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Du Bois Health Psychology Laboratory
The Illinois Institute of Technology
227 TC, 3424 S. State, Chicago, IL 60616
P: 312.567.3944

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What We Study:

The DBHP Lab is comprised of IIT faculty and students committed to researching health and the biopsychosocial factors that influence health. Our specific points of focus include HIV, health in romantic relationships, sexual behavior, and sexuality and gender. We also aim to use psychological science and health research to inform public policy. We promote and use community-based approaches to research.

Who We Are:
Dr. Steff Du Bois, LGBTQ+ Psychologist, Picture of Self with Blue Background

Dr. Steff Du Bois (he/they) is the Director of DBHP Lab, and an Associate Professor of Psychology at IIT. This is his second research lab, after leading the Behavioral Medicine Research Lab at Northwestern University's Family Institute, from 2013-2015. His research focuses on health behaviors such as sex, treatment engagement, diet and exercise; partnership and health, e.g., the health of individuals in sexual and gender minority (SGM) relationships or long distance relationships (LDR); and also, health research recruitment, retention, and methodology. Dr. Du Bois is a multi-racial, LGBTQ+ Psychologist who enjoys doing research, mentoring other researchers, and teaching students about research in the classroom. He has received multiple grants for his research, published his findings in academic journals, and presented his research nationally and internationally. He is the author of the book, I'm Not Okay and That's Okay: Mental Health Microskills to Deal with Life's Inevitable Struggles.

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Alaina Stewart (she/her) is a first-year student in the Clinical Psychology PhD program at IIT. Before enrolling in the program, Alaina received her B.S. in Health Sciences from The Ohio State University with a minor in Biological Bases of Behavior. Alaina has previous clinical experience working on an acute care inpatient behavioral unit at a children’s hospital. Her research interests are centered around the mental health and wellbeing of sexual minority youth in relation to feelings of suicidality.


Jazmin Simms (she/her) is a second-year student in the Clinical Psychology PhD program at IIT. She received a BA in Psychology from the University of Missouri with a minor in Sociology and a concentration in Multicultural Studies. Her previous clinical experience includes working within the Department of Mental Health at a forensic psychiatric hospital and a behavioral health center for young adults. Her research interests are centered around the sense of belonging, social/emotional wellbeing, and health disparities among ethnic and sexual minorities, specifically Queer and Trans People of Color. She is also interested in accessible comprehensive sex education of young adults. In the future she plans to continue in an academic environment and contribute to our understanding of marginalized experiences through both teaching and research.


Arryn Guy (she/they) is an alumna of the DBHP lab and of the Clinical Psychology PhD program at Illinois Institute of Technology (class of 2020). Her research interests focus on the translation of evidence-based behavioral health interventions from testing to implementation using community-engaged research methods, with the ultimate goal of increasing rates of HIV viral suppression and reducing HIV-related comorbidities among racial/ethnic and sexual/gender minorities. 

Kelly A. Manser, MS, (she/her) is an alumna of the DBHP Lab.  Kelly completed her predoctoral internship in Behavioral Medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina / Charleston Internship Consortium. Her previous clinical rotations include Loyola Medical Center (Abdominal Transplant) and Hines VA (Primary Care Behavioral Health). Before graduate school, Kelly worked full-time as a behavioral health research coordinator, having earned her degree in Psychology and Spanish from Tufts University in 2013. Kelly's research interests broadly encompass individual, interpersonal, and structural-level predictors of physical and psychosocial well-being. Her Ph.D. cohort once voted her "the most likely to ask how your dog is doing.


Erin Thomas (she/her) is a third-year student in IIT’s Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program. Prior to starting at IIT, she received her Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Michigan-Dearborn. Her research interests focus on the connections between romantic relationships and health, with added consideration of partners within the LGBTQ+ community. She is also more broadly interested in the impact of social support on health outcomes.


