Linda Cottler named 2023 AAAS Fellow

Linda Cottler portrait
Dr. Linda Cottler

By Jill Pease

Linda B. Cottler, Ph.D., M.P.H., FACE, a dean’s professor of epidemiology at the University of Florida College of Public Health and Health Professions and the UF College of Medicine, has been elected a 2023 Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Cottler is being recognized for distinguished contributions to the field of psychiatric epidemiology, particularly assessment development for psychiatric disorders and substance use, innovative survey methods, peer-delivered interventions, and community engaged research with underrepresented populations.

She is among 502 scientists and innovators, including 12 at UF, who have been elected 2023 Fellows for their scientifically and socially distinguished achievements by the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the Science family of journals.

“We applaud Dr. Cottler on her election as AAAS Fellow, a distinction reserved for the highest levels of scientific achievement,” said Beth A. Virnig, Ph.D., M.P.H, dean of the College of Public Health and Health Professions. “She is internationally recognized for her many contributions to psychiatric epidemiology and for innovative methods of engaging the community in research participation.”

Cottler has developed reliable, widely used assessments for substance use and other psychiatric disorders in the general population, and has contributed to the classification of substance abuse and dependence disorders, including prescription drugs, inhalants, cocaine, marijuana and gambling.

The director of community engagement for the UF Clinical and Translational Science Institute, Cottler is founding director of HealthStreet, a community engagement program designed to improve access to research and medical and social services. She also directs a T32 training grant for pre- and postdoctoral fellows and the National Drug Early Warning System, both of which are funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. She has published more than 350 articles and chapters, has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health since 1988, and is the recipient of numerous awards for her research and mentoring.

A tradition dating back to 1874, election as an AAAS Fellow is a lifetime honor. Past honorees include W.E.B. DuBois, Ellen Ochoa, Steven Chu, Grace Hopper, Alan Alda, Mae Jemison and Ayanna Howard. Joining the ranks of Fellows last year were mathematician and STEM education policy expert Talitha Washington, marine biologist Jorge Cortes Nunez and radiologist and former NIH director Elias Zerhouni.