Fred Ssewamala leads innovative, interdisciplinary research informs, develops and tests economic empowerment and social protection interventions aimed at improving life chances and long-term developmental impacts for children and adolescent youth impacted by poverty and health disparities in low resource communities.
Prior to joining the Brown School, Ssewamala was a tenured professor at Columbia University, where he established the International Center for Child Health and Development (ICHAD). ICHAD contributes to the reduction of poverty and improvement of health outcomes for youth. Currently, Ssewamala is conducting three large-scale, NIH-funded longitudinal randomized studies across sub-Saharan Africa. In addition, he is a co-principal investigator on several projects: a training R25 grant to build research capacity for junior investigators in child behavioral health; a T37 training grant aimed at equipping pre- and post-doctoral scholars from underrepresented groups in the US with foundational global research skills to conduct health disparities research, focusing on global mental health, prevention, intervention, services and implementation research within resource constrained settings; and an R21 grant which explores the short-term preliminary outcomes of an existing evidence-based Economic Empowerment Intervention on access to pediatric cancer diagnosis, care, and treatment adherence in children living with HIV with suspected cancers.
Ssewamala also is the director of the SMART Africa Center (Strengthening Mental health And Research Training), an African regional transdisciplinary collaborative center funded by NIMH and aimed at reducing gaps in child and adolescent mental health services and research in Ghana, Kenya, and Uganda through a population approach to child mental health. His research in Africa engages collaboratively with local and national institutions to ensure scale-up and sustainability.
He has over 80 published articles in well-respected journals including in the Lancet, American Journal of Public Health, Social Science and Medicine, Journal of Adolescent Health, Social Service Review and; Journal of Policy Analysis and Management.
Ssewamala serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Adolescent Health and is co-editor of the Global Social Welfare journal. He is a member of the Society for Social Work and Research, American Public Health Association, Siteman Cancer Center and Council on Social Work Education, as well as a fellow of the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare.
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