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Northwestern professor Brian Mustanski appointed advisor to director of the NIH

Advisory committee currently includes just six experts

CHICAGO --- Northwestern University professor Brian Mustanski has been appointed to the Advisory Committee to the Director of National Institutes of Health (NIH), Dr. Monica Bertagnolli. Mustanski was invited to join the committee by Xavier Becerra, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. Mustanski’s appointment begins immediately and extends through 2027.

Mustanski is director of Northwestern’s Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing (ISGMH), director of the NIH-funded Third Coast Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) and a professor in the department of medical social sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. His research centers on HIV prevention and treatment and the health and development of LGBTQ+ youth.

“It is truly an honor to sit on the Advisory Committee to the Director of the NIH,” Mustanski said. “The NIH has provided me with tremendous support over the course of my career, so I’m excited to work with my fellow committee members on making recommendations to help the agency achieve its mission of turning discoveries into health.”

The committee is composed of individuals from academia and the private sector who are considered authorities in fields relevant to the mission of the NIH. It currently has six members. According to its charter, the Advisory Committee to the Director "makes recommendations concerning program development, resource allocation, NIH administrative regulation and policy.” Additionally, the committee provides recommendations on grant applications after they have completed the peer review process. 

The committee meets three times each year to advise Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services Becerra; Assistant Secretary for Health Admiral Dr. Rachel L. Levine; and Director of the NIH, Dr. Bertagnolli. At its most recent meeting, the committee discussed approaches to re-envision NIH-supported postdoctoral training, large trans-NIH research initiatives (e.g., RADx, All of Us, ECHO) and the maternal mortality crisis.

Mustanski had previously served as an appointed member of the National Advisory Council on Minority Health and Health Disparities, which advises the secretary of Health and Human Services, the NIH director and the director of the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities. He also served as an inaugural member of the NIH Council of Councils of Sexual and Gender Minority Research Working Group.