I am pleased to announce that Linda B. Cottler, Ph.D., M.P.H., has accepted the position of founding chair of the University of Florida department of epidemiology, a newly created department administered jointly by the College of Medicine and the College of Public Health and Health Professions.
Dr. Cottler currently serves as a professor of epidemiology in the department of psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, where she directs the Epidemiology and Prevention Research Group, the Center for Community Based Research and the Master of Psychiatric Epidemiology program. Her research has focused on drug and alcohol use and dependence in vulnerable populations like injection drug users, criminal offenders, women and African-Americans. She has developed internationally recognized assessment tools for drug, alcohol and nicotine use and gambling.
Dr. Cottler is also known for her innovative approach to community-based research. She founded and leads the program HealthStreet, which connects St. Louis residents to health care referrals, medical care, social services and opportunities to participate in research. HealthStreet workers are stationed on the street outside grocery stores, bus stops, parks and many other locations throughout the city, to interview residents about their health concerns and link them to services and research opportunities at Washington University.
Dr. Cottler is an outstanding choice to lead the new department of epidemiology, which brings together epidemiology faculty from the College of Medicine and the College of Public Health and Health Professions, as well as new faculty who will be recruited under Dr. Cottler’s leadership. We believe this structure will offer new opportunities for collaborative research and growth of epidemiology’s educational programs. The department of epidemiology is an excellent example of the collaborative environment we are creating across UF&Shands, the University of Florida Academic Health Center, and all of campus. The department will be housed in UF’s Clinical and Translational Research Building when construction is completed in 2013, sharing space with several other departments and UF’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute and the Institute on Aging.
Please join me in welcoming Dr. Cottler when she begins her new position on July 1.
David S. Guzick, M.D., Ph.D.
Senior Vice President, Health Affairs
President, UF&Shands Health System