Norris: 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award for Research


JILL NORRIS is professor and chair of the Department of Epidemiology in the Colorado School of Public Health at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Her research focuses on the relationship of environment in the development of autoimmune diseases, including type I diabetes (T1D), celiac disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus in genetically susceptible individuals. She and her colleagues are following more than 2,400 children at risk for T1D in the Colorado-based Diabetes Autoimmunity Study in the Young, more than 8,000 children at-risk for T1D in the international multicenter study The Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in the Young, and more than 2,700 adults at risk for rheumatoid arthritis in the multicenter studies of the Etiologies of Rheumatoid Arthritis. Her work is focused on the role of maternal, infant, childhood, and adult dietary factors and the etiology of disease, using metabolomics and epigenomic approaches in large, at-risk populations. These studies may shed light on the longstanding issue of the relationship between genes and environment in the development of autoimmune diseases.

In 2008, Norris’ scientific paper on omega-3 fatty acids and T1D autoimmunity was selected as one of the top 25 papers of the year by the National Institutes of Health Annual Bibliography of Significant Advances in Dietary Supplements Research. Prior to her appointment in the Colorado School of Public Health, which was founded in 2008, Norris rose through the academic ranks in the Section of Epidemiology and Community Health in the Department of Preventive Medicine and Biometrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. She received the Colorado School of Public Health Outstanding Faculty Mentoring Award in 2009 and the University of Colorado Chancellor’s Teaching Recognition Award in 2010. Norris also served as a member of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Expert Panel to Examine the Role of the Environment in the Development of Autoimmune Disease.

Norris earned her MPH and PhD in epidemiology in 1988 and 1990, respectively, at Pitt Public Health.


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