She received a BA in Social Relations and Policy and a BS in Microbiology from Michigan State University in 2007. Prior to joining Northwestern, Lauren served as a postdoctoral research fellow in the research group of Dr. Kerri Cavanaugh, as well as the Director of LGBTI Research at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. From 2014-2015, she was an HIVCorps Public Health Fellow at the Center for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia (CIDRZ), in Lusaka, Zambia. Lauren is a member of the Minnesota bar and a founding member of the Bisexual Research Collective on Health (BiRCH). At the invitation of the Obama administration, she has spoken at the White House to present recommendations for improving bisexual health outcomes and bisexual data collection methods. When not in the office, Lauren enjoys spending time with her 100 pound St. Bernard mix dog, Danny, playing piano, and vegetarian cooking.


A headshot of Ashley KrausAshley Kraus, Ph.D., (she/her) is a postdoctoral research fellow at ISGMH. She received her Ph.D. in Mass Communications from Indiana University. During her graduate training Ashley’s research generally focused on the intersection of media, mental health, gender, and sexuality. More specifically, Ashley explored the effect of body-positive media on discrete emotions, self-discrepancies and body-image outcomes. At ISGMH, she works on the Looking and ASAP projects. Additionally, Ashley is interested in the role media and technology play in regards to health disparities in SGM youth as well as the potential for media as a tool to help repair these disparities.

A headshot of Dennis Li.Dennis Li, M.P.H., Ph.D., (he/him) is a postdoctoral research fellow at ISGMH. He received his M.P.H. in Health Promotion and Health Education and Ph.D. in Behavioral Sciences from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health. During his graduate training, Dennis was heavily engaged in adolescent sexual health research, directing a study of HIV and social networks among young men who have sex with men and helping to design a web-based decision-support system for implementing evidence-based sexual health education programs in schools. At ISGMH, he works across multiple projects, including the SMART Program, RADAR, and FAB400, to continue to characterize the epidemiology of and develop interventions for HIV among adolescent and young men who have sex with men as well as to expand into new areas such as substance abuse/misuse, longitudinal data analysis, and the health of sexual and gender minorities who are assigned female at birth. More broadly, Dennis is interested in positive youth development and resiliency among sexual and gender minority youth and the development, evaluation, and implementation of primary prevention interventions for these individuals. He currently co-chairs the Adolescent and Young Adult Health Committee within the Maternal and Child Health Section of the American Public Health Association.

A headshot of Ethan Morgan.Ethan Morgan, Ph.D. (he/him) is a postdoctoral research fellow at ISGMH. He received his Ph.D. in Epidemiology from The University of Chicago. During his graduate training, Ethan focused on the development of new methods to combine HIV transmission networks with social networks in a sociomolecular approach towards HIV prevention among young black MSM in Chicago. At ISGMH, he works on the RADAR project with a focus on understanding the longitudinal epidemiology of HIV among young men who have sex with men. In addition, he is continuing to work on the development of network-based HIV interventions using phylogenetic analytic techniques with the Chicago CFAR. More generally, Ethan is interested in how sexually transmitted infections, especially antibiotic resistant STIs, move through networks of at-risk individuals, the use of spatial epidemiology to inform disease intervention, and global public health.

A headshot of Balint Neray.Bálint Néray, Ph.D., (he/him) is a postdoctoral fellow, working with Dr. Michelle Birkett across several projects related to Network Science and disparities in HIV. He completed his Ph.D. in Sociology at the Corvinus University of Budapest and worked as a research associate at the Social Network Analysis Research Center at the Università della Svizzera italiana. In 2014 he completed a Fulbright Research Fellowship at Duke University. In his earlier work he utilised advanced network methods to study racial and ethnic identity formation, its consequences on interpersonal tie-formation and relational integration among school kids. He hopes to contribute to the analysis of ego-centric networks that is essential in understanding the social mechanisms through which HIV-spread operates.