Du Bois Health Psychology Laboratory

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 Assistant Professor of Psychology at the Illinois Institute of Technology. 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 adherence, 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 an 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. 


Arryn Guy 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, M.S., is a fifth-year student in IIT's clinical psychology Ph.D. program.  She earned her B.A. in Psychology and Spanish from Tufts University, where she was captain of the varsity fencing team. Before enrolling at IIT, Kelly spent four years coordinating health psychology studies full-time in both academic and small-business environments. Her research interests encompass the intersection of behavioral health outcomes and close interpersonal relationships, especially in the context of individual, interpersonal, and structural-level stress. Kelly's clinical rotations in health psychology include Abdominal Transplant/Psychosocial Endocrinology at Loyola Medical Center and Primary Care Behavioral Health at Hines VA.


Erin Thomas is a first-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 is a PhD candidate in Clinical Psychology at IIT. He received his B.A. in Psychology from the University of North Texas, and his M.A. in Psychological Research from Texas State University. His research interests include bio-behavioral health risk and equity in marginalized communities, harm/risk reduction, and chronic illness populations. Stephen’s clinical experiences include generalist training in inpatient and residential facilities with individuals across the lifespan, as well as college mental health at IIT’s Student Health & Wellness Center. Specialized training in behavioral medicine include the Health Psychology/Biofeedback rotations at Jesse Brown VA Medical Center, and the Heart & Lung Transplant rotation at Loyola University Medical Center. Stephen is also the 2020-2022 Health Psychology representative for the APA Science Student Council. 

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Taylor Frye, M.A., is currently a first-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 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.


Lynn Kannout is a third-year student in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program at IIT. Prior to this, Lynn 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. During this time, she worked on a variety of projects looking from looking at the efficacy of community mental health to examining the role of White entitlment in the dehumanization of others. Her current research interest includes how exposure to systemic oppression (racism, homophobia, Islamophobia, etc.) affects the health of marginalized communities. In the future, Lynn hopes to create evidence-based interventions to relieve health disparities among minorities. 

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Frane Santic is a second-year student in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program at IIT. He received his B.A. in Psychology from the University of Louisville and an M.A. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Dayton. His research interest broadly is the influence that relationships can have on mental health. More recently, he has developed an interest in exploring relationships and social support within LGBTQ+ populations. His clinical experiences include conducting evaluations for local agencies and providing addiction rehabilitation services. 


Marlena Cannon is a fourth-year undergraduate student at the Illinois Institute of Technology, pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Psychological Science with a specialization in Clinical/Behavioral Health Psychology. 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.


Winnie Guerra is a fourth-year undergraduate student at the Illinois Institute of Technology majoring in Psychological Science with a specialization in Clinical/Behavioral Health and a minor in Biology. 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. In the future, Winnie hopes to pursue a masters degree in an environmental professional program.

Timothy Tully 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 transgender 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!