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Sharon Landesman Ramey, Ph.D.

Sharon Landesman Ramey, Ph.D.

Research Professor and Distinguished Research Scholar

Sharon Landesman Ramey Ph.D. headshot

"Prenatal and infant stroke, cerebral palsy, traumatic and acquired brain injury, and neuromuscular disorders were once deemed in many cases to be 'static,' 'degenerative,” and 'incurable.' We are developing, implementing and evaluating new approaches to change the trajectory of these disorders and childrens’ lives."

Improving therapies and outcomes for children with disabilities

What therapies work best for children with cerebral palsy, brain injury and stroke? 

Sharon Landesman Ramey focuses on three major areas of human development: the contribution of early experience, from prior to conception 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); the development and testing of highly promising treatments for children with disabilities and at-risk conditions; and 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.

Landesman Ramey also has a longstanding interest in improving the rigor of social science tools. She has developed new tools to aid in obtaining reliable, valid reports of young children’s subjective appraisals of their families, their schools, and their peers. She’s interested in how these personal experiences (phenomenology) change over time and influence decisions, behavior, and physical, mental, and social health.

Landesman Ramey is co-director of the Neuromotor Research Clinic, a lead principal investigator in the I-ACQUIRE Phase III clinical trial to examine the effectiveness of a pediatric therapy for 240 children nationwide who experienced strokes when they were under four weeks old, and a founder and leader of the first of its kind National Pediatric Rehabilitation Resource Center.

  • Research Professor and Distinguished Research Scholar, Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC
  • Research Professor, Department of Psychology, College of Science
  • Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, School of Medicine

Luo Y, Hétu S, Lohrenz T, Hula A, Dayan P, Ramey SL, Sonnier-Netto L, Lisinski J, LaConte S, Nolte T, Fonagy P, Rahmani E, Montague PR, Ramey C. (2018). Early childhood investment impacts social decision-making four decades later. Nature Communications 9(1): 4705.

Guardino CM, Hobel CJ, Shalowitz MU, Ramey SL, Dunkel Schetter C, Community Child Health Network. (2018). Psychosocial and demographic predictors of postpartum physical activity. Journal of Behavioral Medicine : 1-12.

Schiariti V, Fowler E, Bradenburg JE, Levey E, McIntyre S, Sukal-Moulton T, Ramey SL, Rose J, Sienko S, Stashinko E, Vogtle L, Feldman RS, Koenig J, On behalf of the AACPDM Cerebral Palsy CDE Workding Groups. (2018). A common data language for clinical research studies: The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine Cerebral Palsy Common Data Elements Version 1.0 recommendations. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology .

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
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

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Director, The Frank Porter Graham Child Development Center

  • University of Washington Seattle: Ph.D. , Developmental Psychology
  • New College, Sarasota: B.A. , Psychology and Comparative Physiology
  • 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
  • National Award for Contributions to the Field of Early Literacy, Scholastic Education and WETA, 2006
  • Children’s Advocate Award, Individual Professional Contributions, 2002
  • Foundation Fellow, Civitan International Research Center for Extraordinary Contributions in Leadership and Community Service, 2001
  • Fellow, Association of Psychological Science, 2000
  • "Best of" The Parent's Journal Public Radio Series for "Your Baby's Brain Development* interview, 2000
  • Howell Heflin Award for Statesmanship and Contributions in World Health and Education, 2000
  • Gold Award, National Parenting Publications Awards, Right from birth: Building your child’s foundation for life, 1999
  • Gold Award, National Parenting Publication Awards, Going to school: How to help your child succeed, 1999
  • American Association on Mental Retardation Research Award, 1999
  • Pastor Distinguished Lecturer, Children's Hospital of Buffalo, NY, 1999
  • American Association on Mental Retardation Distinguished Research Award, 1999
  • Fellow, International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual Disabilities, 1996
  • Theodore Tjossem Memorial Lecture, University of Washington, 1994
  • Fellow, American Association on Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities, 1990
  • Award of Excellence for Highest Achievement in Research in the Field of Developmental Disabilities, National Association of Public Services, 1987
  • Fellow, American Psychological Association, 1985
  • NICHD Research Career Development Award, 1980–1985


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