Woo Baidal Team
Location and Contact Information
Childhood Research in Obesity Prevention (CROP)
The Childhood Research in Obesity Prevention (CROP) group studies early-life etiologies and interventions to eliminate racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in childhood obesity and its co-morbidities, including nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
Mission: To translate clinical, community, and epidemiologic research findings into innovative population-level interventions during pregnancy, infancy, and early childhood to prevent and treat childhood obesity and chronic diseases, particularly among health disparity populations
Qin Wang, PhD
- Program Manager
Qin is the CROP Research Program Manager who provides support to Dr. Woo Baidal and the CROP Research team in project management, data management, finance and budget, grant application and community outreach. Qin came to this role with prior experience in basic research, clinical research, and research administration. Her administrative experience includes research staff management, research finance and grants administration, and clinical trials management. Her research interests include social determinants of health that underlie early childhood obesity and obesity-associated liver dysfunction.
Morgan Finkel, MD, MS
- Pediatrician & Co-Investigator
Morgan Finkel, MD, MS is a board-certified pediatrician and an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at CUIMC. She completed both her Pediatrics residency and a fellowship in Primary Care Research in Community Health at New York Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center. Clinically she works as a primary care pediatrician within the NYP Ambulatory Care Network. Her research aims to elucidate the mediator and moderators of developmental disparities in low-income populations, with a current focus on infant sleep quality as an important modifiable driver of these disparities. Her long-term goal is to create innovative, reproducible interventions in pediatric primary care that close the socioeconomic developmental gap.
Kristina Parkinson, MSN, NP, CPNP-PC
- Pediatric Weight Management Nurse Practitioner
Kristina Parkinson, MSN, NP, CPNP-PC is Pediatric Weight Management Nurse Practitioner in the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition. She sees patients in The Center for Adolescent Bariatric Surgery (CABS) Program and also works with patients in the Pediatric Weight Management Program. Her academic interests are in the early life determinants of obesity and bariatric surgery outcomes.
Ivette Partida, BS
- Research Coordinator
Ivette Partida is the research coordinator for the CROP team. She is a Bates College graduate who is interested in early life interventions to prevent childhood obesity and the social determinants of chronic disease. She plans to pursue a graduate degree in Epidemiology.
Ngoc Duong, BA, MSc
- Data Analyst
Ngoc Duong, BA, MSc is a recent graduate from the Mailman School of Public Health where he studied biostatistics. Prior to this, he obtained his BA from Vassar College. He is interested in applying statistical methods to answer questions in population health and health services research, with a focus on evaluating innovative early-life interventions to reduce socioeconomic disparities.
Celine Bien-Aime, BA, MS
- Data Analyst
Celine Bien-Aime, MS received her BA in Statistics and Biology from Mount Holyoke College and recently graduated from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health with a degree in Biostatistics. Her research interests include understanding the racial/ethnic, socioeconomic and genetic factors that contribute to health disparities in chronic diseases like obesity, and Alzheimer’s. She plans to pursue a doctorate in Biostatistics with a focus on statistical genetics.
Amanda Hernandez, BA
- Research Assistant
Amanda Hernandez, BA graduated from Cornell University majoring in Biology & Society and minoring in Business and Latina/o Studies. She is interested in investigating health disparities that exist within minority populations and how social determinants of health mediate these disparities. She plans on attending medical school where she hopes to continue to serve these populations.
Laura Raaen, MPH
- PhD Candidate
Laura Raaen is a Ph.D. candidate in the Nutrition at Teachers College, Columbia University. She holds a Master’s in Public Health from Emory University. With over 8 years of public health research experience, Laura has worked for the RAND Corporation, University of Rochester, and Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Her current research is focused on examining the effects of food insecurity and socioeconomic disparities on dietary and health outcomes.
Joseph Cornett, BS
- Medical Student
Joseph Cornett, BS is a fourth-year medical student at the Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. He is planning for a combined residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics. He studied Psychology and Global Health at Yale College. His clinical and research interests are broad and include the management of childhood diseases and risk factors, at the levels of both individuals and populations, to support better lifelong outcomes.
Heather Falise, RDN
- Research Nutritionist
Heather Falise is a Registered Dietitian and a research nutritionist for the CROP team. Heather grew up in upstate New York in the Syracuse area, and completed her undergraduate training in Nutrition and Dietetics at Syracuse University. In December 2021, she finished her Master of Science in Human Nutrition at Cornell University. Her thesis research focused on assessing sensitivity and specificity of various biomarkers for assessing vitamin A status in children. In addition to academics, Heather volunteers with New York State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics on the public policy team, advocating for nutrition-related legislation to expand the dietetics field and provide nutrition care for patients across the board.
Daniela Barrios, BS
- IHN Masters Student
Daniela Barrios, BS graduated from Villanova University with a degree in Biology and Psychology and is currently a Master’s candidate at the Institute of Human Nutrition at Columbia University. She is interested in the impact of nutrition on health and disease, especially among underserved populations. She plans to attend medical school upon completing her Master’s degree.