Meet the Cleft and Craniofacial Center Team

Our Interdisciplinary Approach

Every child with a craniofacial condition is different, and we work to create the best treatment plan for each individual child. Each child is at the center of an interdisciplinary team approach and our surgeons work closely with other pediatric specialists to provide comprehensive care to patients. The team meets regularly for consultation and coordination of care for each patient, and offers ongoing support to patients' families and health care providers.

Chief of Pediatric Plastic Surgery, Hasbro Children's Hospital

Albert S. Woo, MD, FACS is a board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon who has over a decade of experience in the specialized team care of patients with craniofacial anomalies and cleft deformities. He is the Chief of Pediatric Plastic Surgery and Director of the Cleft and Craniofacial Center at Hasbro Children’s Hospital. Currently an Associate Professor at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, he was recruited from Washington University in St. Louis, where he served as Chief of Pediatric Plastic Surgery at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Woo’s clinical interests include the surgical treatment of patients with craniosynostosis, complex and syndromic craniofacial abnormalities, and cleft deformities. In particular, he is a nationally regarded expert in Endoscopic Craniosynostosis Surgery, having performed over 100 such procedures over his career, with numerous papers and national presentations on the subject.  He is a strong advocate of the multidisciplinary team and works very closely with his neurosurgery colleague, Dr. Petra Klinge, to provide the best and safest possible care for patients with craniosynostosis.  He is also recognized for having developed a new surgical technique for cleft palate repair.

With more than 50 peer-reviewed publications, Dr. Woo remains committed not only to clinical excellence but also to performing research in the treatment of craniofacial anomalies.  He earned his medical degree at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and completed his residency in plastic surgery at Rhode Island Hospital. He also completed a fellowship in craniofacial surgery at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle.

Dr. Woo currently is a member of the American College of Surgeons, the American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons, the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association, the American Associate of Plastic Surgeons, and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including recognition by Best Doctors in America since 2011 and Castle Connolly’s Top Doctors.

Paul Austin, MEd CCC-SLP/A
Speech and Language Pathologist

Paul Austin is a speech language pathologist and audiologist who has worked at Rhode Island Hospital for more than 40 years. He has worked with the Cleft and Craniofacial team for most of that time.

Nicholas D. Barone, DDS

Nicholas D. Barone, DDS has been in private practice for more than 40 years. He received his medical degree in dental medicine at Georgetown University and completed his orthodontic specialty at Virginia Commonwealth University-Medical College of Virginia.  Currently, he is a director on the American Board of Orthodontics.

Nicholas P. Barone, DDS

Nicholas P. Barone, DDS trained at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine and joined his family’s practice in 2012.  He is a member of the American Association of Orthodontists, the American Dental Association, the Rhode Island Dental Association and is a diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics.

Margaret Byrne, RN, BSN
Nurse Coordinator

Margaret Byrne, RN, BSN, is the nurse coordinator for the Cleft and Craniofacial Center. She joined the department of plastic surgery in 2010 after having worked as a surgical nurse at Rhode Island Hospital for more than 15 years. 

Director, Pediatric Ophthalmology

Wendy Chen, MD, PhD, cares for children ranging in age from infants to teenagers. She treats pediatric eye trauma, amblyopia, adult and pediatric strabismus, pediatric cataract, pediatric glaucoma, eye disorders related to craniofacial syndromes, congenital anomalies of the eye, and retinopathy of prematurity.
Dr. Chen is the recipient of numerous awards and is an active member of several professional societies, including the American Academy of Ophthalmology and American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus.


George J. DuPont, DDS, is a dentist at Samuels Sinclair Dental Center and a clinical assistant professor of surgery at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Dr. DuPont is part of the craniofacial team at Hasbro Children’s Hospital.

Pediatric Otolaryngologist

Jan C. Groblewski, MD, is a fellowship-trained, board-certified pediatric otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat specialist). His expertise is in congenital and acquired head and neck masses, diagnosis and management of pediatric airway disorders, pediatric hearing loss and ear surgery including cochlear implants, and treatment of pediatric sinus disease.

Dr. Groblewski is a member of the American Society of Pediatric Otolaryngology, the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Triological Society, and the New England Otolaryngological Society, among others.

He is an assistant professor of surgery (otolaryngology) and pediatrics (clinical) at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, and an adjunct assistant clinical professor in the department of otolaryngology – head and neck surgery at Tufts University School of Medicine. Dr. Groblewski has received excellence in teaching awards from both medical schools and has been recognized by Rhode Island Monthly magazine as a Top Doc from 2014 to 2017 and as one of America’s Top Doctors by Castle Connolly.

