Cottler wins College on Problems of Drug Dependence mentoring award

Linda Cottler

For exemplary mentoring of fellow researchers in drug dependence, Linda B. Cottler, Ph.D., M.P.H., is the recipient of the College on Problems of Drug Dependence’s 2019 Mentorship Award. She will be recognized at the organization’s 81st Annual Meeting in San Antonio in June.

“She provides her mentees with the time they need with her, regardless of the many other demands on her time,” said award nominator Catherine Striley, Ph.D., M.S.W., M.P.E., an associate professor in the University of Florida department of epidemiology and one of Cottler’s former mentees. “To her, mentees come first. Many times, I have experienced her working late at night and early in the morning to help a mentee meet a deadline. She expects excellence, and under her tutelage and steady guidance, mentees learn how to meet the standard.”

Cottler is a dean’s professor in the UF College of Public Health and Health Professions and the College of Medicine, and PHHP’s associate dean for research. She joined UF in 2011 from Washington University in St. Louis. She is an internationally recognized expert in psychiatric epidemiology who has focused on underrepresented populations. Her studies, which have been funded by the National Institutes of Health continuously since 1989, include the development of culturally reliable and valid measures for identifying substance use and psychiatric disorders and their risk factors, and innovative methods for conducting national surveys of high-risk behaviors. Most recently, she has begun conducting a back translational study addressing the patterns of human drug use in animal models.

During her career, she has mentored more than 100 people at the undergraduate, graduate, postdoctoral and early career levels. She currently leads two NIH-funded training programs: the UF Substance Abuse Training Center in Public Health, supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and the Indo-U.S. Training in Chronic Non-Communicable Disorders & Diseases Across Lifespan, supported by the NIH Fogarty International Center.

“Her mentorship was crucial in my career development as it was for dozens of other nationally-recognized scientists whose research investigates various facets of addiction,” wrote Ty Ridenour, Ph.D., M.P.E., a developmental behavioral epidemiologist at RTI International.

Early in her own career, Cottler was mentored by renowned psychiatric epidemiologist Lee Robins, Ph.D., and colleagues say Cottler shares Robins’ commitment to training the next generation of scientists.

“Dr. Linda Cottler is one of the most experienced, sought-after and recognized mentors in the field of substance abuse research, continuing the legacy of groundbreaking psychiatric epidemiologist Dr. Lee Robins,” wrote Wilson M. Compton, M.D., M.P.E., deputy director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse.