Principal Investigator: Eric Rubenstein, PhD, ScM
Eric Rubenstein, PhD, ScM, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology at Boston University. He received is PhD from the University of North Carolina Gillings Schools of Public Health and his ScM from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public health. His research focuses on improving health and well-being in the population with intellectual and developmental disabilities across the life course. Dr. Rubenstein’s research is motivated and continually inspired by his friends, Special Olympic athletes, and fellow advocates in the intellectual and developmental disability community.
Project Manager: Ashley Scott, MPH
Ashley Scott, MPH is a project manager in the Department of Epidemiology at the Boston University School of Public Health where she supports research on racial and ethnic disparities in maternal/child health and determinants that affect the health of individuals with Down syndrome. She received her MPH from Boston University in 2020. Prior to joining the Epidemiology department, she managed the BU Healthway Contact Tracing team to support students, faculty, and staff to curb the spread of COVID-19. Ashley is interested in research management, qualitative research methods, and community based participatory research. She is fluent in Portuguese and Spanish and also volunteers with the Brazilian Women’s Group, an immigrant-led community organization in Allston.
Senior Data Analyst: Salina Tewolde, MSc
Salina Tewolde, MSc, is a Senior Data Analyst in the Department of Epidemiology at the Boston University School of Public Health where she supports data management and statistical analysis for the DS-TO-THE-MAX project. She received her Master of Science in Epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 2020 and her Bachelor of Science in Public Health from the University of Maryland in 2015. Prior to joining BU, she was involved in analyzing the efficacy and impact of the “NHS COVID” app in England, as well as working as a consultant for a public health firm. Salina is interested in quantitative research methods and bridging the gap of health inequities in vulnerable populations. She is also an avid traveler and has been to over 40 countries.
Summer intern / Co researcher: Gus Edouard
Augusta ‘Gus’ Edouard is a summer intern and co researcher. She lives in Maryland and comes to Boston in the summers. She is a member of the co-research team for DS-TO-THE-MAX helping to explore questions about the health of people with Down syndrome. In summer 2022, she completed a photo voice project called ‘Being Health with Gus’ and helped around the office. Her interest in mental health led her to complete an interview project about support that students receive to handle stress. She interviewed Robyn Volcy-Lee, the Wellness and Communications Manager in Graduate Student Life.
Community Co-Researcher: Alexis Sokoloff
Alexis Sokoloff is an advocate for individuals with disabilities. She is interested in all sports. Her dream job was to work with a sports team. She currently is employed by the Worcester WooSox baseball team and the Worcester Railers Hockey team. When not working or watching sports she enjoys swimming, kayaking, music and reading. She is a co-researcher on the DS-TO-THE-MAX project.
Graduate Research Assistant: A. Alex Levine, MPH
A. Alex Levine is a PhD candidate in Health Services Research at the Boston University School of Public Health. Their research focuses on evaluating access and equity in aging and disability policies and programs. Alex is a Senior Research Associate at the Center for the Evaluation of Risk in Health (CEVR) at Tufts Medical Center, where they study Medicaid and commercial health insurance coverage and access to specialty drugs. Alex received their MPH from the Boston University School of Public Health and their BA in Health & Human Biology from Brown University.
Research Assistant: Anna-Mariya Kirova, LCSW, MPH
Anna-Mariya is a social worker and recent MPH graduate from BUSPH and works at the Boston university Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation where she teaches and coaches college students. Over the past 8 years she has advocated for minorities’ rights including youth and adults with disabilities through her various professional and academic endeavors. She spent the summer and fall of 2021 working at the Rubenstein Lab in partnership with the Special Olympics of MA to design and implement a curriculum to train adult athletes with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) about research methods. The main goal of this program was to give adults with IDD a path to become active members of research teams. Anna-Mariya enjoys painting watercolor artwork, walking her dog, Sadie, and cooking new dishes with her husband, Jonny.
Graduate Research Assistant: Alianna Higgins
Alianna Higgins is a second year MPH student studying Epidemiology & Biostatistics with a context certificate in Infectious Disease. She received a BA in Biochemistry from Hastings College in 2022. As a physically disabled person, Alianna is a strong disability justice advocate who founded a student organization for disabled students at Hastings College and worked to improve accessibility on campus. She also has experience working at the South Heartland District Health Department, where she helped organize and promote COVID-19 and Influenza vaccination clinics. Currently, Alianna also serves as the Tutoring Team Lead at BUSPH. Outside of school and work, Alianna enjoys weightlifting, live music, and playing with her cat, Tee.
Graduate Research Assistant: Lillian Droscha
Lillian is a second-year MPH student with certificates in Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and CAPDIE. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Biology and Music from Hope College and was involved in the Global Water Research Institute on projects improving drinking water quality in many areas of the world. Her activism journey began early in life as a Crohn’s patient, and has grown to involve conversations with state congresspeople, co-founding the organization for disabled and chronically ill students at Hope, and being an advisor for inclusion on Hope’s campus in the context of COVID-19. Lillian is also a Resident Assistant on BU’s campus and sings in Marsh Chapel Choir. When she’s not working or studying, Lillian enjoys all things creativity, including music, painting, crocheting, cooking, and exploring the arts around Boston.
Graduate Research Assistant: Alyssa Santoso
Alyssa Santoso is a second year MPH student majoring in Epidemiology and Biostatistics, with a context certificate in Pharmaceutical Development, Delivery and Access. She studied in University of Wisconsin-Madison for her undergraduate in Biochemistry and minor in Computer Science. Alyssa has experience in the biotech industry, where she worked for one year in Aldevron, making plasmid DNA and completed an internship at Black Diamond Therapeutics managing preclinical research data. Outside of work and school, she enjoys weightlifting, cycling and yoga.
Graduate Research Assistant: Liam Quidore
Liam Quidore is in his third year at SPH as he works to complete his MPH part-time in Epidemiology and Biostatistics with a context in Pharmaceutical Delivery. He received his B.A. in Neuroscience from Boston University in 2021. Liam’s research interests during his undergrad included social motivation and approach psychology in individuals with schizophrenia, specifically in how social media influences our mood and experienced interactions with others. His interests focus on neurodegenerative disease and improving healthcare access within the industry. Currently, Liam works in BU’s Neuroscience program, helping oversee instructional labs focused on Drosophila behavior and cellular molecular neuroscience techniques. He is completing his practicum work on the DS-TO-THE-MAX project. When not working, Liam spends his free time cuddling his cat – Mako.
Research Assistant: Shumin Guan
Shumin Guan is a fourth-year undergraduate student majoring in Human Physiology at Boston University. She is also a candidate for the university’s 4+1 MPH program, with an intended concentration in Epidemiology and Biostatistics. Shumin has been involved in research projects that studied culturally diverse families of youth on the autism spectrum, in an effort to amplify marginalized populations’ voices in research and provide services that can best support them. In order to further explore the influence of culture on families’ experience of having an autistic youth, she recently co-authored a division poster examining the relationship between culture, stigma, and discrimination, as well as how these factors may contribute to parents developing self-blame or self-reliance. During her free time, Shumin enjoys spending time with family and friends. She also loves cooking, going to different cafes, and doing yoga!
Graduate Research Assistant: Amanda Lanciault
Amanda Lanciault (she/her) is a first year MPH student pursuing a certificate in Health Policy and Law. She received her undergraduate degree from Brandeis University in 2023 majoring in Public Health and Social Justice and Social Policy. Amanda’s experience ranges from research, advocacy, and direct service work with those throughout the Commonwealth. When not working or studying, Amanda enjoys crocheting, watching video essays, and visiting independent bookstores.
Graduate Research Assistant: Mack Toth
Mack Toth (she/her) is a current graduate student pursuing an MS in Epidemiology from Boston University’s SPH. She received her BS in Public Health from Temple University (go owls!). During her undergrad, Mack worked as a peer tutor and mentor for adults with intellectual disabilities through Temple’s Leadership & Career Studies program and is looking forward to continuing research and advocacy for IDD. When not working or studying, Mack is usually reading, trying out a new coffee shop, or skiing!
Graduate Research Assistant: Yuan Zhang, MPH
Yuan Zhang, MPH, is a PhD student in the Department of Epidemiology at Boston University. She received her MPH in General Epidemiology from the University of Michigan School of Public Health. Her research interest is maternal/child medication use. Before joining Boston University, Yuan worked as a senior data analyst at Brown University Center for Gerontology and Healthcare Research, focusing on medication use in nursing homes using Medicare data and Electronic Health Records (EHR). Outside of work and school, she enjoys exploring restaurants with friends.
Graduate Research Assistant: Amatullah Yousuf
Amatullah is a second-year MPH student with a focus on Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Boston University’s School of Public Health. With a Bachelor of Dental Surgery from Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences in India, Amatullah possesses a diverse skill set, including data analysis using SAS, creative design, and clinical expertise. Her experiences range from being a marketing intern at Creative Varchasv to working as a dentist at Smile Care and contributing as a COVID healthcare worker with “Let’s Be the Change” in underserved communities. Besides studying and working, Amatullah enjoys hiking, scuba diving, swimming, reading, and cooking.
Rachel Meyer, summer 2023 Graduate Research Assistant
Ryan Gould MPH, 2022-2023 Graduate Research Assistant, Co-Research Team
Keryden Koeut-Futch MPH, 2022-2023 Graduate Research Assistant, Co-Research Team & Research with the Experts Webinar
Emily Bock, BS Research Assistant
Prisha Sujin Kumar, BS Research Assistant
Ryan Zukowski, 2022-2023 Research Assistant
Ritika Saxena, 2023 Graduate Research Assistant
Arielle Markowitz, 2022 Graduate Research Assistant
Erica De La Garza, 2022 Graduate Research Assistant
Jade Ransohoff, MPH 2020-2021, DO Student at Western University
Anna-Mariya Kirova, LCSW 2021-2022, Training Associate, Boston University Center for Psychiatric Research
Graham Bartsch, 2021-2022 Research Assistant, Special Olympics Partnership project
Nichole Kyprianou, MS, 2021-2022, MD student at Wake Forest University Medical School
Tyler Jakab, 2022 Graduate Research Assistant