Carolyn Drews-Botsch, PhD, MPH

Carolyn Drews-Botsch
Titles and Organizations

Professor and Department Chair, Public Health

Contact Information

Phone: 703-993-1978
Campus: Fairfax
Building: Peterson Hall
Room 4503


Dr. Carolyn Drews-Botsch is Professor and Chair of Global and Community Health in the College of Public Health. Her research has focused on the epidemiology of pediatric conditions and the factors, particularly in the perinatal period, that contribute to their etiology. Specifically, her work seeks to understand these conditions, and carefully apply modern epidemiologic methods to studies of these conditions. Her research program has included work in a variety of related fields including congenital cataracts, fetal growth restriction – particularly in relationship to placental development, intellectual disabilities and autism spectrum disorders. 

Some key findings include: 

  • The role of socioeconomic status on developmental outcomes: It has long been recognized that social class is a strong predictor of neurodevelopment. For example, the prevalence of mild intellectual disability is more than twice as high in children from poorer households as among children whose families are more affluent. What has been less clear, however, is how this relationship impacts the effects of other, physiologic, risk factors for adverse development. I have been involved in a variety of studies which have sought to address this question by examining risk factors for intellectual disability and other developmental disabilities in more homogeneous phenotypic categories and within social strata. This work led to a paradigm shift in understanding that socioeconomic status contributes to severe intellectual disability when there are no other underlying biological factors that impact cognitive development, as well as an understanding that biological insults may impact the risk of intellectual disability differently depending on the child’s social class.
  • The impact of vision impairment on children’s quality of life: Spectacles and/or contact lenses, and occlusion therapy are commonly used to treat in children with vision disorders. Further, even given early and aggressive treatment, a significant proportion of children with unilateral cataracts are left with poor vision in the treated eye and little stereopsis. However, relatively little is known about the impact of these treatments or these conditions on the lives of children and their families. Her work has focused on assessing the amount of occlusion therapy that these children receive during early childhood, as well as the impact of these treatments on quality of life and motor development.
  • Understanding and minimizing bias in epidemiologic studies of perinatal outcomes:  It has become increasingly recognized that pregnancy, and in utero development, set the stage for later health outcomes and risk of disease.  However, high rates of loss to pregnancy losses – even before pregnancy recognition, the importance of stages of vulnerability, the difficulty of assessing exposure to the fetus as compared to maternal exposure, the often long lag between development and identification of conditions, and the reliance on maternal recall of events and exposures complicate epidemiologic studies of conditions.  Her methodologic work has sought to empirically investigate the impact of bias, particularly information bias, on the results of epidemiologic studies. Specifically, my dissertation investigated the extent to which mothers of infants who had died from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome reported events with differential accuracy as compared to mothers of control infants.  This work led to work to investigate the impact of how choosing different control groups might rectify this situation as well as work on analytic methods to control for differential recall.  

Prior to coming to Mason, Dr. Drews-Botsch was a tenured professor at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University.  Her administrative responsibilities included terms as Vice Chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Associate Dean in the Laney School of Graduate Studies.  

University Service

Emory University

2006-2009       President’s Council on the Status of Women, Member

                                    Member, Executive Committee – 2007-2008

                                    Chair, Faculty Concerns Committee – 2007-2008

                                    Member, Women in Leadership Committee – 2005-present

                                    Member, Strategic Planning Committee – 2007-2009

2007                Member, Institutional Research Advisory Board, Emory University

2007-2008       Member and Facilitator, PCSW-Provost’s Initiative to Evaluate Gender Equity on the Faculty

2008                Member, SACS Advisory Planning Committee, Emory University

2009-2014       Member, Learning Outcomes Assessment Planning Committee, Emory University

2011-2013       Member, SACS Compliance Assessment Committee, Emory University

2012-2014       Member, Member, Data Advisory Committee, Emory University

2019-2020       Member (elected), Tenure and Promotions Advisory Committee

Rollins School of Public Health

  1. Member, Affirmative Action Committee.  Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University 

1991-1992       Chair, Organization, Management and Governance Accreditation Self-Study Subcommittee.  Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University.

  1. Member, Terry Chair Faculty Search Committee.  Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University
  2. Member, Curriculum Committee.  Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University

1992-1993       Member, Women and Children’s Center Search Committee.  Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University.

2001-2007, 2016-2019           Member, Appointments, Promotion and Tenure Committee, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University.

