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

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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. 

Project Coordinator: Deena Afana, MPH

Deena Afana, MPH is a Project Coordinator in the Department of Epidemiology at the Boston University School of Public Health. She helps facilitate research on racial and ethnic disparities influencing maternal health outcomes amongst minoritized groups in Massachusetts. She also helps facilitate research dedicated to improving health outcomes among individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Before joining the Rubenstein Lab, Deena earned a Master of Public Health degree with concentrations in Epidemiology and Biostatistics and Infectious Disease from the Boston University School of Public Health. She is devoted to academia and is passionate about public health and epidemiology. Her additional research interests include pandemic preparedness and response and utilizing statistical modeling methods to investigate infectious respiratory disease outbreaks, transmission patterns and mitigation strategies. She is devoted to reducing health disparities and helping create healthier communities.

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.

To see more people on the research staff, please visit the Continued Research Staff page.