Lauren Bishop

Credentials: PhD, University of Pittsburgh, 2015; MSW, University of Pittsburgh, 2011; BA, University of Colorado at Boulder, 2006

Position title: Associate Professor


Curriculum Vitae
Lauren Bishop in front of red and green leaves

Associate Professor Lauren Bishop’s research uses epidemiological, advanced computational, and qualitative methods to characterize disparities in health and wellbeing in adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and as they age. Her National Institutes of Health-funded program of research focuses specifically on autistic adults and how their unique mental, physical, and social needs can be properly understood over the life course, to inform treatment, services, policy, and best practices.

Dr. Bishop directs the Aging and Health Equity in Autism and Developmental Disabilities (AHEADD) Team at the Waisman Center, where she is a principal investigator. She is also an affiliate of the Institute for Research on Poverty, the Center for Demography of Health and Aging, and the Center for Aging Research and Education. She is the recipient of the 2022 Deborah K. Padgett Early Career Achievement Award from the Society for Social Work and Research and the recipient of a 2022-2024 Vilas Associate Professorship from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In 2022, Dr. Bishop was appointed to the Athletic Board and the University Research Council at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is Associate Editor of the Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities and a member of the editorial board for Autism and Social Work in Mental Health.

Currently, Dr. Bishop is building upon her early work which identified high levels of physical and psychiatric morbidity and early mortality among autistic adults using a combination of administrative and prospectively collected data. Her current projects focus on: (1) characterizing heterogeneity in physical and mental health outcomes using a fully representative sample of autistic adult Medicaid beneficiaries; (2) understanding how middle aged and older autistic adults experience health and make decisions about how and if to interface with the healthcare system; and (3) investigating whether aging is early or accelerated in autism and how that is related to health, cognitive and brain outcome among autistic adults. Dr. Bishop’s research on outcomes for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities has been featured in The Atlantic, The Washington Post, National Public Radio, and USNews. She regularly publishes in outlets such as JAMA Neurology, Autism, Autism Research, and the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

Her social work practice experience includes roles as a school counselor and as a social skills group leader for autistic children and youth. Dr. Bishop is also broadly interested in identifying strategies to strengthen the social work workforce that provides care to individuals with developmental disabilities in the community. She particularly enjoys mentoring doctoral students who are interested in building research careers focused on disability policy, outcomes for autistic adults, and/or social work interventions to support the inclusion of people with developmental disabilities in their communities.

Before her appointment to the faculty of the Sandra Rosenbaum School of Social Work in 2017, Dr. Bishop completed postdoctoral training in intellectual and developmental disabilities research at the Waisman Center. She holds a BA in Psychology from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a MSW and PhD in Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh.