About Us 2017-08-09T10:54:57+00:00


With the leadership of Richard M. Novak MD, Stockton Mayer DO, Elise Levin, PhD, and Regina Harden, BA, Project WISH conducts research with a wide range of sponsors, including NIH and industry. Our study volunteers come from all of Chicago’s neighborhoods and nearby suburbs.
Richard Novak, Principal Investigator

Dr. Novak is a Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases in the Department of Medicine. He is an internationally recognized clinician scientist whose leadership, accomplishments, and vision for prevention and treatment of HIV disease have contributed tremendously to our understanding of the disease. He is actively involved with HIV clinical research focused on treatment strategies which have directly shaped the current treatment guidelines. He also serves as the Director of the UIC HIV Community Clinic Network: a network of 7 community based, Ryan White HIV primary care clinics throughout Chicago, which he founded in 1992 in collaboration with the School of Public Health. This program has been supported by nearly $24 million in federal (HRSA) funding since its inception.

Stockton Mayer, Co-Investigator

Dr. Mayer is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine in the Department of Infectious Disease. Dr. Mayer’s areas of clinical interest include Infections in Immunocompromised Hosts and Tropical Medicine. His scholarly activity focuses on HIV education and prevention in Latin America. Dr. Mayer directs Internal Medicine’s Urban and Global Health Residency Track, coordinating projects in Chicago, The Dominican Republic, and India. He also serves as an instructor for the Tropical Medicine Elective hosted in the Dominican Republic yearly. Prior to embarking on a career in medicine, Dr. Mayer served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Guatemala and worked as a consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton’s International and Infrastructure Team.

Monica Sikka, Clinician

Dr. Sikka is an Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine and Medical Director of Infection Control at the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center. Her research interests include prevention of healthcare infections, specifically catheter related infections and those caused by resistant gram-negative bacteria. Her clinical interests include HIV/AIDS and general infectious diseases.

Elise Levin, Administrative Director

Elise Levin is the Administrative Director for Clinical Research at Project WISH. Elise has worked in research and technical assistance in public health, HIV/AIDS prevention, and reproductive health for more than 25 years, in Chicago, Washington D.C. and in other countries including Guinea and Mali. Her educational background includes a Master’s in Public Health and PhD in Social and Cultural Anthropology.
Regina Harden, Clinic Coordinator
Regina has been working in the clinical research field since 1998. As a Research Information Specialist at the University of Illinois since 2002, she collected data from participants who were recruited to potentially participate in a future vaccine trial (HIV Vaccine Preparedness Study). She conducted the research and documented findings for statistical use in the analysis for vaccine use as a mean of preventing HIV infections. She also worked at the CORE center as a Health Educator. This study promoted the use of a rapid HIV test for HIV prevention. she provided health education and counseling appropriate to the risk of the population being studied. She administered informed consents on all study participants and performed laboratory test and data analysis according to study protocol, which included rapid HIV testing (SUDS). She also established networks with community organizations to provide basic HIV information and prevention techniques designed to achieve behavioral changes leading to reduced risk of infection.

John Stryker, Nurse Practitioner
John Stryker NP MS started at Project WISH in October 2016. He is a graduate of University of California, San Francisco School of Nursing with a Masters degree in Critical Care and Trauma. He attended the post-masters Family Nurse Practitioner program at Rush University in Chicago. John has been a nurse since 2002 and a nurse practitioner since 2009, the last 7 years at Howard Brown Health Center where he specialized in HIV primary care, LGBT primary care, and PrEP – Pre-exposure Prophylaxis for the prevention of HIV. John has certification from the American Academy of HIV Medicine as an HIV care specialist. John’s research interests are in Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) in men who have sex with men (MSM) and health care for Trans persons.

Ariel Zuckerman, Research Nurse

Ariel Zuckerman is a research nurse at Project WISH and has been with the organization for 2 years. Prior to that, she worked at the Community Health free clinic in Humboldt Park for 4 years and with Amigos de las Americas, an international development organization in Mexico and Paraguay. Her clinical interests are in HIV and emergency care, as well as international and local public health work with migrants. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Public Health in Community Health Sciences.

Rich Morrissy, Regulatory Affairs Specialist

A year after getting his Bachelor’s of Arts at Western Illinois University in 1976 Rich worked in a variety of positions for 2 years searching for a career before moving into the banking industry. For the next 13 years he worked in diverse jobs there including teller, marketing and advertising, purchasing agent, credit card division manager and personal banker. I have been in research since 1991 when I worked on a study working with homeless veterans. I spent the first 3 years working for Northwestern University on a variety of studies; the next 3 years were spent at Hines VA Hospital with more social research. That was followed by working in social and medical research at UIC since 1997 in the School of Public Health, Occupational Therapy, the College of Pharmacy and the College of Medicine departments of surgery and infectious diseases doing regulatory work and study coordination.

Anthony Johnson, Community Affairs Specialist

Anthony Johnson is the Community Affairs Specialist at UIC Project WISH. He graduated from Indiana University with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and Master of Public Health with a special interest in epidemiology and community health. His interests include mixed-method techniques to understanding public health problems through community based participatory research. His foundation in scientific and behavioral research, data management and administration has allowed him to mobilize and engage the community on major health projects within universities, non-profit organizations and safety net hospitals.started at Project WI
Studies Open to Enrollment
REPRIEVE: Randomized Trial to Prevent Vascular Events in HIV
This clinical trial is testing to see if pitavastatin can prevent heart disease in people with HIV infection who are taking HIV medications. The study is a prospective, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, multicenter phase IV efficacy study. Participants are randomly assigned to either pitavastatin or placebo. Pitavastatin has been approved by the FDA for a different use, to decrease cholesterol.

You may be eligible for REPRIEVE if you:
have HIV and are between the ages of 40 and 75
Have been on antiretroviral therapy (ART) for at least 6 months
Have no history of cardiovascular disease
Are not currently taking a statin drug.

UIC Principal Investigator: Richard M. Novak MD
Study Coordinator: Regina Harden

VICAL: Genital Herpes Vaccine Trial
VICAL is a study being done to evaluate the safety and efficacy of a therapeutic HSV vaccine in HSV-2 seropositive adults with a reported history of genital herpes in the prior year.

You may be eligible if you are:
Between the ages of 18 and 50
Have a diagnosis of genital herpes

UIC Principal Investigator: Richard M. Novak M.D
Study coordinator: Regina Harden

We offer three flu season studies, including a clinical trial of a treatment drug, and observational studies of influenza. If you are a UIH provider and have a patient who currently has flu-like symptoms or confirmed influenza.

UIC Principal Investigator: Richard M. Novak M.D
Study coordinator: John Stryker NP

INSTRUCTIONS: In order to add a sidebar anchor:

  1. Duplicate the existing item, listed as a 1/6 text field. (Or create a 1/6 column and add a text field, modify the class so it’s exactly “additionalAnchor”).
  2. Modify the text field inside the 1/6 column. Inside there, modify the HYPERLINK so that it would go to a corresponding section with a “#” in front of it. (Example, we have a “chief” section on the page, then it would make sense to have the hyperlink go to “#chief”)
  3. Then change the hyperlink TEXT to a appropriate label.
  4. IMPORTANT: If not done already, go into that CONTAINER that corresponds to your anchor (i.e. Meet The Chiefs), and add an ID matching the anchor’s HYPERLINK WITHOUT the “#”, i.e. “chief”.
  5. (If using side bar widget box, then there’s a saved copy of a widget box COLUMN, grab it in the column library, it should 1/6 of a length of a column.)

NOTE: Order added to the sidebar is from last to first.