EB trainees contribute to all aspects of our research. Our fellows, many of them Intramural Research Training Award (IRTA) recipients, have experience and interests across a broad range of areas in perinatal and pediatric epidemiology.
Priscilla Clayton, Ph.D., is a postdoctoral fellow working with Dr. Edwina Yeung on the Upstate New York Infant Developing Screening Program (Upstate KIDS) and the Study of Pregnancy And Neonatal health (SPAN). Her current research examines pediatric nutrition and obesity outcomes in children by exploring early dietary patterns and the use of epidemiological approaches. She completed her doctoral degree in nutrition at Florida International University in 2022.
Tesfa D. Habtewold, Ph.D., M.Sc., M.S.N., B.S.N., is a postdoctoral fellow working with Dr. Fasil Tekola-Ayele on the NICHD Fetal Growth Study and SPAN. His research investigates the interplay between cardiometabolic genetic risk, epigenetics, ancestry, and environmental factors on fetal and neonatal growth, and examines how the trajectory of maternal glycemic status during pregnancy is linked with placental epigenetic clocks and fetal/neonatal growth. He completed his doctoral degree in psychiatric and genetic epidemiology at the University of Groningen, Netherlands. He also received a master’s degree in clinical and psychosocial epidemiology and a master’s degree in adult health nursing from the University of Groningen, Netherlands and Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia, respectively.
Randy Le is a postbaccalaureate fellow working with Dr. Fasil Tekola-Ayele. His research investigates whether interplays with genetic ancestry distance can partly explain the relationship between maternal obesity and fetal growth outcomes. He plans to attend medical school in fall 2024 to study chronic disease management, with the goal of becoming a physician-scientist. He graduated from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst in 2022 with bachelor’s degrees in biochemistry, molecular biology, and public health.
Alexandra Jean-Louis is a postbaccalaureate fellow working with Dr. Katherine Grantz on the exposure of stress in racially and ethnically diverse women. Using three-dimensional ultrasounds from the Fetal 3D Study, she compares fetal volumes to assess for differences in fetus sizes due to stress exposure. Ms. Jean-Louis’s Haitian ancestry and experiences as a first-generation Haitian American inspired her research interests, particularly in maternal health. Her undergraduate honors thesis explored the support missing for prenatal and postpartum Haitian women. Ms. Jean-Louis graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2022 with a bachelor’s degree in health sciences on the pre-clinical track.
Ian Ryan, Ph.D., M.P.H., M.P.A., is a postdoctoral fellow working with Dr. Edwina Yeung on Upstate KIDS and SPAN. His current research examines prenatal air pollution exposure and cardiometabolic outcomes in children using epigenetic and epidemiological approaches. He completed his doctorate in environmental health sciences at the State University of New York at Albany. He also received a master’s in public health and a master’s in public affairs from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Kathryn Wagner, Ph.D., is a postdoctoral fellow working with Dr. Katherine Grantz on the Fetal 3D Study and SPAN. Her current research examines prenatal exposures, pregnancy complications, and fetal growth. She completed her doctoral degree in epidemiology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2022.
Prabhavi Wijesiriwardhana, Ph.D., is a postdoctoral fellow working with Dr. Fasil Tekola-Ayele on genetic links between fetal growth and cardiometabolic health using human population cohorts. Her current research examines genetic factors that regulate fetal growth based on gestational windows of pregnancy and the link between oxidative DNA damage and inflammatory markers in maternal plasma during pregnancy and epigenetic aging of placenta. She completed her doctoral degree in genetics at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka. She also received a master’s degree in experimental biotechnology at the Postgraduate Institute of Science, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, and a bachelor’s degree in medical laboratory science from the Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. She was a lecturer at the Department of Medical Laboratory Science, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, University of Ruhuna, Sri Lanka from 2014 to 2023.