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Lauren Clark


Shapiro Family Endowed Chair in Developmental Disabilities Studies & Professor

University of California, Los Angeles School of Nursing

Lauren Clark, PhD, RAN, FAAN, is Professor, Shapiro Family Endowed Chair in Developmental Disability Studies and Associate Dean for Academic & Student Affairs at University of California, Los Angeles School of Nursing. She completed her baccalaureate in nursing, master’s degree in community health nursing, and PhD in nursing at the University of Arizona. Her post-doctoral preparation began with training in cultural anthropology methods, sponsored by the National Science Foundation. She then completed certificates in medical anthropology and conflict resolution. She is a trained mediator and served as Ombudsman at the University of Utah.  She has worked in hospital and home health settings, and in public and community health.

As a nurse-anthropologist, her cross-cultural health research has been funded by NIH and others. She has published over 100 journal articles, book chapters, and electronic media products. Her research interests have evolved over time, with a general emphasis on cultural aspects of quality of life in daily experience among diverse and marginalized populations. Her published research spans studies of curanderos in the southwest, Mexican American women, and families of children with developmental disabilities. Using participatory research methods, she partners with people with intellectual and developmental disability (IDD) to understand their health-related quality of life goals. Her commitment to disability self-advocacy resulted in a psychometrically-sound, 16-item HRQOL measure specifically designed for self-report among people with IDD. The HRQOL-IDD has been translated into German, French, and Chinese, and is available free-of-charge to clinicians and researchers at The measure is used by Special Olympics in the Healthy Athletes program to holistically assess athletes’ health. In teaching undergraduate and graduate students in nursing and disability studies, she emphasizes the pivotal role of nurses in humanizing care and supporting self-advocacy of people with disability.

Dr. Clark collaborates in interdisciplinary disability education, practice, and policy through the UCLA Disability Studies Faculty Advisory Committee and the UCLA Tarjan Center Advisory Committee. She is a fellow in the Society for Applied Anthropology, Associate Editor of Qualitative Health Research. She was recently elected to the Ethics Committee of the American Academy of Nursing and Board of Governors of the Western Institute of Nursing.