Otolaryngology and Communication Enhancement Research | Research Assistant Alumni

2020

Natasha Dombrowski

2019

Syed (Omar) Ali

Ava Atri

Sophie Lipson was born and raised in New York City. She graduated from Harvard in 2017 with a degree in human evolutionary biology and a minor in folklore and mythology. During her time as a research assistant at Boston Children’s Hospital, Sophie worked with Dr. Brodsky in the Balance and Vestibular Program. Her projects ranged from topics such as benign paroxysmal positional vertigo to motion sickness and vestibular migraine. Currently, Sophie is a second-year medical student at Tufts University School of Medicine where she has continued to conduct clinical research. Outside of school, she enjoys hiking, playing guitar, and baking. 

Genevieve Medina

2018

Naomi Ayele

Devon Barrett grew up in Montclair, New Jersey, before graduating from Princeton University in 2014 with a major in anthropology. After graduation, Devon worked as a sales trader at Goldman Sachs in New York City. In 2016, she moved to Boston to complete a post-baccalaureate in pre-medical sciences at Harvard University, while conducting clinical research at Boston Children’s Hospital in the Department of Otolaryngology and Communication Enhancement focusing on congenital etiologies of hearing loss. Devon started medical school at Emory University School of Medicine in 2018, where she has continued her research in Otolaryngology and Dermatology. In her free time, Devon enjoys running and exercising, exploring new restaurants, baking, horseback riding, golfing, and a competitive (but friendly) game night.

Juliana Manganella grew up in Massachusetts and graduated from Simmons University in 2014 with a degree in psychology. After graduation, Juliana worked as a research assistant with Christine Sieberg, PhD, in the Biobehavioral Pediatric Pain Lab at Boston Children’s Hospital, before transitioning to the Department of Otolaryngology and Communication Enhancement in 2015. Juliana began working with Dr. Margaret Kenna on research related to genetic etiologies of hearing loss. As the presence of clinical research in the Department of Otolaryngology grew, Juliana began working departmentwide as a research specialist to support the research efforts and develop education about the research process. Throughout her time at Boston Children’s, Juliana was always drawn to the human connection forged with patients, and she decided to continue her education and pursue her master’s degree in social work at Simmons University. She graduated in May 2020, with her M.S.W. with a Certificate in Trauma Practice. She currently is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Mass.

Mallory McKeon

2017

Kelsey Cappetta, M.A., completed her undergraduate work at the College of the Holy Cross (Worcester, Massachusetts, 2012), focusing on deaf studies and Spanish, and she received her master's of art degree from Tufts University (Medford, Mass., 2015), where she specialized in child study and human development. Following her time at BCH ORL, she entered the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. Program at Gallaudet University (Washington, D.C.). During this program, Kelsey has trained at the Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) Clinic at Gallaudet and completed the 40-hour didactic training requirement toward her PCIT therapist certification. She has also trained at Mount Washington Pediatric Hospital (Baltimore, Maryland). She is currently a trainee at Children's National Medical Center in the Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders (Washington, D.C.) and at MedStar Georgetown Center for Wellbeing in School Environments (Washington, D.C.). Both her clinical and research interests center on working with D/deaf and hard-of-hearing children, adolescents, and families.

Alexandria Irace worked as a clinical research coordinator for Dr. Rahbar and Dr. Adil from 2015-17 after graduating from Wesleyan University. She is now an MD/MS candidate at Columbia University and will graduate in 2022.

Karampreet (Peety) Kaur grew up in Lebanon, N.H., and went to school just a few miles down the road at Dartmouth College, where she studied biology and ethics, and spent a lot of time in the mountains. She took time off before applying to medical school so that she could get more work experience and confirm her desire to pursue a career in medicine. She achieved both of these things and more working as a research assistant for Dr. Jacob Brodsky in the Balance and Vestibular Program. Her year with Dr. Brodsky was very productive from a research perspective, resulting in multiple publications and presentations, and it also gave her a view into the medical field that she needed to commit to the physician path. She started at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in 2017, building on the clinical, research, and leadership skills she started to develop at Boston Children’s. She is currently applying into OB/GYN residency and will be getting her MD in spring 2021. She is very grateful for Dr. Brodsky's mentorship and the personal and professional development she achieved at Boston Children’s.

2016

Talia Goldman was born and raised in New York City and graduated from Dartmouth College in New Hampshire with a major in biology. She had the opportunity to join the Boston Children’s community from 2015-16, where she worked under Dr. Jacob Brodsky researching pediatric vestibular and balance disorders and new technologies for assessing and treating these conditions. During her time at Boston Children’s, Talia had the chance to collaborate with other specialties through the Brain Injury Center's Concussion Clinic and was first introduced to the field of ophthalmology. Talia went on to pursue a medical degree from Harvard Medical School where she continued to engage in pediatric ophthalmology research at Boston Children’s. She graduated in May 2020 and has recently moved to Philadelphia to complete her ophthalmology residency at Wills Eye Hospital. In her free time, Talia enjoys traveling the world (pre-COVID), hiking, and can be frequently found playing fetch with her dog, Nala, at the dog park.