2011-2018       Chair, Faculty Council

2015-2017       James Alley Award Selection Committee

2017-2018       Member, Search Committee for Department Chair

2018-2019       Sellers Award Selection Committee

James T. Laney School of Graduate Studies

2006-2014       Member, Program Review Committee (joint with Emory College of Arts and Sciences)

2006-2008       Chair, Woodruff Fellowship Selection Committee

2006-2008       Chair, Emory Graduate Diversity Fellowship Selection Committee

2019-2020       Member, Woodruff Fellowship Selection Committee

Department  of Epidemiology and Biostatistics

1990                Chair, Ad Hoc Committee to Organize Faculty Retreat. Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics.  Emory University School of Medicine.

1990-1992       Member, Ad Hoc Committee to Develop Dissertation Guidelines. Division of Epidemiology.  Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University.

Department of Epidemiology

1990-1996       Member, Student Admissions Committee.  Department of Epidemiology, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University.

1991-1992       Chair, Faculty Search Committee.  Department of Epidemiology, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University.

1992-1994       Member, Ph.D. Qualifying Examination Committee.  Epidemiology, PhD program, Laney Graduate School, Emory University.

1998-1999       Member, Department of Epidemiology Search Committee.  Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University.

1999-2007       Director, Graduate Studies.  Department of Epidemiology, Rollins School of Public Health.  Emory University.

2002-2004       Chair, Ad Hoc PhD Curriculum Review Committee, Department of Epidemiology, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University

2011-2016       Member, Student Funding Committee, Epidemiology, PhD program, Laney Graduate School, Emory University (Chair from 2015-2016)

2013-present   Member, PhD Qualifying Exam Committee, Epidemiology, PhD program, Laney Graduate School, Emory University

                        (Chair from 2015-present)

2014-2019       Member, Student Admissions Committee.  Epidemiology, PhD program, Laney Graduate School, Emory University

2014 –present Member, PhD Curriculum Committee, Epidemiology, PhD program, Laney Graduate School, Emory University

2015-2018       Chair, Faculty Search Committee.  Department of Epidemiology, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University.

2016 –present Member, Internal Advisory Board, Multidisciplinary Research Training to Reduce Inequities, Epidemiology, T32 training program funded by NIDDK

2016-2018       Chair, Department Executive Committee

2018-2019       Member, Curriculum Implementation Committee

Department of Ophthalmology

1990-1995       Member, Quality Assurance Committee.  Department of Ophthalmology, Emory University School of Medicine.

1999-2001       Member, Epidemiologist Search Committee, Department of Ophthalmology, Emory University School of Medicine.

Department of Pediatrics

2009-2011       Reviewer, Emory-Egleston Children’s Research Committee Seed Grant


1991-1994       Member, Infant Mortality Steering Committee.  Aberdeen Service Area, Indian Health Service.

Dec. 2002        Member, Workshop on Doctoral Education in Epidemiology, Association of Schools of Public Health/American College of Epidemiology.

2003-2018       Member, Genetics Steering Committee, Stillbirth Collaborative Research Network

2011-2013       Graduate Deans’ Advisory Board, Academic Analytics.

2019-present   Advisory Board, National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health

Community Service

Board Member, National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health.2019-present

Society of Pediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology

       Past President, 2017-2018

       President, 2016-2017 

      President Elect, 2015-2016

     Member, 1988-present

Society for Epidemiologic Research, Member, 1988-present

Chair, Science Olympiad, Vanderlyn Elementary School, Dunwoody, GA, 1998-2002


Current Grants

  • Infant Aphakia Study – Clinical Centers Grant (PI: Drews-Botsch).  9/1/2015-8/31-2020.  NEI. 5UG1EY025553.  Annual Direct Costs (2016): $233,683
  • Pathogenesis of Uveitis in Ebola Virus Disease Survivors (PI: Yeh). 4/1/2019-3/30/2024. 5R01EY029594-02. Total Direct Costs: $426,938.
  • COVID-19 and the Eye:  Surveillance of Ophthalmic Disease, Viral Persistence, and Immunologic Response. (mPI). 8/1/2020-7/3-/2021. Synergy Grant from Emory University, Total Direct Costs: $100,000

