Karen B. Fowler honored with 2015 SOPH Alumni Award for Scientific Excellence

Karen B. Fowler, DrPH, professor in the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, is the recipient of the 2015 UAB School of Public Health Alumni Award for Scientific Excellence, in recognition of her significant contributions to the field of public health through exemplary professional commitment and leadership.

Dr. Fowler’s research interests include the epidemiology of maternal and congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) infections; sensorineural hearing loss in children, especially CMV-related hearing loss; perinatal and pediatric infectious diseases; and study design issues and data management of epidemiologic and clinical studies, which are reflected in her impressive body of work. Her most recent CMV research has centered on investigating targeted clinical CMV screening in infants who do not pass their hospital newborn hearing screenings. Dr. Fowler is also part of a team of investigators at UAB who have established an inexpensive, real-time PCR assay to test for CMV in the saliva of newborns that could be used in large scale CMV screening programs for identifying congenital CMV infection. 

She has shared her expertise through serving on such councils and committees as chair of the National Institute of Health’s National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Workshop on “Congenital Cytomegalovirus Infection and Hearing Loss” (2002); as a member of the CMV International Advisory Board of Experts (2009); as a reviewer for the Priority Medicines for Children Programme, The Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (2010); and as a speaker at the CDC’s CMV Awareness Day (2011). She has been a frequently invited presenter at international and national scientific and professional meetings on the topic of CMV and hearing loss. In addition, Dr. Fowler has been an invited plenary speaker by the CDC’s Early Hearing, Detection and Intervention Programs (EHDI) Annual Meeting (2007), which also asked her to prepare a document about “CMV & Hearing Loss” for use by State EHDI programs and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Chapter Champions (2014).

Dr. Fowler will deliver a presentation about her research at 10 a.m. on Friday, September 18, 2015, at the UAB Edge of Chaos.