Karen Cruickshanks (EPI ’87) was honored with the 2014 Alumni Award for Research on May 17 at the annual Alumni Awards dinner.
The Alumni Award for Research is presented to an alumnus/na who has made significant contribution to research.
Cruickshanks is a professor in the departments of population health sciences and ophthalmology and visual sciences at the University of Wisconsin. While completing her PhD at Pitt Public Health, she worked on cohort studies of Type 1 diabetes with epidemiology faculty members Ron Laporte and Trevor Orchard. After completing her degree she served as an assistant professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine and Biometrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, studying ethnic differences in Type 1 diabetes with Richard F. Hamman. She was appointed to the faculty at the University of Wisconsin in 1990 and promoted to full professor in 2003. Cruickshanks is the PI of two NIH-supported longitudinal cohort studies of aging: the Epidemiology of Hearing Loss Study (EHLS), a population-based cohort study of sensory and cognitive aging in Beaver Dam, WI, began in 1993 and was awarded MERIT status, and the Beaver Dam Offspring Study, which has been studying the determinants of sensory aging since 2004 in the adult offspring of EHLS. The major themes of her research are the link between subclinical vascular and inflammatory markers and the sensory and neurological disorders of aging and generational differences in aging. She collaborated on the Hispanic Community Health Study, a multi-center study including hearing testing for 16,000 Latinos, and served as a co-investigator on studies of eye diseases (WESDR and BDES) and mentor on various training grants. She has published more than 170 papers in peer-reviewed journals. She is a past member of the National Deafness and Communications Disorders Advisory Council for the National Institutes of Health, has served on three committees for the Institute of Medicine, and currently serves as the chair of the Data Monitoring and Oversight Committee for the Conservation of Hearing Study (CHEARS), and the Data and Safety Monitoring Board for the Therapeutic Effects of Cataract Removal in Alzheimer’s Disease clinical trial. She served as the director of the graduate program in population Hhalth from 2005–07 and teaches graduate students and fellows in epidemiology and population health.