Donna Lee Houle
Community Health Worker

Donna Lee Houle is a Rhode Island Parent Information Network (RIPIN) Parent Consultant/Family Resource Specialist in the RI Department of Health: birth defect program. She is certified as a Rhode Island Community Health Worker. Her role is to minimize social and cultural barriers among community, health and social services.

Director, Center for CSF Disorders of the Brain and Spine, Director, Pediatric Neurosurgery Division

Petra Klinge, MD is an internationally renowned general neurosurgeon specializing in the surgical treatment of patients with brain tumors, hydrocephalus and Alzheimer’s disease, pediatric diseases and treatment of congenital diseases like Chiari and spinal malformations.

Dr. Klinge is a professor of neurosurgery at The Warren Alpert School of Medicine at Brown University. Prior to this, she was professor of neurosurgery at the Medical School Hannover, Germany. She received her medical degree at the University of Kiel in 1993 and completed her neurosurgical residency at Hannover Medical School in Germany in 2002. She was senior associate professor of neurosurgery at the International Neuroscience Institute in Hannover, Germany, where she had the opportunity to be educated by Professor M. Samii, a founder of modern skull base surgery.

Dr. Klinge is an active member of the American Association of Neurosurgeons and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons. She is editor in chief of the Elsevier journal Interdisciplinary Neurosurgery: Advanced Techniques and Case Management (INAT) and associate editor of Clinical Neurology and Neurosurgery (CNN). She also serves as reviewer for international scientific journals including NeurosurgeryJournal of NeurosurgeryJournal of NeurologyNeurosurgery & Psychiatry and others. She is past president of the International Society for Hydrocephalus and CSF disorders.

Dr. Klinge’s scientific interests comprise the development of advanced techniques for diagnosing and treatment of dementia, experimental work to advance the understanding of normal aging and dementia and to develop novel biotechnical treatment approaches including stem cell therapy. Her scientific publications are listed by the US National Library of Medicine.

Professional Papers

  • Multiplicity of Cerebrospinal Fluid Functions: New Challenges in Health and Disease Conrad E. Johanson; John A. Duncan; Petra M. Klinge; Edward G. Stopa and Gerald PD. Silverberg. Cerebrospinal Fluid Research 2008
  • Modified calcium accumulation after controlled cortical impact under cyclosporin A treatment: a (45)Ca autoradiographic study. Mirzayan MJ; Klinge PM; Ude S; Hotop A; Samii M; Brinker T; Korkmaz Z; Meyer GJ; Knapp WH; Samii A. Neurol Res. 2008
  • Correlates of local cerebral blood flow (CBF) in normal pressure hydrocephalus patients before and after shunting-A retrospective analysis of [(15)O]H(2)O PET-CBF studies in 65 patients. Klinge PM; Brooks DJ; Samii A; Weckesser E; van den Hoff J; Fricke H; Brinker T; Knapp WH; Berding G. Clinical Neurol Neurosurg 2008
  • A positron emission tomography study of cerebrovascular reserve before and after shunt surgery in patients with idiopathic chronic hydrocephalus. Klinge PM; Berding G; Brinker T; Knapp WH; Samii M. J Neurosurg. 1999 Oct; 91(4): 605-9.
  • Outcome of shunting in idiopathic normal-pressure hydrocephalus and the value of outcome assessment in shunted patients. Klinge P; Marmarou A; Bergsneider M; Relkin N; Black PM. Neurosurgery. 2005 Sep; 57 (3 Suppl):S40-52
  • Correlates of local cerebral blood flow (CBF) in normal pressure hydrocephalus patients before and after shunting-A retrospective analysis of [(15)O]H(2)O PET-CBF studies in 65 patients. Klinge PM; Brooks DJ; Samii A; Weckesser E; van den Hoff J; Fricke H; Brinker T; Knapp WH; Berding G. Clinical Neurol Neurosurg 2008
  • Amyloid and Tau accumulate in the brains of aged hydrocephalic rats. Gerald D. Silverberg, Miles C. Miller, Jason T. Machan, Conrad E. Johanson, Ilias N. Caralopoulos, Crissey L. Pascale, Anna Heile, Petra M. Klinge. BRAIN RESEARCH 1317 (2010) 286 – 296
Deborah L. Lyon, AuD, CCC/A, F-AAA
Clinical Coordinator, Audiology

Deborah L. Lyon, AuD has been affiliated with Rhode Island Hospital audiology and speech-language pathology since 1988. She is certified by the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association and by the American Academy of Audiology. She works with both adults and children.

