Karen O'Donnell
Assistant Professor

My research interests are in early development risk: drug exposure, HIV infection, and iodine deficiency. I have ongoing research in developmental outcomes of children exposed prenatally to drugs and alcohol. They include the Infant Care Project (Pediatrics) and the Family Care Project (Psychiatry). I am co-investigator on a NIDA study of SIDS risk with prenatal cocaine exposure. I am involved at Duke and nationally in the study of the neurodevelopmental effects of pediatric HIV infection. I Chair the Pediatric Neurology Scientific Committee for the AIDS Clinical Trials Group (NIAID) coordinating the development of protocols for new drug trials and data analysis of completed ones. Currently at Duke, I have one federally funded study of the developmental needs of HIV infected children. The third area of work is in iodine deficiency in China. We have completed the fieldwork, with two publications for 1993-1994, one in Lancet from this year; and the NEJM paper will be published 29 December 1994.

I am completing the firest of two semesters for a MPH in Epidemiology at UNC-Chapel Hill. The goal is to expand my research skills to population based studies. We are planning a proposal to NIDA to study our now 3 and 4 year old drug exposed group. The original Infant Care Project is being replicated in the Franklin County Health Department for the next two years, with a subcontract from our Duke grant. Anticipated shifts in direction are not major; but I have an interest in the perinatal transmission of HIV in developing countries.

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