Meet The Team


Stephen Sheinkopf, PhD

Director & Principal Investigator

Dr. Stephen Sheinkopf serves as director and principal investigator for RI-CART. In addition he serves as Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at Brown University.  

Dr. Sheinkopf’s primary research interests include the identification of very early signs of autism in infancy, the development of social communication abilities in young children with autism, and neurodevelopmental outcomes in children exposed to drugs prenatally. In addition, Dr. Sheinkopf has an active clinical practice with an emphasis on early diagnosis of and clinical management for children with autism. Throughout his career, he has served on scientific grant review panels for National Institutes of Health, Autism Speaks and the Autism Research Program through the Department of Defense. 

Stephen J. Sheinkopf holds a PhD from University of Miami, completed his postdoctoral training at Brown Medical School under an NRSA fellowship, and is a graduate of Tufts University.

Eric Morrow, MD, PhD


Dr. Eric M. Morrow serves as a consultant for RI-CART.

Dr. Morrow received his PhD in genetics and neurodevelopment at Harvard University. He received his MD degree from the Health Science Training Program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard Medical School. During this medical training, Morrow developed a strong interest in the scientific challenges posed by childhood neuropsychiatric disorders. He conducted further clinical and scientific training in neurology and psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Morrow was Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Rappaport Neuroscience Scholar and Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School prior to coming to Brown. His research focuses on normal molecular mechanisms of brain development, and genetic perturbations that underlie disorders of human cognitive development. At Brown, Morrow's research bridges between the Department of Molecular Biology, Cell Biology & Biochemistry and the Department of Psychiatry & Human Behavior, where he directs the Developmental Disorders Genetics Research Program (DDGRP).

Thomas F. Anders, MD

Senior Research Scientist & Volunteer Senior Consultant 

A retired, academic child and adolescent psychiatrist, Dr. Anders draws on his extensive experience in autism research and community building in his work with RI-CART.

Prior to helping launch RI-CART in 2009 and returning to Brown University as an adjunct professor, Dr. Anders co-founded the M.I.N.D. Institute at University of California, Davis – a premier research institute for people on the ASD spectrum. Dr. Anders is also past president of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP.)

Dr. Anders is a graduate of Stanford University School of Medicine. His career includes heading the Divisions of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Stanford University (1974-1984) and at Brown University (1985-1992). At UC Davis, his multiple posts also included Chair of the Department of Psychiatry (1992-1998), Executive Associate Dean of the School of Medicine (1998-2002) and after retiring, as a professor emeritus of psychiatry and behavioral sciences.

Lindsay Oberman, PhD

Co-Investigator & Associate Director of Clinical Research

Lindsay serves as the Associate Director of Clinical Research in RI-CART – overseeing research activities, as well as encouraging and facilitating new collaborations, grants and manuscript submissions.

Lindsay also serves as director of the Neuroplasticity and Autism Spectrum Disorder Program at Bradley Hospital. Her research interests focus on getting a better understanding of what is happening in the brain of someone with ASD in hopes of applying these insights toward development of novel therapeutic interventions that target the causes of ASD, rather than simply treating the symptoms.

Prior to joining RI-CART, Lindsay completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Berenson-Allen Center for Noninvasive Brain Stimulation at Harvard Medical School, where she developed paradigms using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to study brain plasticity and excitability in people with ASDs.  In addition, she served as an Instructor in the Department of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, with appointments at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Children’s Hospital.

Lindsay holds a PhD and MS in experimental psychology from University of California, San Diego. In graduate school, she used electroencephalography (EEG) and electromyography (EMG) to study the brain basis of social impairments in children with ASDs. She also hold an undergraduate degree from Emory University.

Carrie Best, MPH

Project Coordinator

Carrie joined the RI-CART team in June 2015 as Project Coordinator and oversees the day-to-day operations of the project, as well as the overall progress of RI-CART.

Carrie brings more than 10 years of research experience, primarily working on studies focused on pregnancy and infants, to her work at RI-CART. As the mother of a child with ASD, Carrie offers a unique perspective to this program and finds her position with RI-CART particularly meaningful.

Carrie holds a Master of Public Health degree in Health Behavior and Health Education from the University of Michigan School of Public Health, as well as undergraduate degrees in Sociology and Music Performance.

Carolyn McCormick, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow 

Dr. Carolyn McCormick coordinates RI-CART enrollment at the Women and Infant's Hospital site and also conducts assessments.

Carolyn joined RI-CART in 2014 and is working on a research project to examine physiological responses in young children and adults with ASD during multiple baselines and different social experiences. Her research interests surround early developmental trajectories of children with ASD. During her graduate work, she used eye tracking to examine learning and reward in young children with ASDs.

She holds a PhD and MA in Developmental Psychology from the University of California, Davis and a BA in Psychology from Columbia University.

Giulia Righi, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Giulia Righi is a Postdoctoral Fellow focused on understanding ASD through both research and clinical services with a primary focus on assessment and study of those who require significant levels of psychiatric care. Her research interests are in the study of the phenotypic and psychophysiological characteristics of children and adolescents with ASD and co-morbid psychopathologies, as well as on improving diagnostic accuracy and identifying factors relevant to treatment outcome.

