Howard Brown Health is always looking for new Research collaborations! If you are interested in conducting research with Howard Brown or becoming a research partner, please complete the Research Proposal Snapshot and send it to All potential research collaborations must first be reviewed by the Howard Brown Research Committee. Please allow at least 2-3 weeks of processing time for the Research Committee to review any proposals.

Current Researchers

Cathy Creticos, M.D.

Cathy has been an HIV specialist at Howard Brown since 1995 and Associate Medical Director since 1998. Dr. Creticos graduated from University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine in 1981 and completed internships, residencies, and fellowships in Internal Medicine and Infectious Disease. Dr. Creticos is the Medical Director of MATEC (Midwest Aids Training & Education Center) and Chief of Infectious Disease at Illinois Masonic Medical Center. Dr. Creticos also practices medicine at University of Illinois-Chicago and Rush North Shore Medical Center. Dr. Creticos has been Principle Investigator on more than 15 research studies.

Beau Gratzer, MPP

Beau has been with Howard Brown Health Center for over a decade in a variety of research and program positions, including serving as the Director of HIV/STI Prevention and the Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. He has been engaged in multiple sexual health studies funded by NIH, CDC and private foundations. His current studies include the STD Surveillance Network (SSuN) Project, the Extra-Genital Gonorrhea Susceptibility (EGGS) Study, and the Young Men’s HPV Prevalence Study. Beau previously served on the investigative teams for Testing Together (couples HIV testing), Keep It Up! (On-line HIV prevention), MSM Prevalence Monitoring Project, and a variety of other HIV/STI prevention and clinical care projects. He received an MPP in Health Policy and Economics from the Harris School of Public Policy Studies at the University of Chicago and is a PhD Candidate at the UIC School of Public Health.

Beck Hickman, PA-C, AAHIVS

Beck received her degree in Physician Assistant studies from Marquette University in 2010 and is an accredited HIV specialist. Beck originally began research through the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study at Howard Brown Health Center. Presently Beck is participating in research for clinical trials of new HIV medications and regimens. Beck has particular interest in transgender and gender non-conforming healthcare and hopes to see research in this field expand.

Alicia Matthews, PhD

Alicia is a clinical psychologist and Associate Professor in the Department of Public Health, Mental Health, and Administrative Nursing at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Alicia’s primary research interests are in cancer prevention and control, psychosocial adjustment to illness, and identifying sociocultural predictors of mental and physical health outcomes in African American and other underserved populations. Alicia has conducted funded research studies examining information seeking and treatment decision-making among newly diagnosed African American cancer patients; factors associated with breast cancer quality of life in lesbian women; prevalence and predictors of anxiety among breast cancer survivors, and evaluation of a targeted breast and cervical cancer education program for African American lesbian and bisexual women. At Howard Brown Health Center, Dr. Matthews is expanding her work to include cancer screening for lesbians and gay men.

James A. Swartz, PhD

James received his doctorate in clinical psychology from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Dr. Swartz is an associate professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago in the Jane Addams College of Social Work where he teaches statistics, program evaluation, mental health policy, and research methods to Masters in Social Work and doctoral program students. James has been contacted to serve as the lead evaluator for a Howard Brown Health Center grant for transgender women of color sponsored by the Health Resources and Services Administration. Among his primary research interests are: the diagnosis, treatment, and epidemiology of co-occurring health conditions including substance use disorders, mental illnesses, chronic medical conditions and HIV/AIDS among LGBT and criminal justice populations; the use of technological innovations such as Internet-based treatment and highly tailored computerized treatment to improve and standardize treatment delivery and reduce health disparities; the evaluation of prevention programs and interventions designed to reduce risk for HIV and other STIs and improve health care generally for LGBT populations; and analysis of current policy as it relates to the behavioral health care. Dr. Swartz has served as co-editor for special issues of Contemporary Drug Problems, The International Journal of Substance Use and Misuse, and Women and the Criminal Justice System. He recently authored a book titled Substance Abuse in America: A Documentary and Reference Guide.

Kristin Keglovitz-Baker, PA-C, AAHIVS

Kristin joined Howard Brown in 2005 as a Physician Assistant, became Director of Clinical Operations in 2010, and has most recently taken on the role of Associate Medical Director. Her medical practice focus includes LGBTQ care, women’s health, HIV medicine, health promotion and interdisciplinary medical care for populations at risk. Kristin has been the driving force behind numerous projects at HBHC including Alternative Insemination, Primary Care Opt Out HIV testing, rapid Hepatitis C testing, and the expansion of service lines to include areas such as pediatrics. As part of an interdisciplinary team, Kristin provides medical care to a diverse population of patients. A Physician Assistant with a Master’s in Biochemistry and who is an accredited HIV specialist, Kristin graduated from Marquette University in 2002. In 2010, she completed a fellowship at Kansas University in Community Health Center leadership and development. She has been the investigator and sub investigator on a number of clinical research trials, serves as IRB chair, and manages numerous grants as program director. Kristin is passionate about community health and improving health outcomes in communities of need.

John Stryker, NP

John started in HIV research in 2000 at the AIDS Office, San Francisco Department of Public Health working as a research assistant. As a medical provider, John has worked on numerous HIV medication studies here at Howard Brown. He is the Primary Investigator of a SPNS (Special Project of National Significance) grant looking at different models of HIV/ Hepatitis C co-infection treatment. His interests have expanded to include research into depression and chronic disease, transgender health, and STIs – specifically syphilis.