Researchers at the Arnold School of Public Health were awarded a $14.8 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control to research birth defects and disabilities.
This grant is a renewal of a previous grant that funded 12 projects. The money will allow the Disability Research and Dissemination Center, housed in the Arnold School, to expand into the Coordinating Center for Research to Promote the Health of Children with Birth Defects and People with Developmental and Other Disabilities.
Suzanne McDermott, a professor of epidemiology and biostatistics, is the director of the center.
"We have had success in doing this in the past," she said, "and we hope to have five more years of funding people from universities around the country as well as faculty members here at USC."
The Arnold School works with the State University of New York Upstate Medical University and the American Association on Health and Disability on this research. They also allow experts from other institutions to apply to work with them.
"We do some of this research ourselves; that's our specialty," McDermott said. "But we also ... send out calls for applications from other universities so we can get the best and brightest faculty members around the country."
In addition to funding research by professors and on-campus experts, projects like these provide opportunities for students to get hands-on research experience. McDermott says she's worked with everyone from graduate students in her field to undergraduates completing their Honors College thesis.