2016 Summer Scholars

Tia Forsman 
My name is Tia Forsman and I am a sophomore at Brown University studying Health and Human Biology as well as Visual Arts. As a student in the Program in Liberal Medical Education (PLME) at Brown, I have developed a strong interest in health, and specifically child health--as of now, I hope to pursue a career in pediatrics. At the Hassenfeld Child Health Innovation Institute, I have decided to study treatments for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. My summer scholar research involves analyzing the vast array of therapies and interventions available to treat children with ASDs,their evidence-bases, and their accessibility in Rhode Island.  Ultimately, I hope to produce through my research a tool that will help families reduce frustration and confusion so they can make educated decisions when it comes to finding the best treatments for their children on the Autism spectrum. 

Dorothy Marlowe Miller
Ms. Miller graduated with a degree in Biology from Wheaton College (MA) in 2011 and has just completed the first year of her Master’s in Public Health at Brown University's School of Public Health. She worked for three years as a Clinical Data Specialist within the Program for Patient Safety and Quality at Boston Children's Hospital (BCH). One of the quality improvement projects she coordinated at BCH was a standardized clinical assessment and management plan for critical asthma. Marlowe's research interests are focused on preventive medicine, environmental and child health and pediatric asthma. With the Hassenfeld Child Health Innovation Institute and for her master’s thesis, Marlowe will be conducting qualitative interviews with Rhode Island parents to understand how Rhode Island can be the healthiest place to raise a family.

Clayton Sanford
My name is Clayton Sanford, and I am a rising junior at Brown University. I study applied mathematics and computer science. I am particularly interested in the intersections between those fields and genomics. In the Fairbrother lab for the Hassenfeld Summer Scholar Program, I am working on software that assesses the likelihood of a mutation affecting RNA splicing. These concepts can be applied to study the causes for disorders like autism that affect child health. I hope to significantly improve the computational power of the tool and apply it to relevant genes for child health.


Ling Song
My name is Ling Song, and I am a junior at Brown University studying pre-med and Public Health. Hoping to one day be a doctor serving underprivileged populations, I am interested in researching methods that help alleviate—if not eliminate—social and health disparities. At the Hassenfeld Child Health Innovation Institute, my summer scholar research involves creating maps of hot spots in Rhode Island where there are patterns of high health care utilization, with a focus on the four core cities. I want to be able to visualize these areas—where 25% of children live under the federal poverty level—in order to assess and target the communities’ primary care needs to reduce health care costs.  By determining the relationships between poverty and health care utilization, and examining potentially preventable pediatric hospitalizations, I hope to be able to introduce ways that hospitals can maximize their resources and have the greatest positive impact on their communities. 

Amna Younus
My name is Amna Younus, and I am in my second year at Brown University completing my Masters in Public Health (MPH).  Over the years I have developed an interest in managing and developing healthcare programs through ground breaking research aiming towards health equity.  At the Hassenfeld Child Health Innovation Institute, my research involves examining the availability of Asthma Action Plans in urban public elementary schools in Rhode Island and the communication of school nurses with caregivers about students’ asthma management, and its relation to children’s asthma outcomes. Through my research for this leading chronic manageable disease, I hope to help schools implement appropriate plans to result in better outcomes for our future generations.