In Memoriam: Dr. Thomas E. Hanlon

Dr. Hanlon had a long and distinguished career in the areas of personality assessment and treatment evaluation. His initial research experience involved conducting clinical psychopharmacological trials largely involving the treatment of schizophrenia and other serious and persistent disorders. During this same period, he also participated in early treatment evaluation studies of the effectiveness of opioid antagonists in the treatment of heroin addiction. The second stage of his involvement in treatment evaluation studies (which involved collaboration with Dr. David Nurco of the Friends Research Institute – Social Research Center) included designing and conducting numerous psychosocial outpatient treatment trials involving adults with substance use disorders under probation and/or parole supervision by the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services. Examining the early developmental experiences of these individuals led to Dr. Hanlon’s interest and involvement in drug abuse prevention studies with incarcerated women as well as with at-risk adolescent minority youth, in community behavioral clinics and subsequently within the public school system. (Dr. Hanlon’s extensive list of peer reviewed publications reflects this transitional aspect of his professional experience.) The latter part of his professional career as a senior investigator also involved the mentoring of junior professional staff at Friends Research Institute (FRI) on the analysis, interpretation, and write-up of prevention research findings, with more recent emphasis on the avoidance of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.

Originally a Maryland State employee, Dr. Hanlon entered Maryland State service as a research scientist assigned to the research center at Spring Grove State Hospital, which subsequently became the internationally-known Maryland Psychiatric Research Center (MPRC) following receipt of a Center foundation grant from the federal government. Having obtained his Ph.D. in Psychology from Catholic University of America in 1958, Dr. Hanlon became a faculty member of the University of Maryland Medical School when the MPRC was incorporated into the Medical School’s Department of Psychiatry. Dr Hanlon retired from State service in July of 1991.

Dr. Hanlon had a long association with FRI, initially working in conjunction with Dr. Albert Kurland and other founding members in establishing a program of research at Maryland State Psychiatric Center at Spring Grove involving treatment efforts targeting chronic psychiatric illness. During these early years, Dr. Hanlon was the first recipient of educational support from FRI that enabled him to complete his doctoral training. During his long-term association with FRI, Dr. Hanlon served for 11 years as the Chairman of the IRB, served as Principal-Investigator and Co-Investigator of research funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute of Nursing Research, and contributed importantly to the early growth of FRI as a significant non-profit research organization.