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University of Southern California
University of Southern California
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
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Sharon Cermak EdD, OTR/L, FAOTA

Sharon Cermak EdD, OTR/L, FAOTA

Professor, joint appointment with the Keck School of Medicine of USC, Department of Pediatrics

CHP 222V
(323) 442-2879
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Sharon Cermak received her Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from The Ohio State University, her Master of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from Boston University, Graduate Program, and her doctoral degree in Special Education at Boston University. Dr. Cermak is renowned for her expertise in Dyspraxia/Developmental Coordination Disorder, a long-standing interest of hers. She co-edited a leading text, “Developmental Coordination Disorders,” and more recently served as a member of an NIH Task Force on Childhood Motor Disorders.

Research Interests

Dr. Cermak’s current research focuses on health promotion in children with disabilities, which is a critical area of national health concern for children. She is involved in two NIH-funded projects as part of an interdisciplinary team of researchers at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center in Massachusetts. Dr. Cermak is Principal Investigator of an NIH-funded R21 grant, Physical Activity, Fitness and Obesity in Children with Coordination Disorders, which is designed to examine the effect of children’s motor coordination on their participation in physical activity and the effects on fitness, risk for obesity, and self-efficacy. Another area of research is with children with autism. Dr. Cermak is Co-Investigator on an NIH-funded R21 grant, Diet, Activity and Obesity in Children with Autism. Another related area of Dr. Cermak’s research expertise is the sensory processing and developmental effects of deprivation in institutionalized and post-institutionalized children. Dr. Cermak has been involved intensively in orphanages in Romania, conducting both research and service programs. She collaborates with Dr. Laurie Miller, M.D., Director of the International Adoption Clinic at Tufts New England Medical Center. Dr. Cermak was consultant and contributing author on a grant that Dr. Miller (PI) received from the Fogarty International Center for research on brain disorders in developing countries. The investigators on this study examined neurodevelopmental outcomes in children in Russian orphanages, and explored the contributions of the environment in promoting optimal brain development in young children.

Education

Selected Publications

In Chan News