MEET DR. GUPTA


Dr. Ruchi Gupta, MD MPH is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics & Medicine (FAAP, FAAAAI) and an interdisciplinary child health researcher. Her research portfolio spans from the clinical diagnosis and management of childhood food allergy to chronic disease epidemiology and community-based participatory research, particularly in collaboration with schools. She is currently funded by the National Institutes of Health and multiple private foundations. Dr. Gupta has authored or co-authored over 70 peer-reviewed publications. 

Dr. Gupta is affiliated with both the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine's Institute for Public Health and Medicine, as well as the the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago's Smith Child Health Research Program.


MEET THE TEAM


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Jesse Blumenstock is a Research Project Coordinator and currently coordinates a variety of research projects from epidemiological, clinical, and community-based perspectives focused on asthma, food allergy, and clinical health systems. Through this position, he enjoys working on multiple levels of public health research and practice. He supervises a Student Media-Based Asthma Research Team Program to empower Chicago 7th and 8th grade students to better manage their asthma, creates maps and spatially analyzes chronic disease data across Chicago, and analyzes international survey data on opinions about food allergy labeling and thresholds from countries around the world. Jesse previously studied infectious disease epidemiology at UIC’s School of Public Health and conducted research on HIV linkage to care with the Chicago Department of Public Health. Jesse also works with CHIRP Radio as a productions, promotions, and events volunteer. Outside of work, he enjoys traveling, cooking, seeing live music, and cycling.


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Ashley Dyer, MPH is Dr. Gupta's Research Project Manager and manages a variety of research projects from epidemiological, clinical, and community-based perspectives.  Her work is primarily focused on investigating childhood asthma and food allergy, and improving school health systems. Within this position, she is able to work on multiple levels in public health—from delivering a Student Media-Based Asthma Research Team Program to help students better manage their asthma to partnering with the CPS Office of School Health and Wellness to streamline districtwide chronic disease reporting systems. Ashley chairs the Chicago Asthma Consortium’s School Health Work Group. Outside of her day job, she dedicates time to global health projects including a community-based disaster risk reduction program in Haiti and is involved in child health advocacy efforts in Indonesia and Washington D.C. with Save the Children. Ashley completed her Masters in Public Health in Community Health Sciences, Program in Maternal and Child Health with a concentration in Global Health at the University of Illinois at Chicago.


Sasha Mitts is a research assistant. He graduated from Oberlin in 2015 with a double major in Neuroscience and Philosophy. When he found out about the scope and impact of the research done by Team Gupta, he decided that he wanted to be a part of understanding food allergy. In his free time, he enjoys cooking, reading, and discussing odd hypotheticals.


Dr. Alana Otto, MD is a fellow in Academic General Pediatrics and Primary Care at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago. She earned her medical doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in 2012 and completed Pediatrics training at McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University/Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago in 2015. Alana has a particular interest in the primary care of adolescents and young adults. She is also interested in the use of clinical decision support systems in the primary care setting. Her work on Team Gupta focuses on the use of such a tool by primary care pediatricians caring for patients with new diagnoses of food allergy.


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Erik Schuster is a Research Project Coordinator and is currently working to develop grants that address racial and socioeconomic disparities in food allergy. His educational background is in clinical and counseling psychology. He has a variety of research experience including developing psychometric tools at educational institutions and administering complex clinical trial protocols in behavioral medicine at a large academic medical center. In addition to research, he is an experienced mental health therapist and has worked with diverse populations including adults, couples, children, and families. He has worked in a range of clinical settings including community mental health, in-home service/crisis intervention, and private practice. He is an avid exerciser in his free time. 


Mary Siracusa, MS is a research assistant. She graduated from the University of Michigan with a BS in Neuroscience and completed her MS in Medical Sciences at Boston University. She will begin medical school at the University of Illinois in the fall of 2016. Mary is currently working on evaluating therapy preferences among parents of children with food allergy and school food allergy policies.


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Dr. Bridget Smith, PhD received her doctorate from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University, Bloomington in 2004, and is a Research Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University.