Stephen Ramos, PhD (he/him) is an alumnus of the DBHP Lab at IIT and is currently completing a T32 fellowship at the University of California, San Diego. His research interests focus on HIV prevention, HIV care engagement, behavioral health syndemics (e.g., mental health, substance use, trauma), and marginalized populations. He previously served in the APA Science Student Council as the 2020-2022 Health Psychology representative and completed his clinical internship in the Med/Health track at the University of Florida. Contact:

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Taylor Frye, MA (she/her) is currently a third-year Clinical Psychology PhD student at IIT. Before enrolling in the program, Taylor received her B.S. in Psychology from Illinois State University, as well as her M.A. in Counseling from Northwestern University. Taylor has both clinical and research experience with at-risk youth and individuals with serious mental illness. Taylor currently works as an Assessment and Referral Clinician at Chicago Behavioral Hospital, completing psychiatric intake assessments for patients. Taylor’s research interests center around the SMI population, specifically how providers can support those with SMI, and barriers to treatment engagement among those with SMI.

Wren Yoder (she/her) is an alumna of DBHP at the Illinois Institute of Technology.  She received her undergraduate degree in psychology from U.C. Berkeley.  Her research interests include associations between patient-provider relationships and health outcomes (e.g. treatment adherence) as well as romantic relationships and health.  Wren’s clinical experiences include the psychosocial oncology rotation at Loyola University Medical Center and the HIV Care Program at Mercy Hospital.


Leen Kannout, MS (she/هي) is a fifth-year Doctoral Candidate in the Clinical Psychology PhD program at IIT. Prior to this, Leen received a B.A. in psychology with a concentration in human services and a double minor in public health and peace, justice, and conflict studies at DePaul University. Her current research interests include how exposure to systemic oppression (racism, homophobia, Islamophobia, etc.) affects the physical and mental health of marginalized communities. Leen is dedicated to health equity, advocacy, and social justice. She hopes to create evidence-based, culturally competent interventions to relieve these health disparities. Clinically, Leen has worked with the pediatric health psychology population at the UI Health Craniofacial Center, and is currently, rotating at the University of Chicago Medical Center. Leen is a 2023-2024 Diversifying Higher Education Faculty in Illinois (DFI) Fellow. 

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Frane Santic (he/him) is a fourth-year student in the Clinical Psychology PhD program at IIT. He received his B.A. in Psychology from the University of Louisville and his M.A. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Dayton. His research interests broadly include understanding health outcomes within sexual and gender minority (SGM) populations, as well as the influence of romantic relationships on psychological and physical health for individuals within those dyads. His most recent clinical experiences have included work within psychosocial oncology and neuropsychological testing.


Ifeyinwa Allanah (she/her) is a third-year undergraduate in IIT’s Psychology Sciences program. Her research interests include, women's and pediatric clinical psychology, relationships, and mental health. Regarding her mental health interests, she is specifically interested in psychiatric disorders (depression, anxiety, PTSD, and PMDD). Ifeyinwa is currently mentored by a Doctoral Candidate in the Clinical Psychology PhD program at IIT, Leen Kannout.


Marlena Cannon (she/her) is an alumna of the DBHP Lab. Her research interests include exploring mental health in vulnerable populations, such as refugees, at-risk adolescents, and those who have experienced poverty, as well as the psychological effects of mental health stigmas concerning people of color (POC) and underprivileged communities. She currently works for IIT in Human Resources.


Winnie Guerra (she/her) is an alumna of the DBHP Lab. Winnie is interested in environmental justice, the ways in which climate change impacts the health of minority communities, and the relationship between human behavior and environmental sustainability. Winnie is currently pursuing a masters degree in an environmental professional program.

Timothy Tully (he/him) is an alumnus of the DBHP Lab at the Illinois Institute of Technology. He received his bachelor’s degree in psychological science with a specialization in Clinical/Behavioral Health Psychology. His research interests include the effects of stigma on mental and physical health and the effects of mental health disorders on seeking and adhering to treatment.

Current Projects:

We are designing studies, conducting studies, analyzing data, and/or writing manuscripts on the following topics:

  • Facilitators and barriers to PrEP use among sex workers

  • Training future healthcare providers to be trans allies

  • HIV treatment adherence among African Americans

  • SGM partnership and psychological health

  • Longitudinal health in long-distance relationships

  • Patient-provider variables related to health behaviors

  • Structural stigma and health outcomes among SGM


We value collaboration with other researchers and research teams. Please contact Dr. Steff Du Bois, by clicking the button below, if you are interested in working in the lab, or with the lab! 

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