Sheppard G. Kellam, M.D. is a public health psychiatrist who has played a major role in establishing concepts and methods for prevention science, as well as contributing to knowledge about early risk factors and their malleability. In close partnership with the Baltimore City Public Schools System he led three generations of large scale epidemiologically based randomized field trials testing universal preventive interventions in first and second grade classrooms directed at early antecedents of long-term problem outcomes. This work began in 1984 and is still continuing. The targeted outcomes included drug and alcohol abuse and dependence disorders, daily regular tobacco use, antisocial personality disorder, delinquency and incarceration, use of school based services as well as the centrally important outcome of school failure. All of these problem outcomes share the early risk factor of aggressive, disruptive classroom behavior as early as first and second grades. The intervention of particular importance is one known as the “Good Behavior Game”, a classroom behavior management method for socializing children to the role of student while offering teachers a method for managing classroom behavior in a way that does not compete for instructional time. By young adulthood significant and meaningful reductions were found for all of the problem outcomes cited above (see Drug and Alcohol Dependence Supplemental Issue June 2008). The three generations of rigorous randomized field trials have been supported by NIDA, NIMH, and NICHD over the last 3 decades.
His theoretical, methodological, and substantive contributions began in 1963 through 1982 with early population based universal intervention studies in Woodlawn, an African American community on the South Side of Chicago through 1982. He and colleagues coined the name developmental epidemiology, i.e., mapping the variation in developmental paths leading to health or disorders in defined populations. This work was done in close harmony with a board of Woodlawn community organization leaders. It led to developing and implementing a developmental epidemiological prevention research strategy that precisely aimed interventions at early risk factors. On moving to Baltimore from 1982-1993 Dr. Kellam was Chair of the Department of Mental Hygiene (now the Department of Mental Health) in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He was Founding Director of the NIMH Hopkins Prevention Research Center that supported the three generations of trials. Using community and school supported randomized designs, the team examined not only main effects but the variation in impact on developmental paths and outcomes. Recognizing the vital need to bridge the traditional gap between public education and public health prevention research, he moved to the American Institutes for Research (AIR), a non-profit research group known for its focus on school and education research. His mission was to develop a new Center for Integrating Education and Prevention Research in Schools (Ed/Prev). This base provided a home for the third of the three generations of Baltimore prevention research. After an important decade at AIR, Kellam has recently returned to Hopkins where he is Professor Emeritus.
In 1996 he was awarded the Rema Lapouse Award for lifetime contributions to public health and prevention science by the Mental Health, Epidemiology, and Statistics Sections of the American Public Health Association. In 1999 the World Federation for Mental Health presented him their Distinguished Public Mental Health Award for his work in advancing the science for prevention of mental and behavioral disorders. He is also a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. He was the first President elected by the full membership of the Society for Prevention Research from 1998-2001. In 2004 he was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Experimental Criminology. In 2008 he was awarded the Presidential Award of the Society for Prevention Research. In 2008 as well he was awarded the Director’s Special Appreciation Award by NIDA.
Honors and Awards
From 1982-1993 Dr. Kellam was Chair of the Department of Mental Health in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and is now Professor Emeritus. In 1996 he was awarded the Rema Lapouse Award for lifetime contributions to public health and prevention science by the Mental Health, Epidemiology, and Statistics Sections of the American Public Health Association. In 1999 the World Federation for Mental Health presented him their Distinguished Public Mental Health Award for his work in advancing the science for prevention of mental and behavioral disorders. In 2004 he was elected to be a Fellow in the Academy of Experimental Criminology. As the first president of the Society for Prevention Research elected by the full membership (1998-2001), he worked to build and strengthen SPR as a broad, inclusive international scientific forum and organization for the advancement of prevention science worldwide. In 2008, Dr. Kellam received a NIDA Director's Special Award for lifetime contributions to public health and prevention science, and also received a Presidential Award, Society for Prevention Research. In 2008 as well he was awarded the Director’s Special Appreciation Award by NIDA. In 2008, Dr. Kellam was honored with a Festschrift, The Next Stage of Prevention Science, by NIMH, NIDA, Johns Hopkins University. In 2013, he was one of the first 12 members of the Society for Prevention Research elected SPR Fellow for lifetime contributions to prevention science.
More information about the Festscrift can be found here: http://www.jhsph.edu/research/centers-and-institutes/johns-hopkins-center-for-prevention-and-early-intervention/Conferences/KellamFestschrift2008