Hassenfeld Child Health Innovation Institute


Meet our executive, administrative and research staff.

Executive Staff

  • Andrea Chu

    Andrea Chu

    Director, Programs and Operations

    Andrea is the Director of Programs and Operations at the Hassenfeld Child Health Innovation Institute. She has extensive experience as a project coordinator and has managed complex portfolios of federally-funded community-based research projects. As a Latina woman, she is drawn to the intersectionality between culture and mental health service use. Her research interests include disparities in behavioral health outcomes for low-income children, screening and early detection of autism, and the impact of state-level policies on the provision of services for children with developmental delays. Andrea received her BA in Psychology and Sociology from Boston University and her Masters in Public Health from Boston University School of Public Health.

  • Kristin Basso

    Kristin Basso

    Director, Research Management

    Kristin Basso is the Research Director of the Hassenfeld Child Health Innovation Institute. She is a trained clinical researcher with a pediatric/neonatal/emergency medicine background. Her professional career brings more than a decade of experience in clinical practice, research, leadership, teamwork, and mentorship. Prior to joining Brown in October 2021, Kristin was the Assistant Director of Clinical Research for the Department of Emergency Medicine at Rhode Island, the Miriam, and Hasbro Children’s Hospitals. In addition to her operational and management skills Kristin’s extensive past experience servicing at-risk children and families lures her to opportunities to contribute to advancing knowledge and understanding of the influence of health disparities on children and families.

  • Jocelyn Antonio

    Jocelyn Antonio

    Director, Program Implementation and Policy

    Jocelyn Antonio is the Director of Program Implementation and Policy at the Hassenfeld Child Health Innovation Institute. She earned her Master of Public Health degree with a concentration in Health Policy and Law and a sub-concentration in Global Health from Boston University School of Public Health. She completed her undergraduate degree at Duke University where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Evolutionary Anthropology. Jocelyn’s experience ranges from database development to project coordination and implementation to community organizing. Her research interests include health disparities and inequities in maternal mental health outcomes, maternal depression prevention and screening, child maltreatment, community delivered interventions and food security. She has worked on research projects for Boston Medical Center, RTI International, UNC, Chapel Hill Carolina Survey Research Lab, and Duke University Center for Child and Family Policy. Additionally, Jocelyn has been involved in various political campaigns in North Carolina and Massachusetts. As a bilingual Mexican-American woman, Jocelyn is interested in reducing health inequities and disparities in populations that have been systemically marginalized by advancing evidence -informed policymaking through a health equity lens.

Research Staff

  • Veronica Bariscillo

    Veronica Bariscillo

    Bilingual Research Assistant

    Veronica is a bilingual research assistant. She has 15 years of research experience and has worked on projects for Brown University, Women & Infants Hospital, Hasbro Hospital and the University of Washington. Her interests are in children’s health and their pathways to growth. In her free time, Veronica enjoys sailing across the Narragansett Bay and traveling abroad to visit family and friends.

  • Paulino

    Jheraldines (Jhery) Paulino B.S., CCRP

    Jhery is the Project Manager for the Hassenfeld Child Health Innovation Institute. She is a graduate of Boston University with a degree in Biology and 8 years’ experience in clinical research. Over time her research career has been focused on Human Research Protection, making her our regulatory expert. Jhery also helps coordinate various studies as well as develop and implement standard operating procedures to maintain regulatory compliance at the institute.

  • Roberto E Ramirez

    Roberto Ramirez

    Research Laboratory Specialist

    Roberto is the research laboratory specialist for the Hassenfeld Child Health Innovation Institute. He is a graduate of Rhode Island College with a degree in biology and has previous experience working in a hospital laboratory. He is responsible for all aspects of specimen collection and transport. Outside of work, Roberto enjoys playing soccer, camping, hiking and spending time with family and friends.

  • Scarpaci

    Matthew Scarpaci, MPH

    Matthew Scarpaci is a data analyst with experience in clustered and multilevel modelling, spatial data analysis, data harmonization techniques, and database management and development. His primary expertise is in creating and maintaining longitudinal research databases and in modelling statistical outcomes for a variety of study types. Mr. Scarpaci has substantial experience in SAS, R, ArcGIS, and the RedCAP data capture system. His research interests include early childhood health and educational development, chronic disease, and the effect of environmental conditions on child health.

  • Lauren E Schlichting

    Lauren Schlichting Ph.D.

    Lead Biostatistician

    Lauren Schlichting is an epidemiologist with experience in statistical analysis, complex data management, database design, and data visualization. Dr. Schlichting's research interests include pregnancy complications, birth defects, perinatal exposures, early childhood development, maternal mental health, and life course epidemiology.

  • Tatiana Torres

    Tatiana Torres

    Research Assistant

    Tatiana is a bilingual research assistant. She is a graduate of Rhode Island College with a degree in public health and a focus in community health and wellness. Outside of work, she enjoys serving in her local Church, shopping, and traveling with her family!

  • Varela

    Natacha Varela

    Study Coordinator

    Natacha is the study coordinator for the prospective cohorts. She is a graduate of Quinnipiac University with over 5 years of research experience. Natacha is responsible for all coordination with the Institutional Review Board, assures study compliance, quality control, and coordinates interdepartmental research components. Her interests include health & fitness and traveling all over the world.

Administrative Staff