The School of Medicine announces with great sadness that Lois Black, PhD, a Research Professor in the Center for Spoken Language Understanding (CSLU) in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, passed away Oct. 15 of lung cancer. She was diagnosed in October 2010, and faced her disease with relentless, cheerful energy.
Dr. Black joined the CSLU in 2002 to create, together with Director Jan van Santen, PhD, what became the best-funded autism research program in the state. As clinical director of this program, she supervised a team of clinical psychologists, speech language psychologists and occupational therapists. She embarked on numerous Computational Behavioral Science projects, such as on measurement of crossmodal integration difficulties in neurodevelopmental disorders, on sensor-based detection of autism in infancy, or on acoustic measurement of prosody in autism. Her erudite knowledge of these disorders, her decades of clinical practice and her ability to communicate with computational engineers brought a unique perspective to all projects she was involved in. As a teacher, she ran case conferences, focusing on complex differential-diagnostic cases, which became a popular weekly event attended by CSLU faculty, staff, students and trainees.
Outside of OHSU, Dr. Black was best known for her pioneering work on the integration of neuropsychology and clinical psychology in the assessment and treatment of children with neurodevelopmental disorders. As a private practitioner, she has been a pivotal person in the lives of many patients.
At the time of her death, she was a member of the Training Faculty and the Advisory Counsel of the Interdisciplinary Council on Developmental and Learning Disorders (ICDL) and a Board Member of New York Zero-to-Three. For more than twenty years, she was Director of the Brooklyn Center for Psychological and Neuropsychological Services.
The CSLU, the Department of Biomedical Engineering, the OHSU School of Medicine and the greater scientific community are deeply saddened by her death.
Autism Research & Resources of Oregon posted this remembrance of Dr. Black.