Marc Maffei, MS, CCC-SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist

Marc Maffei, MS CCC-SLP is a speech-language pathologist who joined the cleft and craniofacial team in 2016. He assesses and treats a variety of pediatric and adult patients, with a focus on voice, resonance, motor speech, and expressive language disorders. 

Clinical Geneticist

Lauren Massingham, MD is with the division of genetics at Hasbro Children’s Hospital; she is also an assistant professor of pediatrics at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Dr. Massingham is board certified in pediatrics and clinical genetics. Her clinical interests include all aspects of pediatric genetics, with specific focus on pediatric genetics and cancer genetics. Her research interests include gene expression profiling of Turner syndrome and Down syndrome. She is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics and Genetics Teleconference Feingold Center. 

Dr. Massingham received her medical degree from the University of Vermont College of Medicine in Burlington, VT. She completed a residency in pediatrics at University of Massachusetts Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, MA as well as a residency in medical genetics at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, MA. 

Mari Mori, MD, MS
Clinical Geneticist

Mari Mori, MD is a clinical geneticist. Her clinical interests include pediatric genetics and biochemical genetics. Dr. Mori is also an assistant professor of pediatrics, The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

Derek Nobrega, DDS
Pediatric Dentistry, St. Joseph's

Derek Nobrega, DDS is a pediatric dentist and is certified in nasoalveolar molding (NAM). He serves as an attending dentist at St. Joseph Hospital.  His clinical interests include treatment of patients with cleft lip and palate. 

Brian Pelkey, CO
Cranial Remolding Specialist

Brian Pelkey, CO is a board-certified orthotist/prosthetist specializing in infant cranial remolding. He has treated thousands of cases of deformational plagiocephaly and associated disorders.  
Pelkey is a cranial remolding specialist, Northeast Orthotics and Prosthetics, Inc., Providence, RI

Director, Division of Genetics

Chanika Phornphutkul, MD, is the director of human genetics at Rhode Island and its Hasbro Children’s Hospital, and is an associate professor of pediatrics at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. She provides genetic risk assessment as well as counseling for patients with a family history of genetic disorders. She is board certified in pediatric endocrinology and biochemical genetics.

Dr. Phornphutkul received her medical degree from the Chiang Mai University School of Medicine in Thailand, and completed her residency at Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan and Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island. She completed a fellowship at Hasbro Children’s Hospital and the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. Her clinical and research interests focus on biochemical genetics (metabolic disorders), the application of genomic information in clinical medicine and newborn screening.

View the Brown University biography page for Chanika Phornphutkul, MD

Julie Piotrowski, RN, MSN, PNP-BC, COCN
Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Julie Piotrowski, RN, MSN, PNP-BC, COCN, joined the craniofacial team in 2017. She has practiced as a pediatric nurse practitioner since 2000 in primary care and pediatric general surgery/urology settings.

Yunika Presson, CPNP
Nurse Practitioner

Presson has been with Hasbro Children's Hospital since 2008. She received her undergraduate education from Howard University in Washington, D.C. She received her graduate education at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA.

Presson has been a nurse practitioner in pediatric neurosurgery since 2001. She started her neurosurgery career at the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC, where she worked for 6 years. Her experience includes both inpatient and outpatient management.

William Schumann, CPO
Cranial Remolding Specialist

William Schumann, CPO is a board-certified orthotist/prosthetist/orthotist with 50 years of experience in infant cranial remodeling.
Schumann  is a cranial remolding specialist, Northeast Orthotics and Prosthetics, Inc., Providence, RI.

Pediatric Neurosurgeon

Konstantina Svokos, DO, is a neurosurgeon who specializes in pediatric neurosurgery. She has done both clinical and molecular research throughout her training and her work has been published in several peer-reviewed journals and book chapters.

Dr. Svokos is fluent in English, Greek and Spanish. She is a member of the Society for Neuro Oncology, the American College of Osteopathic Surgeons, the Congress of Neurological Surgeons and the American Association of Neurological Surgeons.

Craig Van Dongen, DDS
Prosthodontics/Maxillofacial Prosthetics

Craig Van Dongen, DDS is a prosthodontist, who is formally trained in fixed, removable, and maxillofacial prosthodontics. He is an active fellow in the American Academy of Maxillofacial Prosthetics, and a member of the American College of Prosthodontists. He has been in the private practice of prosthodontics in Providence, Rhode Island, since 1990.

Susan Wright, MEd, CCC-SLP
Speech Language Pathologist

Susan M Wright, MED, CCC-SLP is one of the speech language pathologists in the Cleft and Craniofacial Center who specializes in pediatric feeding and swallowing. She joined the pediatric rehabilitation department in 2005, after having work in the Hasbro Early Intervention Program from 2001 to 2005.