Madeline Walkner is a research associate. In May 2014, she graduated from the University of Iowa with a Bachelor’s degree in Health and Human Physiology. Her work experiences include: Research Assistant at the National Advanced Driving Simulator at the University of Iowa; and Laboratory Assistant in the Microbiology Department at the University of Iowa. Madeline served as an intern in the Health Policy Office on Senator Harkin’s Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee at the United States Senate in Washington D.C. While studying at the University of Iowa, Madeline served as the vice president of Phi Eta Sigma Honors Fraternity and chaired the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Student Advisory Committee. Madeline’s interests are in access to health care services for the underserved as well as global health. She has traveled to Haiti to volunteer and study its public health infrastructure.


Christopher Warren is a part-time research coordinator. He is also a doctoral student of health behavior research at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine. Before moving to CA, he worked with Dr. Gupta to coordinate a sub-study of the National Children’s Study, using videovoice methods to enhance community outreach. He also oversaw the development, and implementation, of a media-based asthma intervention for communities with high asthma burden as well as the refinement and evaluation of a new, pictographic asthma action plan for low-literacy populations. He is now working to evaluate this asthma intervention, investigate the etiology of pediatric asthma disparities and improve food allergy quality of life. When not working/studying, Chris is likely out exploring his new home by boot, board or bike.


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Maggie Yarbrough, MPH is a research coordinator and is currently working on evaluating the SMART Asthma program. Through her analysis on the SMART program, she hopes to help add to the knowledge of asthma morbidity disparities in Chicago. She completed her MPH at the University of Illinois at Chicago with a concentration in Community Health Sciences. Before graduate school, she went to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and obtained her Bachelors of Science Degree in Interdisciplinary Health with a concentration in health behavior change. When not studying or working at Northwestern, Maggie spends her time cooking new foods, working out and walking her dog, North, all over Chicago.


MEET OUR COLLABORATORS


Dr. Aaron Donnell, MD is board-certified in Allergy/Immunology and Pediatrics and is on staff at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago.  He sees patients of all ages with food allergies regularly at Chicago Family Asthma & Allergy and also serves as the Illinois state representative for the American Academy of Pediatrics Medical Home Chapter Champion Program on Asthma, Allergy and Anaphylaxis.

 

 


Dr. Satyender Goel, PhD is a research assistant professor in the Department of General Internal Medicine and faculty at Center of Health Information Partnerships, Northwestern Medicine.  As an expert in informatics and specifically integration of electronic medical record data for healthcare quality improvement, he will be responsible for overseeing the development of the registry and will be involved in other aspects of the project including design of the system and the presentation of findings. He is also the co-investigator and informatics lead for the Hep C Community Alliance to Test and Treat consortium, building city wide registry and technical platform for improving HepC treatment in Chicago. He will advise REDCap expert and technical consultant for the build and the execution of technical platform. He will monitor the translation of the projections for delivering accurate querying results and will help implement failsafe measures by performing adequate load testing. This will help in timely delivery of the project goals, elimination of any potential downtime, and higher user satisfaction. He will similarly facilitate communications with the technology development group as well as the project PI.


Dr. Steve Handoyo, MD is board-certified in Pediatrics and Allergy/Immunology. He graduated from St. Louis University School of Medicine, and completed training at Loyola University Medical Center for Pediatrics and Children's Mercy Hospital for Allergy/Immunology. He has been in private practice since 2009, and has specialized in treatment and prevention of food allergy

 


Dr. Kelly Newhall, MD is board-certified in Allergy/Immunology and Pediatrics and is the co-founder of Chicago Family Asthma & Allergy, a private practice in Chicago where she sees patients with food allergies regularly.


Dr. Sai Nimmagadda, MD has been on the faculty of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine for the past 20 years. He is board certified in Allergy/Immunology. He currently practices Allergy/Immunology with Associated Allergists and Asthma Specialists. He completed both fellowships in Pediatric Allergy/Immunology and Clinical Laboratory Immunology at National Jewish Medical Center in Denver, Colorado. His special interests include children with multiple food allergies and severe asthma. 


Amy O’Keefe, MS is the associate director of Segal's Master of Science in Engineering Design and Innovation (EDI) program, where she teaches DSGN 401-3 Human-Centered Service Design with Liz Gerber. O’Keefe has consulted on service, experience, and integrated multi-channel initiatives for Fortune 50 retail and global Am Law 100 clients. Her professional background includes a decade of leading multi-disciplinary service, design, and development at Hubbard One, a Chicago tech startup acquired by Thomson Reuters.