Karen O’Donnell is a CCFP faculty fellow, associate professor in psychiatry and behavioral sciences and assistant professor in pediatrics. She has worked with the Haiti Lab on the Standards of Care Project, which includes a team of faculty and students who
interviewed community members and healthcare stakeholders in Haiti to understand local conceptions of health care resources, and to strategize on realistic referral processes in the context of health research. Her research interests are in early development risk: drug exposure, HIV infection, and iodine deficiency. She has ongoing research in developmental outcomes of children exposed prenatally to drugs and alcohol. They include the Infant Care Project (Pediatrics) and the Family Care Project (Psychiatry).
O’Donnell is co-investigator on a NIDA study of SIDS risk with prenatal cocaine exposure. She is also involved at Duke and nationally in the study of the neurodevelopmental effects of pediatric HIV infection. She chairs the Pediatric Neurology Scientific Committee for the AIDS Clinical Trials Group (NIAID), coordinating the development of protocols for new drug trials and data analysis of completed ones.