My research addresses three major areas of human development: (1) the contribution of early experience, starting even prior to conception and extending through the prenatal and early postnatal periods, to later health, social-emotional, and intellectual development (including the fields of behavioral teratology and early intervention research); (2) the development and testing of highly promising treatments for children with disabilities and at-risk conditions; and (3) how to improve the provision of health, education, and social services and strengthen natural community supports, to benefit children and families—the intersection between the new field of implementation science and public policy/public opinion.
I also have a longstanding interest in improving the rigor of social science tools; one area in which I have developed new tools concerns obtaining reliable and valid reports of young children’s subjective appraisals of their families, their schools, and their peers. I am interested in how these personal experiences (phenomenology) change over time and influence multiple decisions, behavior, and health (physical, mental, and social).
My current areas of funded research include: (i) interventions and statewide pre-kindergarten programs to improve teacher and child caregiver effectiveness in increasing young children’s school success; (ii) the role of maternal stress in altering maternal allostatic load, pregnancy outcome, and child outcomes, particularly among low-income, minority populations; (iii) strategies to reduce maternal, paternal, and child health disparities; (iv) pediatric neuromotor interventions for children with cerebral palsy; and (v) innovative, cross-study, longitudinal data analyses to identify common principles of human development as moderated by age, gender, context, and the availability of “responsive, individualized, and stimulating care and education.”
In addition, I am part of the multidisciplinary team at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute that has launched the Roanoke Brain Study under the direction of Dr. Read Montague. The Roanoke Brain Study is elucidating decision-making across the life course—childhood through old age, including exploring inter-generational influences and dynamic relationships among life experiences, health, education, income, and individual biological differences (using an epigenetics systems framework).
A brochure for the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute Neuromotor Research Clinic that I direct, along with Dr. Stephanie DeLuca, is available here.
For a more complete listing of Sharon Landesman Ramey's publications, visit PubMed.
Education and Training
- University of Washington Seattle: Postdoctoral fellowship
- University of Washington Seattle: PhD , Developmental Psychology
- New College, Sarasota: BA , Psychology and Comparative Physiology
- Georgetown University
Susan H. Mayer Professor of Child and Family Studies, School of Nursing and Health Studies
Professor of Psychiatry, School of Medicine
Director, Center on Health and Education
Director, The Science of Effective Early Childhood Education Program
- University of Alabama at Birmingham
Co-Director, Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Research Center
Founding Director, Civitan International Research Center
Director, The Alabama University Affiliated Program in Developmental Disabilities
Professor, Departments of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurobiology, Psychology, Pediatrics, Sociology, Nursing, Maternal and Child Health, and Neurobiology
Director, Developmental Disabilities Prevention Research Center
Co-Director, Developmental Psychology Ph.D. Program
Awards and Honors
- Timeless Award, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Washington, 2012
- Scholar of the Week, Virginia Tech, 2012
- Research Achievement Award, Georgetown University Medical Center, 2008
- University of Washington Distinguished Alumna Award, Natural Sciences, 2007
- Distinguished Research Contributions to Public Policy, Society for Research in Child Development, 2007