Select Publications

  • Reddy UM, Page GP, Saade GR et al, 2013, Genetic abnormalities in still birth: comparison of karyotype and microarray testing, New England Journal of Medicine, 367, 2185-2193
  • Bracken, Michael B., et al. , 2013, New models for large prospective studies: is there a risk of throwing out the baby with the bathwater?." , American Journal of epidemiology , 177, 285-289
  • Celano M, Hartmann EE, Drews-Botsch CD, 2013, Parenting Stress in the Infant Aphakia Treatment Study, Journal of Pediatric Psychology , ,
  • Drews-Botsch CD, Celano M, Kruger S, Hartmann EE, 2012, Adherence to occlusion therapy in the six months of follow up and visual acuity among participants in the Infant Aphakia Treatment Study (IATS)., Investigative Ophthalmology Visual Science , 53, 3368-3375
  • Angeles-Han S, Prahalad S, Ponder L, et al., 2012, Concordance between child and parent-proxy report on a new self-report tool of vision related quality of life for children with JIA-associated uveitis – “Effects of Youngsters’ Eyesight on QOL -EYE-Q, Pediatric Rhuematology, 10, A43
  • Schieve LA, Rice C, Yeargin-Allsopp M, Boyle CA, Kogan MD, Drews C, Devine O. , 2012, Parent-reported prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders in US-born children: An assessment of changes within birth cohorts from the 2003 to the 2007 National Survey of Children’s Health. , Maternal and Child Health Journal, 16, 1151-1157
  • Drews-Botsch CD, Hartmann EE, Celano M, 2012, Predictors of adherence to occlusion therapy three months after cataract extraction in the Infant Aphakia Treatment Study, Journal of the American Association of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, 16, 150-155
  • Obi O, Van Naarden Braun K, Baio J, Drews-Botsch C, Devine O, Yeargin-Allsopp M. , 2011, Effect of incorporating adaptive functioning scores on the prevalence of intellectual disability. , American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental, 5, 360-370
  • Drews C, Schieve LA, Kable J, Coles C. , 2011, Socioeconomic differences in the impact of being small for gestational age on neurodevelopment among preschool-aged children. , Reviews on Environmental Health. , 26, 221-229
  • Lyles RH, Zhang F, Drews-Botsch CD, 2007, Combining internal and external validation data to correct for exposure misclassification: A case study., American Journal of Epidemiology, 28, 321-8
  • Huber LRB*, Hogue CJ, Stein AD, Drews C, Zieman M. , 2006, Body Mass Index and Risk of Oral Contraceptive Failure: A Case-Cohort Study in South Carolina. , Annals of Epidemiology , 16, 637-643
  • Gauthier TW, Drews-Botsch CD, Falek A, Coles C, Brown LAS, 2005, Maternal aclohol abuse and neonatal infection, Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 29, 1035-43
  • Gauthier TW, Drews-Botsch C, Falek A, Coles C, Brown LAS., 2005, Maternal alcohol abuse and neonatal infection. , Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, 29, 1035-43
  • Luman ET. Barker LE. McCauley MM. Drews-Botsch C. , 2005, Timeliness of childhood immunizations: a state-specific analysis. , American Journal of Public Health, 95, 1367-74
  • Lambert SR, Lynn M, Drews-Botsch CD, et al., 2003, IOL implantation during infancy: perception of parents and AAPOS members, JAAPOS, 7, 400-5
  • Miller CH, Haff E, Platt SJ, Rawlins P, Drews-Botsch CD, Dilley AB, Evatt B, 2003, Measurement of von Willebgrand factr activity: Relative effects of ABO blood type and race, Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostatis, 1, 2191-7
  • Kirtava A, Drews-Botsch CD, Lally C, Dilley A, Evatt B., 2003, Medical, reproductive and psycholosocial experiences of women diagnosed with von Willebrand's disease receiving care in haemophilia treatment centres: a case-control study, Haemophilia, 17, 231-7
  • Drews-Botsch CD, Celano M, Plager DA, Lambert SR. , 2003, Parenting stress among caregivers of children with congenital cataracts, JAAPOS, 74, 244-50
  • Drews CD, Celano M, Plager DA, Lambert SR., 2003, Parenting stress among caregivers of children with congenital cataracts, JAAPOS,, 7, 244-50
  • Drews-Botsch CD, Coles C, Floyd RL, Falek, 2003, Prevalence of prenatal drinking at an urban public hospital and a suburband private hospital, Journal of Perinatal and Neonatal Medicine, 12, 85-93
  • Drews-Botsch CD, Dillay A, Lally C, Beckman M, Evatt B, 2002, Screening questions to identify women with von Willebran Disease, Journal of the American Medical Women's Association, 57, 217-8

Honors and Awards


  • Selected by President Wagner and the President’s Commission on the Status of Women to attend HERS, 2006,
  • Elected, Upsilon Chapter, Delta Omega
  • Outstanding Graduate Student, UCLA Public Health Alumni Association
  • Participant, Society for Epidemiologic Research Student Workshop
  • Auxiliary Scholarship, UCLA Medical Center
  • University Grant, School of Public Health, UCLA
  • National Research Service Award in Cancer Epidemiology, National Institutes of Health
  • Predoctoral Fellowship, Bush Foundation
  • Elected, Phi Beta Kappa
  • Provost's Honor Roll, University of California, San Diego



  • Doctor of Philosophy, Epidemiology, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Master of Public Health, Population and Faculty Health, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Bachelor of Arts , Biology, University of California, San Diego