Michael Cataldo, Ph.D., holds the Lawless Family endowed chair, and is the inaugural recipient (2010). He is a senior vice president and director of the Department of Behavioral Psychology at Kennedy Krieger Institute. He is also a professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and an adjunct professor of psychology at the University of Maryland.
Research: Dr. Cataldo’s research interests lie in the clinical applications of basic research on learning processes, known as operant learning, have been effective in treating certain problems of child behavior, including severe forms of aggression and self-injury.
Dr. Cataldo's research has focused on the influence of basic operant training on problems of child health and development. He has shown that behavioral problems in persons with developmental disabilities are functionally related to the environmental consequences of the behaviors.
Working with colleagues in ambulatory care and public health, Dr. Cataldo has shown that operant approaches to child behavior and some medical problems can not only improve outcomes for patients but can also reduce utilization of subsequent medical care.
Background: Dr. Cataldo received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Rochester in 1968 and his master’s degree in child development in 1971 and his doctorate in child development and psychology in 1974 from the University of Kansas, Lawrence.