Cottler named founding chair of epidemiology department

The University of Florida has appointed internationally recognized epidemiologist Linda B. Cottler, Ph.D., M.P.H., the founding chair of UF’s department of epidemiology.

Cottler will begin her UF appointment July 1. She 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.

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. The unique approach puts HealthStreet workers 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.

Cottler’s research has focused on drug and alcohol use and dependence and she has developed internationally recognized assessment tools for drug, alcohol and nicotine use and gambling.

The collaborative spirit of UF investigators is one of the reasons Cottler was drawn to the position.

“There will be many opportunities for faculty in this new department and I am excited to be working with my colleagues at the College of Medicine, College of Public Health and Health Professions, the Clinical and Translational Science Institute and throughout UF,” said Cottler, who will also serve as co-director of community engagement for the CTSI. “My goal is to work on the problems that are of the greatest concern to the community and make the department one of the strongest in the country.”

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