EBRL’s Laura Barquero Becomes Associate Editor of Annals of Dyslexia

Annals of Dyslexia is an interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal dedicated to the scientific study of dyslexia, theory-based practices on remediation, and intervention of dyslexia and related areas of written language disorders, including spelling, composing, and mathematics. As of last year, Laura Barquero has dedicated her time and energy to becoming an Associate Editor of this tri-annual journal and lent them her skills towards their continued success. As we well know, they’re lucky to be receiving her skills and abilities and we wish her continued success.

Find out more about the Annals of Dyslexia here: https://www.springer.com/journal/11881/editors

EBRL Graduate Student Receives Funding from NISE

Sponsored by a National Science Foundation Research Traineeship (NRT) grant, the Neurodiversity Inspired Science & Engineering (NISE) program takes a novel approach to the training of engineers and scientists engaged in advancing the future of work at the human technology frontier. NISE engages students across STEM disciplines in the development, deployment, and commercialization of approaches and devices that support neurodiverse individuals and/or that are inspired by their abilities.

This year, our PhD student Andrea Burgess received funding from the National Science Foundation and Vanderbilt’s Frist Center for Autism and Innovation. In this fellowship program, neuroscience and engineering students work together to develop projects that support neurodiverse individuals, such as people with autism, dyslexia, and ADHD. No doubt she will use this funding to support her research and continue to contribute to the wealth of knowledge in our field.

Dr. Spencer Recognized by The International Dyslexia Association

Each year the International Dyslexia Association acknowledges the achievements of leading researchers and practitioners in the dyslexia field of research, as well as those of individuals with dyslexia who exhibit leadership and serve as role models in their communities. Dr. Mercedes Spencer of EBRL was recognized for her work and research by the IDA. She was awarded the Early Career Award for Contributions to Research. According to their website, the award is given to an early-career researcher and conference speaker “whose innovative research has had a positive impact on the lives of individuals with dyslexia.”

We’re more than happy to see her tireless efforts being recognized, but we’ll be even more excited to see where she goes from here and be there along the way to help her research thrive.

Dr. Aboud Receives OSNAP Award

After a two day virtual conference and a detailed presentation our very own Dr. Katherine Aboud achieved the National Institute of Health’s Outstanding Scholar of Neuroscience Award! The OSNAP award is designed to recognize and support senior pre-doctoral candidates and early stage post-doctoral fellows who are conducting exceptional research and have great academic potential in their scientific PhD programs across the nation.

As always, we are happy to have such academic scholars in our midst and continue to foster the forward drive and thinking that moves scientific research and understanding forward.

EBRL and Distant Research

We at EBRL hope that you are doing well during these challenging times, even as things continue to open and close.

In the past few weeks and months, we’ve been hard at work, doing data collection in tandem with many of our colleagues across the nation, switching to remote testing. Even though we’ve been stuck at home like so many of you, the research hasn’t stopped. Through remote tech, we’ve still been interacting with our participants and been collecting data as much as possible. Sadly, we are unable to take the MRI scanner home due to some portability issues (we’ll figure it out one day).

(Pictured Above, Portability Issues of a Giant Magnet like an MRI)

Anyways, though we are unable to take MRI data, there are still plenty of tests, games, and data we can collect with participants remotely. Soon, we might be able to start seeing participants in person again, but for now there’s plenty for us to do.

As always, you can check on the latest updates on Coronavirus from Vanderbilt at: https://www.vanderbilt.edu/coronavirus/

 

For now, it seems like we may be seeing participants as soon as Fall, but as always, we will be keeping our participants updated as things go along. If you have any questions or want to participate in one of our studies, you can always email us at educationbrain@vanderbilt.edu .

COVID-19 Response and Our Research

We at EBRL hope that you and yours are doing well and staying safe in this unprecedented health event going on in the United States and across the world.

