The A+ Health Duke Child Study is led by Drs. Scott Kollins and Geraldine Dawson through the Duke University Medical Center in partnership with the Duke Children’s Primary Care under the leadership of Dr. Eliana Perrin. Dr. Naomi Davis serves as the lead of the Assessment and Recruitment Center where children can be seen for additional screening and assessment services if needed. Dr. Lauren Franz serves as the lead of the Dissemination and Outreach Core. Scroll down to read more about our awesome study team!


Dr. Scott Kollins

Co-Principal Investigator

Dr. Scott Kollins is passionate about child behavior and development because he understands how the problems we’re working on in the A+Health Study affect families. As a parent of a child with special needs, he wants to use his skills to improve the lives of others. A long-time Blue Devil, Scott received his undergraduate degree in psychology from Duke University in 1992. He then earned his Master’s and Doctorate degrees in Clinical Psychology from Auburn University. Scott completed his clinical internship at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, where he served as Chief Intern. Following internship, he joined the faculty of the Department of Psychology at Western Michigan University for three years, before joining the Duke faculty in 2000.

Scott’s favorite children’s book is the tongue twisting, animal alliterating, Animalia, by Graeme Base. If he was a super hero, Scott’s superpower would be to breathe underwater.

Dr. Geraldine Dawson

Co-Principal Investigator

Dr. Geraldine (Geri) Dawson’s career has been dedicated to helping individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) realize their fullest potential. She is a child clinical psychologist who first became passionate about helping people with autism while working with children with ASD in graduate school. Always with her mission in mind, Geri has conducted extensive research on early detection, brain development, and treatment of ASD; founded the University of Washington Autism Center and the Duke Center for Autism and Brain Development; served as the first Chief Science Officer for the advocacy organization Autism Speaks; co-created the Early Start Denver Model autism intervention; and testified several times before the US Congress in support of major autism legislation. Geri has been a Blue Devil since 2013 and has lived in North Carolina for over a decade. Prior to that, she lived in the Seattle, Washington area for many years. She received her undergraduate degree in Psychology and her doctoral degree in Developmental and Child Clinical Psychology from the University of Washington, where she later became a professor, researcher, and Director of the UW Autism Center for many years.

Geri is a huge Duke Men’s Basketball fan and was thrilled to meet the team and Coach K at a special event for children with autism and their families in 2015. If she were a super hero, Geri’s superpower would be x-ray vision so she could see directly the neural pathways in the brain!

Study Team

Emily Henderson

Clinical Research Coordinator

(919) 681-8755

Aidee León Lúa

Senior Clinical Research Specialist

(919) 452-7384 (hablo español)

Aidee is our Clinical Research Specialist, Sr. primarily based at Duke Children’s Primary Care at Roxboro Road. Born and raised in sunny Southern California, Aidee received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from UCLA in 2018. Working with infants, toddlers and preschoolers as an undergrad inspired her to pursue a career in clinical psychology. Aidee wants to learn more about developmental disorders, particularly autism, so she can help young children and their families. One of Aidee’s favorite children’s book is We’re Going on a Bear Hunt. She loved reading/singing the book as the children navigated through the treacherous fields of the classroom to hunt a bear – the best part was watching them run away to “escape” the bear! If Aidee was a superhero, her super power would be the ability to turn invisible and create force field (like Violet from The Incredibles).

Margaret McAllister

Senior Clinical Research Specialist

(919) 998-8393

Margaret is our Clinical Research Specialist, Sr. primarily based at Duke Children’s Primary Care at Brier Creek. Margaret attended UNC Chapel Hill after growing up in the mountains of North Carolina. She loves Duke Health, but still wears Carolina blue on game night. Margaret’s favorite children’s book is “If you Give a Mouse a Cookie” because she likes when little moments lead to big adventures. She has loved working with children with autism and other developmental delays in her past experience as a behavioral technician. If Margaret could choose one super power she would choose to read minds because it would help her explain to children why doctor’s visits aren’t all that scary.

Laura Knight

Senior Clinical Research Specialist

(919) 998-8923 (hablo español)

Laura is our Clinical Research Specialist, Sr. primarily based at Duke Children’s Primary Care at South Durham. A born and bred Tar Heel, Laura grew up north of Charlotte, North Carolina and graduated with an undergraduate degree in Psychology and Global Studies from UNC in 2018. Laura’s passion for child development stems from her work as a middle school assistant teacher. She is interested in bettering the understanding of early childhood development so that children with all types of development may be better equipped for classroom learning. If Laura had a superpower, she would choose to fly. Her favorite children’s book is There’s a Monster at the End of this Book because of the fond memories she has of being read to when she was a child.

Miranda Foster

Senior Clinical Research Specialist

Miranda is our Clinical Research Specialist, Sr. primarily based at the Durham Pediatrics North Duke Street office. She is a UNC graduate who plans to become a neuropsychologist to do research on Autism Spectrum Disorder. The opportunity to help parents better understand child development is really what drew her to this position. Miranda is passionate about how her past and present research positions will help lead to a better understanding of childhood development and outcomes. In her spare time, Miranda loves hiking, reading, and searching for of the best coffee in the triangle. When you see her at Durham Peds, please share your favorite coffee shops with her.


Dr. Eliana Perrin

Chief Division of Primary Care

Dr. Naomi Davis

A+Assessment Lead

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