Dr. Russell Kirby has been designated a USF Distinguished University Professor

The outstanding contributions and internationally-recognized scholarly accomplishments of Russell Kirby, PhD, have earned him USF’s highest faculty honor — recognition as a Distinguished University Professor.

Dr. Kirby, professor and the Marrell Endowed Chair in the College of Public Health’s Department of Community and Family Health, was one of only three faculty members designated USF Distinguished University Professors this year.


The designation recognizes USF senior faculty across all disciplines who have distinguished themselves among their peers both within and outside the university through their research, scholarship and creative activity. Selection is based on nomination to the provost and external peer review. Along with Dr. Kirby, Carolyn Ellis, Department of Communication, College of Arts & Sciences, and Dmitry Khavinson, Department of Mathematics & Statistics, College of Arts & Sciences, were also designated as Distinguished University Professors.

Dr. Kirby is an expert on developmental disabilities epidemiology and prevention, as well as risk factors for poor pregnancy outcomes, and recently contributed to two key studies with implications for the prevalence of autism spectrum disorder in the U.S. population. He has authored or co-authored more than 200 publications, with at least 10 per year since 2004, many of which are highly cited because his work has been seminal to understanding the epidemiology and surveillance of birth defects.

Dr. Kirby, who joined USF in 2008, has also been recognized locally and nationally for his teaching. He was selected by students as the USF College of Public Health Outstanding Professor of the Year for 2013 and received national recognition for his teaching in 2007 when he received the Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology Award for Excellence in Teaching and Mentorship, sponsored by 16 national health organizations through the Coalition for Excellence in MCH Epidemiology. In 2010, he was elected to a two-year term as President of the Association of Teachers of Maternal and Child Health.

Dr. Kirby has a doctorate degree in human geography and a master’s of science degree in preventive medicine-epidemiology, both from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.