Coordinating Team

ISC3I and the projects it supports are only possible with the efforts of many individuals across the country. On behalf of the Inter-CFAR Implementation Science Working Group, a small group of faculty and staff from Northwestern University work to coordinate the various components and manage daily operations.



Brian Mustanski, Ph.D., (he/him) directs the ISC3I team and is also a tenured Professor of Medical Social Sciences at Northwestern University, Director of the Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing (ISGMH), Co-Director of the Third Coast Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) and Co-Director of the Center for Prevention Implementation Methodology (Ce-PIM) for Drug Abuse and HIV. Dr. Mustanski’s work spans the translational spectrum and includes epidemiological studies, longitudinal cohort studies focused on developmental trajectories and risk/protective mechanisms, the development and testing of HIV interventions, and dissemination/implementation science. He has been a Principal Investigator for multiple federal and foundation research and training awards totaling over $38 million. His current projects include a NIDA-funded dyadic-network cohort study of young gay/bisexual men that seeks to gain a multilevel perspectives on the drivers of substance use and HIV in this population, several randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of HIV prevention program for adolescent and young adult gay/bisexual men (NIDA, NIMH, NIMHD), and an NIMHD-funded study of ethical considerations in LGBT adolescent participation in HIV prevention research.


Nanette Benbow, M.A.S, (she/her) co-directs ISC3I and is a research assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Director of the Third Coast Center for AIDS Research (TC-CFAR) End HIV Scientific Working Group, and member of the Center for Prevention Implementation Methodology (Ce-PIM). Her research interests include the use of epidemiologic and network modeling to improve HIV prevention and care continua; health equity for Latinos and sexual and gender minorities; and developing academic-public health partnerships in implementing evidence-based interventions that reduce HIV incidence in local settings. Before joining the Northwestern Faculty in 2016, Ms. Benbow was deputy commissioner of the STI/HIV Services Bureau of the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) where she oversaw the development and implementation of prevention and care interventions.

Director of Community of Practice and Coach

Dennis Li, M.P.H., Ph.D., (he/him) directs the ISC3I Community of Practice and also coaches projects on conducting Implementation Research. Dr. Li is an assistant professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Feinberg School of Medicine as well as a co-investigator at Ce-PIM and an ISGMH core faculty member. His research interests center on the development and implementation of technology-enabled sexual health promotion and HIV prevention programs for young people, particularly sexual and gender minority youth. He has worked on projects examining the dissemination of sexual health education into schools and social networks among young men who have sex with men. At ISGMH, he is primarily focused on accelerating the scale-out of eHealth evidence-based HIV prevention interventions into public health practice in order to improve reach to marginalized populations. He is co-investigator on two implementation–effectiveness hybrid trials of web-based HIV interventions.

Implementation Science Advisor and Coach

J.D. Smith, Ph.D., (he/him) contributes to the planning and execution of ISC3I activities and coaches project teams in conducting Implementation Research. Dr. Smith is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Medical Social Sciences and Preventative Medicine in the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. He serves as the Associate Director of the Center for Prevention for Prevention Implementation Methodology (Ce-PIM), the Associate Director of the Program for Dissemination and Implementation Science at Northwestern’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute and as a core faculty member of the Center for Behavioral Intervention Technologies. His research focuses on the implementation of family-centered prevention and health programs in the real world, especially in relation to the prevention of pediatric obesity. He is also an Associate Editor for the journals Prevention Science and Families, Systems, & Health.

Implementation Science Advisor

C. Hendricks Brown, Ph.D., (he/him) contributes to planning and strategy for ISC3I and is a professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Preventive Medicine, and Medical Social Science at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine. He also holds adjunct appointments at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Miller School of Medicine at the University of Miami. He directs the NIDA-funded Center for Prevention Implementation Methodology (Ce-PIM) for Drug Abuse and HIV. This unique NIH center focuses on developing new methodology for advancing implementation research so that HIV prevention programs can be scaled up and meet the needs of communities with elevated HIV incidence and prevalence, as well as improving the delivery of effective programs by community-based organizations, local, and federal governmental agencies. Through Ce-PIM, the team has developed innovative implementation research designs, new approaches to complex modeling of HIV prevention and implementation strategies, and new low-burden measures to monitor and provide feedback regarding multi-level barriers and facilitators of implementation.


Project Coordinator

Brennan Keiser, M.S.W., (he/him) helps to organize all of ISC3I activities and communicate among the 65 EHE HIV Implementation Science academic-community partnership projects across the U.S. Brennan graduated from the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis and has been doing work in HIV policy and programs both domestically and abroad. He is passionate about sexual and reproductive health and rights and has contributed to local advocacy efforts to modernize HIV-specific criminal statutes in Missouri and has aided in the design of programs globally that promote gender equity, adolescent sexual health, menstrual hygiene and adequate water and sanitation services.

Data Manager and Webmaster

Melissa Mongrella, M.H.S., (she/her) manages data and the community of practice website for ISC3I and is a program coordinator with the ISGMH Research Application Design and Development (RADD) team. She received her B.A. in Psychology and Spanish at the University of Chicago and later earned her Master’s of Health Science in Mental Health from Johns Hopkins University. Her master’s thesis evaluated the relationship between experiences of stigma and drug overdose. Her broad research interests include adolescent sexual health and eating disorders in underserved communities.

Partnerships Advisor and Coach

Juan Villamar, M.S.Ed, (he/him) coaches ISC3I supported projects and contributes to both the planning and facilitation of ISC3I groups and webinars. At Northwestern University, he is a Senior Program Administrator and has served as Executive Coordinator for the Center for Prevention Implementation Methodology (Ce-PIM) for 11 years. In that capacity, Juan has led with Ce-PIM faculty the formation of partnerships for implementation research, including with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and various community-based organizations in Chicago.


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