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Former Team Members


Barry M Lester, PhD

Principal Investigator (1985-1989)

Dr. Lester was the original Principal Investigator (PI) of the Infant Development Study located at Women & Infants Hospital in Providence, RI. He led the infancy assessments which many parents will remember included video of infants and recording their cry characteristics. Dr. Lester continues his successful career in research.


Margaret "Peggy" McGrath, DNSc, RN, FAAN

Principal Investigator (1989-2003)

Peggy McGrath was a Professor at the University of Rhode Island, College of Nursing and second Principal Investigator. She was actively engaged in the early years of the Infant Development Study helping with recruitment of the original participants at Women & Infants Hospital. She remembered all the children and families. She also conducted health and developmental assessments during the first years of the project. She became PI with the 4 Year study funded by the National Institutes of Health and successfully continued the project with NIH funding for the 8 Year and 12 Year projects. Dr. McGrath retired in 2003.


Mary Sullivan, PhD, RN, FAAN

Principal Investigator (2003-2022)

Mary Sullivan is Professor Emerita at the University of Rhode Island, having retired in 2022, and was the third study Principal Investigator. She began with the RHODE Study in 1990 when the participants were toddlers. Her scholarly focused on developmental pediatrics, particularly the outcomes of premature infants. Across her career, she studied health, function, and development of infants in complex models involving longitudinal research designs. Dr. Sullivan is credited with leading the outstanding retention efforts of this longitudinal study and advancing the knowledge of prematurity outcomes.

Zachary Stanley

Research Assistant


Matthew Rivard

Research Associate 


Jennifer Valiente, RN

Research Nurse


Pam Brewer, RN, MSN

Doctoral Student


Carol Green, MD, MFA

CPCP Coordinator, Research Fellow 


Michelle Kelly, PhD, CRNP, CNE

Post-Doctoral Fellow 


Suzy Winchester, MA, MSW, LCSW

Project Director


Betty Vohr, MD

Women & Infants, Rhode Island

Manuela Barcelos, MA

Research Assistant

Robin Miller, PhD, RN

Research Nurse Coordinator

Katheleen Hawes, PhD, PMHCNS

Graduate Research Assistant


Amanda Gilmore, Marissa MacGilvray, Annie Boldt, Jen Pasquariello, Giavanna Petrone, Bailey Vogt, Emily Shields, Maura Reilly, Madison Oratio

Undergraduate Research Fellows 

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