Current Team Members:

Principal Investigators:

Dr. Sheela Magge

Dr. Magge is one of the Principal Investigators of this study. She is a pediatric endocrinologist doing clinical research on the cardiovascular complications of pediatric obesity. She grew up outside of Cincinnati, OH and did her training on the east coast. After working at CHOP from 2001-2014, she moved to CNMC where she sees patients in the Endocrinology Clinic and and the IDEAL (Improving Diet, Energy, and Activity for Life) Obesity Clinic. In her spare time she loves to spend time with her 10-year old twins (a son and a daughter) and her husband.

Dr. Andrea Kelly

Andi Kelly is one of the Principal Investigators of the study. She is a pediatric endocrinologist whose research interests include body composition and endocrine/diabetes complications of chronic childhood diseases including those occurring in Down syndrome. She was born and raised in Philadelphia and has been at CHOP since 1998. She has four absolutely beautiful children with whom she spends time building LEGOs, riding bikes, cooking, reading, and doing art projects. She loves to run, and she loves shoes!


Dr. Babette Zemel

Babette Zemel is a nutritional anthropologist who has been conducting clinical research at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia since 1991. She is the Director of the Nutrition and Growth Laboratory and a Research Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. Her research interests include childhood growth, body composition (the amount of muscle, fat and bone in the body), energy expenditure and diet. Dr. Zemel is the leader of the Down Syndrome Growing Up Study which is designing new growth charts for children with Down syndrome.

Study Coordinator (CNMC):

Rachel Walega

Rachel is passionate about working with children, particularly preventing and treating chronic disease, and youth sports. She obtained her Master's degree in Exercise Science from George Washington University and is a Certified Clinical Exercise Specialist. For many years she has taught youth swim lessons, and as a retired collegiate swimmer hopes to continue to give back to the competitive swimming community. In her free time, she enjoys reading, cooking, exploring all DC has to offer, and swimming. Rachel grew up in Ambler, PA and currently lives in DC.

Study Coordinator:

Priscilla Andalia

Priscilla recently completed her Bachelor of Arts in Biology at the University of Pennsylvania. She has always been passionate about working with children and aspires to be a pediatric dentist. Priscilla thoroughly enjoyed her time volunteering for this study while she was a student at Penn and is excited to be back as a study coordinator! In her free time, Priscilla enjoys working on her fashion blog and exploring the numerous bakeries and pastry shops around Philadelphia.

Study Coordinator:

Claire Cochrane

Claire recently completed her Bachelor of Arts in Clinical Psychology at Tufts University. She has always enjoyed working with children and has a passion for behavioral health and research. In her free time, she enjoys distance running, hiking, reading sci fi novels, and dancing with friends.

Study Psychologist:

Dr. Melissa Xanthopoulos

Dr. Xanthopoulos is a pediatric clinical psychologist whose research interests include assessment of health habits and developing health behavior and lifestyle interventions to improve the physical and psychological well-being of youth and their families. She sees patients in the Sleep Center and supports families in adhering to medical recommendations related to obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. When not working at CHOP, she spends her time with her husband and two young sons playing outside, being active, and going to the Jersey shore.

Former Team Members:

Amber Lauff

Amber was the study’s Research Assistant for two years before leaving to pursue a graduate degree in public health. She has a passion for global health, and maternal and child health, and enjoys working with pediatric populations. During her time at CHOP, she especially enjoyed working with all of our wonderful study participants and their families, and hopes to continue volunteering with Down syndrome awareness programs in her new hometown of Atlanta, Georgia. In her free time, she likes to cook, read, run, expand her knowledge of global health and healthcare, and enjoy the outdoors!

Divya Prasad

Divya was the study’s Research Coordinator for four years before leaving to join the New York City Depart of Health. Divya has had a lifelong interest in working with children. She holds a Master's degree in Public Health from Johns Hopkins, with a focus in child nutrition and food security. She loves meeting all of the children and families in the study. In her free time, she enjoys yoga, baking, reading, and visiting her friends and family who live all over the country. Divya grew up in Downingtown, PA and currently resides in Philadelphia.