Prior to joining RI-CART, Giulia completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Children’s Hospital Boston where she conducted research surrounding early markers of ASD using electroencephalography (EEG) and behavioral measures.

Giulia received her PhD in cognitive sciences from Brown University and completed her clinical internship at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

Elena Tenenbaum, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow 

Dr. Elena Tenenbaum is a Postdoctoral Fellow whose research focuses on social attention and language learning in typically developing, language delayed, and autistic children. She works with Dr. Stephen Sheinkopf at the Brown Center for the Study of Children at Risk at Women and Infants Hospital where she uses eye tracking to explore how children look at the world when they learn new words. She focuses on identifying interventions for autistic and minimally verbal children.

Prior to joining RI-CART, Elena worked for a number of years at the Autism Project of Rhode Island.

Elena Tenenbaum holds a PhD in Cognitive Science and Psychology from Brown University.

Jill Benevides

Senior Research Assistant

Jill Benevides guides families through the assessment process with a primary focus on participants from the inpatient study with the Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities (CADD).

Prior to joining RI-CART in 2015, Jill worked as a Milieu Therapist, treating aggressive, dysregulated children at the CRAFT program of Bradley Hospital and was also a middle school teacher. She participated on the design team for Habro Children’s Hospital’s Medical/Psychiatric Inpatient Unit. 

Jill holds a BS in biology and a BA in Spanish from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. 

Anacecilia Panameno

Clinical Research Assistant
(401) 432-1073 

Anacelcilia Panameno joined to RI-CART team in 2014 and guides families through the assessment process, maintains the RI-CART database and supports recruitment of families for the study.

Prior to joining the RI-CART team, Anacecilia worked as a research assistant at The Miriam Hospital in the department of Preventive Medicine. Anacecilia is a graduate of Providence College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and plans to pursue a career in health care.

Hannah Marsland

Clinical Research Assistant

Hannah Marsland joined to RI-CART team in 2015 and guides families through the assessment process, maintains the RI-CART database and supports recruitment of families for the study. Hannah holds a BA in psychology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst where she worked as a research assistant in the Early Behavior Development lab and as an assistant preschool teacher in the Center for Early Education and Care. She hopes to pursue a career in health care.

Kayla Perkins

Clinical Research Assistant

Kayla Perkins joined to RI-CART team in 2015 and supports families through the enrollment process, helps maintain the RI-CART database and supports recruitment of families for the study at community events.

Kayla is graduate of the University of Connecticut where she earned a BA with honors in Psychology and worked on a study investigating a measure designed for the early detection of autism and related disorders.

Diego Placido

Clinical Research Assistant

Diego Placido joined the RI-CART team in 2016. He leads families through the enrollment process, assists in the acquisition and management of the RI-CART database, and supports recruitment of families and providers at community events.

Diego graduated from Brandeis University where he studied Psychology with a focus in Neuroscience and Computer Science. During his time at Brandeis, Diego worked at the Memory and Cognition Laboratory as a Research Assistant investigating memory and cognitive efforts through auditory and visual processing, and decision-making. In addition, he volunteered as a Teaching Assistant at the Lemberg Children's Center, cultivating deeper thought and interests in toddlers through meaningful social reasoning opportunities and experiences.

Lauren DeMoss

Outreach & Recruitment Coordinator

As Outreach & Recruitment Coordinator for the Rhode Island Consortium for Autism Research and Treatment, Lauren is the initial point of contact for families interested in joining the research registry. She coordinates many of the Consortium’s events and outreach efforts. Lauren also conducts assessments with RI-CART participants.

Prior to joining RI-CART, Lauren worked as a project coordinator at the Duke Center for Autism and Brain Development under Dr. Geraldine Dawson and as a school-based occupational therapist in North Carolina.

Lauren holds an MS in occupational therapy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a BS in psychology from James Madison University.

Elaine Bucknam

Data Management Specialist

Elaine Buckname joined the RI-CART team in 2017. She oversees the RI-CART database, facilitates data analysis for RI-CART research projects, and supports recruitment of families and providers at community events.

Elaine graduated summa cum laude from St. Mary's College of Maryland, where she earned a B.A. in Psychology and Studio Art. During her time at college, Elaine completed research on social motivation and social cognition in high-functioning boys with autism. Prior to joining RI-CART, Elaine worked as a Research Assistant at the National Institutes of Health and Yale Cognition and Development Laboratory. She plans to pursue a career in child clinical psychology.

Robin Evans

(401) 432-1101 

Robin Evans received her certificate in phlebotomy in 1999 from Community College of Rhode Island’s phlebotomy program.  She has over 15 years of experience, including working in the RI Blood Center, The Miriam Hospital, and a pediatric practice. She is excited to be a part of the RI-CART team!

Sue Baylis

Family and Resource Specialist
(401) 785-2666 ext 1021

Sue Baylis serves as RI-CART’s liaison with The Autism Project and is available as a resource to every family within RI-CART. As the parent of two daughters with autism, Susan understands the joys and challenges of raising a child with special needs, as well as the fear and confusion that follows a diagnosis. Sue has worked at The Autism Project as a Parent Consultant/Resource Specialist since March 2005 offering support and assistance to families and community partners.  She facilitates support groups and teaches Parent to Parent, a 5-week class, which helps new families learn about ASD and how it impacts their child.