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World-renowned child development researchers join Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute


   

2 people Sharon Ramey (left) and Craig Ramey


ROANOKE, Va., Jan. 12, 2011 – Noted developmental psychologists Sharon L. Ramey and Craig T. Ramey will join the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute in Roanoke on Feb. 1. They will become Virginia Tech Carilion Distinguished Research Scholars at the research institute and research professors of psychology in the College of Science at Virginia Tech.

"Drs. Sharon and Craig Ramey have made major contributions to understanding the role of early healthcare including nutrition, education, and social interactions in the development of cognition and healthy behavior in children," said Michael Friedlander, executive director of the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute. "Their work has informed national policy on education and child healthcare around the world."

The Rameys come to Virginia Tech Carilion from Georgetown University in Washington D.C., where they are the co-founding directors of the Georgetown University Center on Health and Education.

Sharon Ramey is the Susan H. Mayer Professor of Child and Family Studies in the School of Nursing and Health Studies at Georgetown University, professor of psychiatry in the School of Medicine at Georgetown University, and the founding director of the Science of Effective Early Childhood Education Program at Georgetown. She directs large scale multi-site randomized controlled studies of child development and leads a study of constraint therapy, a novel approach to treating children with cerebral palsy. Previously, as a faculty member at the University of Washington in Seattle, she did pioneering research on fetal alcohol syndrome. She joined the faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as director of the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, then became the founding co-director of the Civitan International Research Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where she led major national and international research programs on maternal and child health as well as community outreach in early childhood education.

Craig Ramey is the Georgetown University Distinguished Professor of Health Studies and Psychiatry. He trained at the University of West Virginia and the University of California at Berkeley before serving as a faculty member and director of research at the Frank Porter Graham Child Developmental Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He directed the 30-year Abecedarian project at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill on child development and developed intensive interventions, as well as large, multi-site studies of child development and early educational and health interventions. Then, as the founding co-director of the Civitan International Research Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, he led major research programs in intellectual disabilities in children across the world, as well as studying what helps children succeed in the transistion to school. He was also a University Distinguished Professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Craig Ramey recently chaired the National Board of Education Sciences of the U.S. Department of Education and has served as an advisor to national administrations on early educational policies. He has won numerous awards for distinguished contributions to public policy for children.

Sharon Ramey served on the Healthy Babies advisory board in Washington, D.C., and has won awards for statesmanship and contributions to world health and education. She has won the highest achievement award for developmental disabilities research of the National Association of Public Services, been appointed life-long professor of psychiatry at the University of Washington in Seattle, and is an American Psychology Association Fellow.

Craig and Sharon Ramey have published almost 500 scientific manuscripts and many books, including several on early child brain and behavior development that have won numerous national awards, such as Right from Birth and Going to School. They are principal investigators on research grants from the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Education, and private foundations.

The Rameys will join the expanding research program at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute that has a major focus on studies of the development of the human brain and behavior in health and disease. "They will be part of the Roanoke Brain Study and will play a major role as leaders in the development of community outreach programs bringing investigators from the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute together with schools, community organizations, and families in Southwest Virginia to better understand the factors that give rise to health brain development in children and the opportunities to maximize each child’s potential to the fullest," said Friedlander.

The Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute joins the basic science, life science, bioinformatics, and engineering strengths of Virginia Tech with the medical practice and medical education experience of Carilion Clinic. Virginia Tech Carilion is located in a new biomedical health sciences campus in Roanoke at 2 Riverside Circle.