The American Public Health Association has selected epidemiology and biostatistics professor Dr. Suzanne McDermott from the University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health, as the recipient of the 2019 Disability Section Allen Meyers Award for Research, Teaching and Advocacy. Established to commemorate the efforts of a prominent scholar in disability and public health, this award is designed to honor an individual’s combined excellence across the areas of research, teaching and advocacy to improve health and quality of life for people with disabilities.
Dr. McDermott arrived at UofSC in 1985 to serve as a biostatistician and grants coordinator with the School of Medicine after earning a master’s degree in civil engineering with a concentration in public health at Tufts University. By 1991, she had completed a PhD in Public Health (concentrations in health services research and Epidemiology) from the Arnold School and rose to the rank of tenured professor in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine. In 2013, Dr. McDermott transitioned to the Arnold School’s Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics.
Over her 35-year career, the disability epidemiologist has become known throughout the world for her expertise related to risk factors for neurodevelopmental disability and health outcomes for people with lifelong disability. Her research program has two aims, the first of which involves identifying risk factors such as infections, chemicals and disease processes that increase the risk for fetuses to develop a neurodevelopmental disability.Friday Letter Submission, Publish on January 10