Summer Assistantship Faculty Sponsor List Summer 2013 Below is

Summer Assistantship
Faculty Sponsor List
Summer 2013
Below is a list of Brown faculty who have expressed an interest in working with medical
students this summer. We urge you to contact them early in your application process to
discuss potential collaborations. Please note that that you are not limited to faculty on this list
– you may identify other faculty mentors independently.
All Summer Assistantship application materials must be submitted electronically as email
attachments to no later than February 22, 2013
Michelle Forcier MD MPH
Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Adolescent Medicine
3055 Coro West Adol Med Suite, 1 Hoppin St Providence RI 02903
The HIP Kid Project: Health Information Promotion for PrePubertal and Early Puberty Gender
Nonconforming Kids
This project will focus on creating health education materials in both electronic and paper
format designed to meet the developmental needs of young gender non-conforming children
and early teens. We will create patient education materials on: social transition tips, body care
for transgender children, building self esteem, and creating a transition plan that is healthy,
safe, and supported.
Medical Student Applicant
 Have interest in child and adolescent development, including gender nonconforming youth
 Have interest in patient education
 Have experience with website design and development
 Have an interest in leading focus groups
 Have an interest in grant writing for future funding
No external funding. Student should apply for SA.
Office space is available for a student to use all summer.
Several projects available focusing on upper extremity biomechanics using advanced imaging
and computer modeling to study function, injury and osteoarthritis, Students should have a
computer programing background and are interested in orthopedics.
J.J. Trey Crisco, Ph.D.
Henry Frederick Lippitt Professor of Orthopaedic Research
Director Bioengineering Laboratory, Department of Orthopaedics
The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and Rhode Island Hospital
Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Applied Biomechanics
1 Hoppin Street, Suite 404 Coro West, Providence, RI 02903
web page:
Tel: 401-444-4231 Fax: 401-444-4418
The role of Ihh or HDAC4 in aging cartilage degeneration.
Prefer student have some experience in lab.
No external funding. Student should apply for SA.
Lei Wei PhD., MD
Associate Professor
Department of Orthopaedics
Brown Medical School/RIH,
Coro West/402H
1 Hoppin Street, Providence, RI 02903
phone: (401) 793 8384
fax: (401) 793 8360
Developmental Brain Injury Research
Hypoxic-ischemic brain injury is the single most important neurologic problem in the perinatal
period. In utero hemodynamic abnormalities possibly in association with elevated proinflammatory cytokines (cytokines) such as IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α predispose to brain injury,
particularly in premature neonates.
Our specific aims test the hypothesis that specific cytokines cross both the intact and injured
BBB in the fetus to damage the brain. A consequence of this hypothesis is that blockade of
these cytokines would attenuate the ischemia related damage to the neurovascular unit (BBB)
and possibly the brain. A multidisciplinary approach will be used to address our hypothesis and
will include physiological, biochemical, pathological, immunohistochemical, and molecular
Aim 1 tests the hypothesis that cytokines such as IL-1β & IL-6 cross the BBB in a maturationdependent manner in ovine fetuses, and that maturation-related changes in barrier
permeability to cytokines are primarily related to changes in the composition of the tight
junction. BBB permeability will be quantified by the integral technique with α-aminoisobutyric
acid andradiolabeled cytokines. Tight junction (TJ) proteins and mRNA will be measured
by Western blot, immunohistochemistry, and Northern blot.
Aim 2 determines whether ischemic injury increases the permeability of the BBB to cytokines as
a function of gestational age and tight junction maturation. Brain ischemia is induced by
carotid occlusion. BBB permeability and TJ components will be measured as in Aim 1 and brain
injury assessed by pathological, immunohistochemical, and molecular methods.
Aim 3 determines whether blocking the effects of cytokines with systemic infusions of
neutralizing antibodies attenuates ischemic injury to the fetal neurovascular unit (BBB) and
possibly the brain more in preterm than near term fetuses. IL-6 and IL-1 β blocking antibodies
will be infused before ischemia. Brain ischemia will be induced and BBB permeability, TJ
components, and brain injury measured as in Aim 2. These studies will provide the first direct
evidence whether systemic cytokines cross the intact or injured fetal BBB and whether blocking
the effects of cytokines with neutralizing antibodies protect the fetal neurovascular unit (BBB)
and brain.
No external funding. Student should apply for SA.
Barbara S. Stonestreet, M.D., Professor of Pediatrics
The Alpert Medical School of Brown University
Staff Neonatologist, Director, Neonatal-Perinatal Fellowship Program
Department of Pediatrics
Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island
101 Dudley Street, Providence, RI 02905
Phone: (401) 274-1122, x 7429, Fax:
(401) 453-7571
Potential Project:
Title: Gene expression in Candida albicans colonizing the human newborn.
This project will involve collecting stool samples from newborns in the ICU at Women & Infants Hospital
and testing them for colonization with the fungus, Candida albicans. Samples that are positive will be
tested for expression of niche-specific genes that have been identified in a mouse model to determine
relevance to human newborns. Desired experience: Coursework in microbiology with relevant
laboratory experience preferred.
No external funding. Student should apply for SA.
Joseph Bliss MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Pediatrics
Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University
Staff Neonatologist
Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island
(401) 274-1122 ext. 7484
Study: Pilot study of the impact of PTSD and marital conflict on children's health
Study description: Understand the impact of parental PTSD symptoms on children's health and wellbeing, and to measure how these variables differ based on parenting behaviors, parent's marital
environment (conflict and aggression), gender, number and length of deployments (Aim 1). As these
relationships are expected to change over time, this study includes a longitudinal design, in order to
model the relationships between variables at different time points (Aim 2). The methodology used will
be web-based survey technology.
Student qualifications: interest in Veterans, parenting, family functioning or child health in this context.
Study is based at the VA hospital in Providence, and the student must complete 4 VA research trainings
online along with a VA application and background review process and therefore must complete
required paperwork several months in advance of anticipated start date. Statistics training a plus but not
required. Ability to contribute own ideas, interpretations, and analysis of the research findings and
process expected. Funding in the amount of a $3,500 stipend has been requested through a grant
application and thus is pending at this time.
Suzannah K. Creech, PhD, Research Psychologist, Providence VAMC
Instructor (research), Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior,
Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Email:,
Phone: 401-273-7100 x 6245