Dr. Ann Streissguth is a leading researcher and Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, at the University of Washington School of Medicine. She has worked with patients with FASD, their families, and communities for over thirty years.
In 1978, Dr. Streissguth collaborated with Dr. Ruth Little to develop methods to intervene in female alcohol abuse during pregnancy and prevent FASD. In 1989, Dr. Streissguth and her colleagues developed and evaluated the impact of a model advocacy program for helping high-risk women for three years after an alcohol or drug exposed pregnancy. This program is now run under the name of Parent-Child Assistance Program. For the past 18 years, Dr. Streissguth and her colleagues have worked with Native American Communities and the Indian Health Service to provide FASD workshops and direct consultations to American Indians and Alaska Natives.
The Fetal Alcohol and Drug Unit, which Dr. Streissguth directs, has investigated many types of prenatal influences on later development in offspring including alcohol, tobacco, cocaine, aspirin, acetaminophen, and rubella virus. Prior to this work, she studied the impact of poverty, preschool, and caretaking experiences on child development. In all, she has published over 160 scientific papers, three books, and a slide-teaching curriculum on Alcohol and Pregnancy. Her most recent books are: Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: A Guide for Families and Communities, Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co. and The Challenge of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: Overcoming Secondary Disabilities, University of Washington Press.
Dr. Streissguth has been honored with several prestigious awards and recognitions for her pioneering research on pregnancy and alcohol. In 1985, Dr. Streissguth was co-recipient with Dr. Paul Lemoine of France of the International Jellinek Memorial Award for Advancement in the field of Alcohol Studies. In 1987, with Dr. Ruth Little, she received an award for outstanding contributions from the American Medical Society on Alcoholism and Other Drug Dependencies. In 1992, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence presented the Silver Key Award to Dr. Streissguth for her “outstanding contribution and research on FASD”. In 1997, she was awarded the University of Washington Outstanding Public Service Award, and the Rosett Award for her outstanding contributions to FAS research in 1998. In 2002, the American Psychological Foundation awarded her a Gold Medal for Lifetime Achievement for Psychology in the Public Interest.
Recognizing Dr. Streissguth’s pioneering research and exemplary service to the FASD world, NOFAS honored her with an Excellence Award in 2003. NOFAS and the FASD community have greatly benefited from Dr. Streissguth’s work and are very thankful to her longstanding dedication to FASD research, prevention, treatment and surveillance.