The American College of Epidemiology has awarded Dr. Linda B. Cottler its 2015 Special Award for Outstanding Contributions Through Systemic Epidemiologic Approaches to Improving Health. She will be honored at the organization’s annual meeting in Atlanta in September.
In her research, Dr. Cottler, the dean’s professor and chair of the University of Florida department of epidemiology in the College of Public Health and Health Professions and the College of Medicine, has focused on underrepresented populations. Her studies, which have been funded by the National Institutes of Health continuously since 1989, include the development of culturally reliable and valid measures for identifying substance use and psychiatric disorders and their risk factors; innovative methods for conducting national surveys of high risk behaviors; and community-based, peer-delivered interventions to reduce HIV risk behaviors and substance abuse.
“Dr. Cottler exemplifies the very best in methods in her epidemiological research, and in her teaching, service and mentoring,” said award nominator Dr. Catherine W. Striley, an assistant professor in the UF department of epidemiology. “She is an outstanding leader and an internationally known and recognized scientist in the fields of psychiatric epidemiology, classification of mental disorders, addiction science and HIV prevention.”
Dr. Cottler is the founding director of HealthStreet, a community engagement program that seeks to reduce disparities in health care and improve access to research studies among people who are medically underserved by meeting people out in the community and linking them to services and research opportunities.
PHHP’s associate dean for research, Dr. Cottler has conducted several international studies in countries such as Afghanistan, Australia, India, Kenya, and Taiwan. She directs an NIH-funded Fogarty International Center Training Program that offers behavioral health training to colleagues in three Indian cities and increases research opportunities between UF and Indian partners. She is the recipient of several professional awards, including the Scientific Achievement Award from the National Center for Responsible Gaming and the College on Problems of Drug Dependence’s Marian W. Fischman Memorial Award.