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Heather Orton Anderson, PhD 

Assistant Professor


Heather Orton Anderson graduated from UCCS in 1994 with a BS degree in Applied Math and a minor in Psychology. Her career began as a Statistical Analyst at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), where she spent about five years working first for the Colorado Women�s Cancer Control Initiative, then the state�s birth defects registry. While at CDPHE, she was first introduced to the fields of biostatistics and epidemiology and began working on an MS degree in Biostatistics.

In 2000, she left CDPHE to join the Centers for American Indian and Alaska Native Health at UC Denver and in 2002 she completed her MS degree. In August 2008 she completed her PhD in Epidemiology. During her time with the Centers she has worked on many projects focusing on American Indian/Alaska Native populations. Such projects have included examining the effects of childhood abuse on later psychiatric outcomes such as depression and substance use disorders.

She has also done research specifically in child welfare populations, including her dissertation work which considered the developmental trajectories of depression symptoms with respect to gender, race and child maltreatment type. More recently, she has begun collaborating with colleagues in the School of Pharmacy to work on utilization, efficacy and safety studies of antidepressants.

Research Interests:
  • Psychiatric Epidemiology
  • Depression
  • Suicide
  • Child Abuse/Neglect
  • Pharmacoepidemiology
  • Antidepressants/Psychiatric Drugs
  • Current Research Projects:
  • DHHS: The Epidemiology of Depression and Substance Use: Adolescents in Child Welfare (10/06-6/09, Project Manager): This project conducts secondary analysis of a nationally representative longitudinal sample of youth involved with Child Welfare and their caregivers to characterize the patterns and development of mental health, alcohol and drug problems among adolescents involved with Child Welfare systems.
  • Education:
  • University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, BS, Applied Math & Psychology, 1994
  • University of Colorado Denver, MS, Biostatistics, 2002
  • University of Colorado Denver, PhD, Epidemiology, 2008
  • Colorado School of Public Health

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    Aurora, CO 80045


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