Mary Jo Pugh Ph.D., R.N
Mary Jo Pugh Ph.D., R.N., is a retired Air Force nurse and Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Epidemiology at the University of Utah School of Medicine. She is an investigator at the Informatics, Decision-Enhancement and Analytic Sciences Center of Innovation (IDEAS COIN) and the VA Salt Lake City where she leads the LIMBIC Phenotype study and co-leads the LIMBIC Data and Biostatistics core. Integrating her training as a Veteran, a nurse, and a developmental psychologist, she developed a research program to examine the long-term sequelae and outcomes of military exposures. Early in her career she focused on outcomes associated with suboptimal quality of care in older Veterans. Over the past decade she has targeted her work using VA data to identify phenotypes in populations with complex comorbidity such as those with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and complex multi-symptom illness. Dr. Pugh’s current work related to TBI includes longitudinal observational and prospective studies to identify the emergence of distinct neurodegenerative conditions such as cognitive impairment and epilepsy, and clusters of multimorbidity that may have similar or networked biological underpinnings. The longitudinal observational studies of approximately one million Veterans currently link Department of Defense (DoD) combat theatre and health system data with VA health system data and will further link with DoD serum repository data. These studies aim to understand which individuals are at highest risk of neurodegeneration, mental health conditions, and deficits in functional outcomes after mild TBI.