Autism Speaks proudly shares the news that the American Public Health Association has bestowed the Rema Lapouse Award for exemplary work in psychiatric epidemiology to Ezra Susser, MD, DrPH.
Susser is a longtime member of Autism Speaks scientific advisory committee and one of the powerhouses behind its initiative for Global Autism Public Health (GAPH). He is also a professor of epidemiology and psychiatry at Columbia University and director of the Imprints Center for Genetic and Environmenal Life Course Studies, at the Mailman School of Public Health and the New York State Psychiatric Institute.
Among the many themes of Susser’s research career is the investigation of how genes interact with the prenatal environment to influence the risk of neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism. He has promoted and developed the study of younger siblings and of same-sex sibling pairs to speed and deepen understanding of these risk factors. Recently, Susser was the senior scientist on a large Norwegian study showing that children born to women who took folic acid supplements before and after conception had lower rates of severe language delays (which are often associated with autism). Susser is also a longtime champion of global mental health.
The award honors Rema Lapouse, M.D., a founding member of the American Public Health Association’s mental health division, and was established in 1972 in her memory.