News Release - March 8, 2013

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Lifetime of Work in Child Development Leads to National Recognition


Michael Lewis, PhD

New Brunswick, NJ – Michael Lewis, PhD, University Distinguished Professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, has earned the Distinguished Scientific Contributions to Child Development Award by the Society for Research in Child Development. The award is presented to a member of the society who has distinguished him or herself with continuous lifetime contributions to the scientific body of knowledge and understanding of children’s development.

Dr. Lewis is the director of the Institute for the Study of Child Development, a research center in the department of pediatrics at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School which studies the processes that lead to healthy children, both physically and emotionally. He and his team, which includes psychologists, educators and other child health and behavioral professionals, translate those findings in order to develop better interventions for children who are not developing typically.

Dr. Lewis has written more than 60 books and research monographs and lectured internationally on children’s emotional and behavioral development.  His book Handbook of Emotional Development (1993) was awarded the 1995 Critics Choice Award, the same year that a University of Notre Dame study named him as the top scientist whose impact was most referenced and productive in the field of developmental sciences. Dr. Lewis received the 2009 Urie Bronfenbrenner Award for Lifetime Contribution to Developmental Psychology in the Service of Science and Society from the American Psychological Association, as well as the 2012
Hedi Levenback Pioneer Award from The New York Zero-to-Three Network for his pioneering research in child development.

For 30 years, the institute has compiled a vast amount of knowledge on child development and the relation between a child’s behavior and their brain functions.  Major studies have included the long-term effects of drugs and toxic exposure in unborn children; children’s behavioral and physiological reactions to stress; and the impact of negligent caregiving and traumatic events on a child’s development.  The Institute has earned more than $40 million to fund its research and clinical programs since its founding.



As one of the nation’s leading comprehensive medical schools, UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School is dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in education, research, health care delivery, and the promotion of community health. In cooperation with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, the medical school’s principal affiliate, they comprise one of the nation's premier academic medical centers. In addition, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School has 34 other hospital affiliates and ambulatory care sites throughout the region.

As one of the eight schools of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey with 2,800 full-time and volunteer faculty, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School encompasses 20 basic science and clinical departments, hosts centers and institutes including The Cancer Institute of New Jersey, the Child Health Institute of New Jersey, the Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine, the Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute, and the Stem Cell Institute of New Jersey. The medical school maintains educational programs at the undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate levels for more than 1,500 students on its campuses in New Brunswick, Piscataway, and Camden, and provides continuing education courses for health care professionals and community education programs. To learn more about UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, log on to Find us online at and