 

The times we are in are difficult for research and we here at the Education and Brain Science Research Lab are committed to the health and safety of both the participants and staff of our lab. Vanderbilt University itself has implemented social distancing measures on campus to help reduce the spread of the COVID-19 (corona) virus into the further community and keep high risk individuals protected.  To that end, on campus visits for research have temporarily been suspended for the next few weeks and all staff are currently working virtually from home. We will keep in close contact with our currently scheduled participants in the upcoming weeks and keep them appraised of the situation as it develops, but if you would like to stay up to date on Vanderbilt’s response to the ongoing health crisis and find out more about how to protect yourself, go here: (https://www.vanderbilt.edu/coronavirus/)

 

We will be in close contact with our participants going forward, and will keep everyone informed as things progress. In the meantime, the lab has gone off-site in the best practice of social distancing. To help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus on your own, please see this guide on some general rules and guidelines that might help.

Belated Congrats to our own Neena Saha! (Dec. 11th.)

A shortly belated congrats to our lab’s very own Neena Saha (now DR Neena Saha) on her successful defense and awarding of her doctorate degree! It was a whirlwind month or so for us, we went from business as usual to discovering that she was planning to finish off her degree early and move out of state at the end of the year. It felt like the time just rushed by us and I’m sure Dr. Saha felt the same way.

She had a small defense with her committee on December 11th and left shortly after, but we here at the lab got our chance to celebrate with her before and after. We couldn’t be happier for her and wish her more luck in her future endeavors than we can put into words.

Three Cheers for Katherine Aboud for the Successful Defense of her Dissertation!

 

On October the 22nd, (very soon to be Doctor) Katherine Aboud successfully defended her thesis dissertation to a crowd of both EBRL members, members of the public, and her committee members alike! We couldn’t be happier for her and are more than excited to continue to see her excel! A long time member of EBRL, Katherine will be continuing her stellar work with us as a post-doctoral fellow!

 

 

 

 

(Thank you to Katie White for spotting an error on the original post of this, which has now been corrected.) 

EBRL’s Tin Nguyen Awarded for His Research!

 

Members of the Mind Science Foundation pitch competition awarded Education and Brain Research Lab’s own Tin Nguyen the Tom Slick Research Award in Consciousness on the evening of October the 15th! This seed money will go towards his future research and will be an amazing stepping stone towards his future career! Here the lab we couldn’t be happier for him and we are more than excited to see where he goes in the future!

Tin’s research involves investigating what makes certain children from poverty more resilient and thrive academically and others not. He hopes that understanding what makes certain children more resilient can be a first step towards mitigating the negative impacts of childhood poverty.

 

Read more here. 

BrainStorm Neuroscience Pitch Competition, EBRL Asks: What Creates Resiliency in Children in Poverty? (Oct.15)

(The following has been a reduced version of an article first posted here.)

Join members of the Education Brain and Research Laboratory and the Mind Science Foundation for a night of science driven by brilliant young researchers! Three teams will pitch their brain research projects as they compete for their shot at a $60,000 pot. Illusionist Mark Mitton will be watching over the proceedings as well as lending his own particular magic to the event as audience members cast their votes and decide who takes home the top prize of $30,000!

The second annual BrainStorm Neuroscience Pitch Competition is Oct. 15 at the Pearl Stable and begins with a member reception at 5:30 p.m. before the 6:30 p.m. program. This event is open to the public with purchase of a ticket and is free for Mind Science Foundation members.

The purpose of the Foundation’s research funding program is to improve health and well-being in humankind through scientific advances in the study of consciousness. This year, finalists’ work can: provide a deeper understanding of the brain’s role in providing resilience in children raised in poverty, use virtual reality as a treatment for anxiety disorders, and “hack” brain systems using mindfulness meditation to strengthen personal traits of self-control and autonomy.

What is the contribution of EBRL you might ask? Well, the research team of Laurie Cutting, Stephanie Del Tufo, and Tin Nguyen from EBRL seek to find an answer to the question: What creates resiliency in children raised in poverty?

Children from poverty have less access to health care and nutrition, as well as limited academic support. These experiences often result in poor classroom performance, and in the most extreme cases, academic failure. Yet despite living in poverty, some children manage to thrive and excel in school. These children are thought to have resilience, and for the purposes of this study, by demonstrating positive academic outcomes despite living in poverty. Graduate student Tin Nguyen’s pitch seeks to provide a deeper understanding of the relationships between resilience, brain structure, and enriching home reading environments in children subject to adversity or poverty. Understanding what makes children resilient can be a first step towards mitigating the negative impacts of childhood poverty.