Ann Alriksson-Schmidt

PhD, Developmental Psychology concentration, 2007

Career: Associate Professor, Lund University, Sweden

Dr. Ann Alriksson-Schmidt, PhD, MSPH, earned her Ph.D. in Psychology with a concentration in Developmental Psychology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2007. She completed her final year of graduate studies at the CDC as an Association of University Centers on Disability fellow at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta. After the fellowship ended, she stayed on as a Health Scientist at the National Centers on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities at CDC. Having also studied public health (epidemiology) at UAB, Alriksson-Schmidt’s focus has always been on disability, public health, and psychology and at CDC her work focused on individuals with spina bifida. She also served a member of the Institutional Review Board at CDC.

After close to 20 years in the United States, Alriksson-Schmidt moved with her family to Lund, a city in the south of Sweden, at the end of 2010. After spending a couple of years away from research, she started becoming more involved in disability-related research in 2013. Sweden has a number of national quality registers and follow-up programs for individuals with different types of disabilities, including cerebral palsy (www.cpup.se) and spina bifida (www.mmcup.se). Since 2005, more than 95% of children with cerebral palsy are followed in CPUP and an increasing number of children with spina bifida are followed in MMCUP. The last couple of years, her line of research has been register-based research related to cerebral palsy and spina bifida. A couple of years ago, Alriksson-Schmidt and colleagues secured research funding from two large funding bodies in Sweden and Norway. One research program is called CP-North- Living life in the Nordic Countries? and the other Moving on with Cerebral Palsy. In addition to research, she is in charge of the cognition section of CPUP. Since 2015, all children with cerebral palsy (and spina bifida) in Sweden are to be offered neuropsychological evaluations at their clinics; Alriksson-Schmidt is in charge of implementing this policy. She also teaches and supervises doctoral and masters students, as well as some medical students.