Lisa de Saxe Zerden is an associate professor and the Senior Associate Dean for MSW Education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Social Work. She serves as the School’s Interprofessional Education (IPE) Director and was a founding member of the Office of Interprofessional Education and Practice at UNC-Chapel Hill. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology and Social Work from Boston University School of Social Work and her MSW from the University of California at Los Angeles. Zerden has been awarded more than $6 million in federal funding since joining the faculty at UNC-Chapel Hill. Zerden is also a research fellow with the Health Workforce Research Center at the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research, where she has received several SAMHSA and HRSA funded grants to explore integrated team-based care and the role of social work as part of the health workforce.
Zerden’s research interests remain focused on the social drivers of health, including disparities that exacerbate drug use and behavioral health conditions. Her work explores inequitable access to treatment and prevention, the role of social workers in integrated health care settings, and IPE. Zerden is currently involved in several IPE efforts including an innovative project to integrate substance use content into the UNC Adams School of Dentistry. She has authored more than 60 peer-reviewed manuscripts and a half-dozen book chapters, presenting her work nationally and internationally. She has won numerous teaching awards since joining UNC School of Social Work, including “most outstanding,” “most supportive,” and “most inspirational” faculty member. In 2017, she was awarded the John A. Tate Early Career Scholar for Children in Need professorship and, in 2018, CSWE awarded her the Recent Contributions to Social Work Education Award, a prestigious national award, at its annual conference. In 2020, Zerden was recognized for Excellence in School/University Service, a distinction given by the UNC School of Social Work faculty.