Cocaine-exposed infants, children with chronic lung disease arising from prematurity, babies suffering from the effects of fetal exposure to the drug Ecstasy—all are benefitting from the scholar’s eye and compassionate heart of Lynn Singer, professor of population and quantitative health sciences, pediatrics, psychiatry and psychology at the School of Medicine.
For more than 30 years, Dr. Singer, who was also Case Western Reserve University’s deputy provost and vice president for academic affairs, has made distinguished contributions to the field of pediatric psychology, particularly early identification of infant and childhood risk and biologic and psychosocial factors affecting maternal and child health. She has also been a stalwart in increasing the participation of women and underrepresented minorities in scientific education and careers as well as a storied educator and mentor whose guidance has led numerous students and protegees to academic careers and leadership positions nationwide.
Her notable research contributions include the definitive study of the effects of very low birth-weight birth on maternal mental health, and a longitudinal birth-cohort study investigating effects of fetal cocaine exposure.
Her research prowess is such that a national study placed her above the 95th percentile of the distribution of National Institutes of Health awards for a 25-year period. She has served on numerous national and international research review committees, including chairing the NIH Committee on Child Psychopathology and Developmental Disorders. She is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Association for Psychological Science and the American Psychological Association.
Beyond direct research, and her service as Deputy Provost, Dr. Singer served twice as Interim Provost and University Vice-President, as well as Vice-Provost for Planning and Assessment, Interim Dean of Graduate Studies, and Interim Vice-President for Medical Affairs. As an administrator, she created a summer program that places underrepresented minority students in Case Western Reserve labs, and many of the participants have gone on to graduate school. She formed a partnership with Fisk University, a historically black college in Nashville, to provide student-exchange summer research training at CWRU. She engaged a coalition of senior faculty members and administrators to address barriers faced by women students and faculty members at CWRU, leading to a National Science Foundation Institutional Transformation Award, the first given to a private university.
Dr. Singer also supported faculty initiation of the Women in Science and Engineering Roundtable to acquaint female students with successful women STEM faculty and industry models. She created and directed the task force that developed the LGBT Center on campus, an accomplishment recognized by the Human Rights Campaign Leadership Award.