News Release - August 12, 2009

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Date: August 12, 2009
Contact: Jennifer Forbes
Communication & Public Affairs
Phone: 732-235-6356


UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School Professor Receives 2009 Urie Bronfenbrenner Award for Lifetime Achievement


New Brunswick, NJ -- Michael Lewis, PhD, university distinguished professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, has received the 2009 Urie Bronfenbrenner Award for Lifetime Contribution to Developmental Psychology in the Service of Science and Society from the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Developmental Psychology section. 

The award is for an individual whose work has, over a lifetime career, not only contributed to the science of developmental psychology, but also advanced the application of developmental psychology to society.  The individual’s contributions may have been made through advocacy, direct service, influencing public policy or education, or other routes that enable scientific developmental psychology to better the condition of children and families.

"Dr. Lewis is to be congratulated,” said Peter S. Amenta, MD, PhD, dean, of Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. “He is representative of the exemplary faculty at our medical school."

Dr. Lewis has directed the Institute for the Study of Child Development at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School for more than 25 years and has been committed to three goals:  research, education and the exchange of information to share with parents.  He has generated close to 40 million dollars in research grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. He is particularly interested in studying children’s emotional development. His longitudinal studies of normal and dysfunctional development have led to his two most recent books, “Shame, the Exposed Self” and “Altering Fate: Why the Past Does Not Predict the Future,” which was a runner up for the American Psychological Association’s Eleanor Maccoby Book Award.  A University of Notre Dame study has ranked him first among scientists who are most referenced and productive in the field of developmental sciences, and whose work has the greatest impact.  In addition, Dr. Lewis is currently in the top 1.5 percent of scientists referenced in the Social Science Index.

This award recognizes a contribution to science and to the well being of families and children.  “I am particularly pleased to accept this award because it reflects our commitment to help children and families through the study of the basic processes affecting development,” states Dr. Lewis.

Dr. Lewis received the award, and also delivered an address at the 2009 APA conference just held in Toronto.



As one of the nation’s leading comprehensive medical schools, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey 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 New Jersey’s premier academic medical center. In addition, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School has 34 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 2,500 full-time and volunteer faculty, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School encompasses 22 basic science and clinical departments and 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.