Sonia Yuen grew up on Long Island, went to Dartmouth College, and went to medical school at Washington University in St. Louis. There, she fell in love with otolaryngology, specifically pediatric otolaryngology. Before applying to residency, Sonia decided to postpone graduation for two years to work with Dr. David Roberson at Boston Children’s Hospital. Sonia has been learning a lot about research and quality improvement work. One of her biggest joys has been working with the Global Tracheostomy Collaborative, co-founded by Dr. Roberson, which aims to improve tracheostomy care. More and more, Sonia envisions her future as a pediatric otolaryngologist and cannot wait for it to become a reality. In addition to medicine, Sonia loves to pursue her Christian faith, sing, and go hiking.

2015

Julianne Edwards grew up in Vermont before attending Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, where she majored in molecular biology and biochemistry, biology, and science in society. She was the leader of a science outreach program for local elementary school students, interned at a cancer center, and spent her summers working at a camp for kids with life-threatening illnesses. Upon graduating in May 2013, she worked as a research assistant for Dr. Margaret Kenna. Their research focused on categorizing the various etiologies of hearing loss, and their work was selected for presentation at the Family Center Early Intervention Conference in Austria and the North American Cystic Fibrosis Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. In July 2014, she helped plan and organize the International Symposium on Usher Syndrome. Julianne loves to run, ski, and be outdoors, and hopes to attend medical school.

Tali Rasooly was a research assistant for Dr. Dennis Poe and worked with him in the neurotology program. She attended University of Maryland and graduated in 2011 with a degree in psychology and concentration in neuroscience. Tali previously worked as a research assistant in Boston Children’s Hospital’s Psychiatry Department, and transferred to Otolaryngology in the summer of 2013. She worked on Dr. Poe’s upcoming device clinical trials, as well as his research on Eustachian Tube Dysfunction. Tali hopes to attend a doctoral program in clinical psychology and pursue research in child psychology.

Brandon Cusick grew up on the humble plains of Kansas but has spent his life living and exploring different corners of the world. During his undergraduate years at Loyola Marymount University and graduate years at the University of Iowa, Brandon pursued higher education in the application of business management and the neuroscience of leadership. He utilized those traits while leading medical mission teams across the globe from the Dominican Republic to Nepal, and even in his hometown of Kansas City. Upon moving to Boston in 2012, Brandon continued his educational journey as a candidate in the Health Careers Program through the Harvard Extension School in a pursuit to become a physician with a heart for mission work. As of 2013, he had the great pleasure of supporting Dr. Jacob Brodsky and Dr. Greg Licameli as their research assistant. His research with Dr. Brodsky focused on vestibular dysfunction in children and the efficacy of testing and treatment techniques. His research with Dr. Licameli was focused on categorizing and analyzing various aspects of treatment involving cochlear implantation in children. In 2015, they planned on presenting their research at the upcoming Triologic and COSM conferences, in addition to publishing their findings. Outside of research, Brandon enjoys cycling, photography, connecting with fascinating people, and exploring the great outdoors.

Ethan Moritz was raised in Lower Merion, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2014 with a degree in biology and Italian studies. While at Wesleyan, Ethan researched cellular movement using a Drosophila model and prior to his Junior year, he researched human serum glycan levels in order to search for a biomarker for hepatocellular carcinoma. Ethan worked with Drs. Kenna and Rahbar, researching the various etiologies of hearing loss and many different head and neck abnormalities. Ethan was a member of the Wesleyan University squash team for four years, and continues to enjoy playing.

Pooja Pendri grew up in Connecticut before attending Princeton University, where she majored in anthropology and received a certificate in global health and health policy. The summer before her senior year, she interned in our department with Dr. Roger Nuss and Dr. Mark Volk through the Princeton Internships in Civic Service program. After graduating in the spring of 2014, she returned to work full-time as a research study assistant for Dr. Nuss and Dr. Volk. She was helping Dr. Nuss on a project to develop teaching modules for global residents on diagnosing ear disease and a study on otolaryngologic clinical burden and surgical capacity in Rwanda. With Dr. Volk, Pooja worked on post-graduate continuing medical education projects such as simulation training courses, 3D-printed sinuses as a simulation tool, and interactive iBooks for otolaryngology residents. In addition, she helped Dr. Volk and Dr. Eric Gantwerker on a clinical study involving tracheotomy patients at the hospital.