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Amy D’Agata, PhD, RN

Principal Investigator

Amy is a nurse scientist and Assistant Professor at the University of Rhode Island. She was recently named the RHODE Study PI after joining Dr. Mary Sullivan and the RHODE Study in 2019. Previously, Amy practiced as a bedside nurse in the neonatal intensive care unit, caring for sick and prematurely born infants and their families. As a researcher, she has been studying how these early life experiences may impact later life health and development. Her undergraduate education was earned from the University of Saint Joseph and graduate education from the University of Connecticut. Her dissertation work explored the relationship of NICU stress and genetic variation on preterm infant neurobehavior. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of South Florida where she studied the gut microbiome of preterm infants. Amy is passionate about working with the RHODE study participants to advance our scientific understanding about how to promote the healthiest outcomes for individuals born preterm.


Charles Eaton, MD, MS


Dr. Eaton is Professor of Family Medicine and Epidemiology. He has been at Brown for the past 30 years and is Director of the Center for Primary Care & Prevention, including its Clinical Studies Center.  Dr. Eaton is principal investigator for multiple epidemiologic studies and clinical trials, including: WHISH 2 Prevent Heart Failure-a large (40,000 women) pragmatic primary prevention exercise trial; Racial/Ethnic Health Disparities in Heart Failure: A cross-cohort collaboration; site PI of the ASPREE, aspirin trial and its extension; PI of the clinical center of the landmark Osteoarthritis Initiative, now in its 18th year, and co-lead of the Community engagement Core of the RI-Advance CTR. Our Center has evaluated over 20,000 participants over the past decades including clinical exams, phlebotomy, cardiopulmonary testing, carotid IMT, coronary artery calcification, DEXA, body composition, doubly labelling water caloric assessments, fat and skin biopsies, X-rays, MRIs, dietary assessments, and accelerometry. Center professionals provide support for survey development, focus groups, semi-structured interviews, database development, data cleaning and statistical analysis.


Susan McCormack

Research Phlebotomist

Susan McCormack is a senior laboratory technician at the Center for Primary Care and Prevention. She has been associated with the Center and Kent Hospital/Care New England for more than 40 years and been involved in more than 15 clinical research studies. Susan is responsible for assuring that your blood samples are properly collected and processed. It is very delicate work to process each sample using a centrifuge, transfer of blood to cryovials, and small pipettes. Because Susan is meticulous in her technique, we know that these important blood samples will be ready for shipment and analyses by our partnering laboratories in Boston and Chicago. Susan enjoys time away at Prudence Island and sharing special times with family and friends.

Tara Smith, PhD

Study Coordinator

Bing Lu, MD, DrPH

University of Connecticut

Douglas Granger, PhD


Stephen Horvath, PhD

Altos Labs

Lifang Hou, MD, PhD

Northwestern University

Justin Parent, PhD

University of Rhode Island

Patrick Vivier, MD, PhD

University of Rhode Island

Kevin Smith, PhD

Data Analyst

Dorothy Vittner, RN, PhD

Fairfield University

Valerie Duffy, PhD, RD

University of Connecticut

George Slavich, PhD


Kayla Albin, MBA

Research Assistant

Sharon Capuano, MSN, RNP

Research Nurse

Rhode Island Cohort of Adults Born Prematurely


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