Assistant Professor of Medical Social Sciences (Feinberg)
Director of the CONNECT Research Program (CONNECT)
Office: 625 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL
Phone: (312) 503-3538
Michelle Birkett, Ph.D., (she/her) is an assistant professor in the Department of Medical Social Sciences at Northwestern University and directs the CONNECT Complex Systems and Health Disparities Research Program within ISGMH. Dr. Birkett’s research uses network and quantitative methodologies to understand the social contextual influence of stigma on the health and wellbeing of marginalized populations, and in particular, sexual and gender minority youth. This work is influenced by a multilevel perspective of health that considers direct and indirect influences of multiple levels of the social and physical environment. This multilevel approach to understanding health underlies her interest in network data and her commitment to conducting research that leads to social change at multiple levels of society to eliminate health disparities. Dr. Birkett has led multiple NIH-funded projects. She is the recipient of a NIH Career Development Award focused on understanding network, multilevel, and contextual influences on racial disparities in HIV within young men who have sex with men (K08 DA037825). She also directs Network Canvas (R01 DA042711; Dual PIs: Birkett & Phillips), a software development project which seeks to simplify the collection and streamline the management of social data, thereby allowing health researchers to assess more nuanced associations between social contextual factors and disease.