Asthma Initiative

Leadership for the Childhood Asthma Research Innovation Program is from the Asthma Research team at Hasbro Children’s Hospital and Bradley Hospital, including Dr. Daphne Koinis-Mitchell and Dr. Elizabeth McQuaid.


Initiative Leads

Daphne Koinis Mitchell, PhD 
Professor (Research), Departments of Psychiatry and Human Behavior and Pediatrics, Warren Alpert Medical School
Dr. Koinis-Mitchell’s research focuses on multi-level contributors (biological, sociocultural, environmental and familial) to pediatric disparities in asthma, sleep, and school outcomes. For twenty years, she has been the Principal Investigator and Co-Investigator of NIH-funded studies on pediatric health disparities and on family/cultural and contextual risk and protective factors related to asthma outcomes in urban children.  Her current research involves observational/longitudinal, intervention and experimental approaches across home, school and clinic settings. She is currently the director of the Community Asthma Program at Hasbro Children's Hospital. She is also highly invested in mentoring early career investigators, particularly from underrepresented groups. She is the PI of a K24 award focused on mentoring trainees and faculty at all levels interested in research in pediatric health disparities. 

Elizabeth McQuaid, PhD, ABPP
Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Professor of Pediatrics, Warren Alpert Medical School
Dr. McQuaid’s work has focused on health disparities research specific to pediatric asthma, driven by a model that incorporates individual, family, cultural, and systems contributions to variability in asthma outcomes.  Dr. McQuaid’s research program has also emphasized the development of theoretically-driven interventions to improve pediatric disease management and outcomes, including medication adherence, environmental remediation, and smoking cessation.  Dr. McQuaid has been a Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator on over 20 federally-funded studies in pediatric asthma and allergies, and faculty mentor to numerous trainees and junior investigators.  She is the Director of Child Psychology at Rhode Island Hospital/Hasbro Children’s Hospital and Director of the Brown Clinical Psychology Training Consortium.


Ronald Seifer, PhD (University of North Carolina)

Barbara Jandasek, PhD - Co-Investigator (Hasbro Children’s Hospital/RIH, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry)

Nicole Nugent, PhD - Co-Investigator (Bradley/Hasbro Children’s Research Center)

Kate Powers, DOMD - Co-Investigator (Hasbro Children’s Hospital, Pediatric Pulmonology)

Tao Zheng, MD - Co-Investigator  (Hasbro Children’s Hospital, Pediatric Allergy)

Dave Barker, PhD - Co-Investigator (RIH, Children and Adolescent Psychiatry)

Sara Vargas, PhD - Co-Investigator (Miriam Hospital, Center for Behavioral and Preventative Medicine)


Sheryl Kopel, MSc - Lab Director

Nicole Belanger, PhD - Asst. Lab Manager, Data Coordinator

Linnea Drew, MSc - Project Director (RI-AIR)

Maria Teresa Coutinho, PhD - Asthma Educator Trainer (RI-AIR)

Rebecca Noga, MSc - Project Coordinator (ABC Study, Project CARE)

Miosotis Alsina, BS - Program Outreach Coordinator (RI-AIR)

Donald Brennan, BS - Research Assistant (RI-AIR)

Jocelyn Ramirez, BA - Research Assistant (RI-AIR)

Catherine DeCesare, BA - Research Assistant (RI-AIR)

Joanna Meriwether, BS, MSW - Asthma Educator (RI-AIR)

Elizabeth Derderian, MPH - Asthma Educator (RI-AIR)

Arelis Valerio, MD - Asthma Educator (RI-AIR)

Ambar Perez, BS - Community Health Worker (RI-AIR)

Kenia Vasquez, BA - Community Health Worker (RI-AIR)

Joana Yeboah, MPH - Community Health Worker (RI-AIR)


Grace Cushman, MA