Andrea Burgess Wins 2022 VKC Science Day Poster Competition

Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Science Day

— Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Each year, hundreds of students and academics from across Vanderbilt pull together and present their research during a sweeping day of science and research. This year’s VKC Science Day held the distinction of being the first time the event was held in person since 2019. More than 100 presenters demonstrated their work across two consecutive poster sessions while judges roamed and assessed their presentations.

During VKC Science Day EBRL’s own Andrea Burgess won the Poster Competition under the Systems Neuroscience category with her poster: “Executive function-related neural activity and connectivity during word reading predict later reading ability”

Find out more at Vanderbilt Kennedy Center’s news covering the event here.

Find out more about VKC Science Day here.

Dr. Cutting to be Awarded at 11th Annual Research to Practice Symposium

The AIM Institute for Learning & Research annual Research to Practice Symposium is a free, day-long event that brings together literacy researchers and educators to learn and collaborate on important literacy themes. This year’s event, which will take place in-person as well as be accessible to a global audience via live stream, will focus on the complexity of reading comprehension and provide educators with insights for the classroom. The presentations will be moderated by Nancy Hennessy, author of The Reading Comprehension Blueprint. The event will also include presentations by Dr. Hugh Catts, Director of FSU School of Communication Science and Disorders at the Florida Center for Reading & Research, Dr. Amy Elleman, Director of the Literacy Studies Ph.D program at Middle Tennessee State University, and Dr. Tiffany Hogan, Director of the Speech and Language Literacy Lab at the MGH Institute of Health Professions.

Dr. Cutting will receive the Hollis Scarborough Award and make remarks during the event. Past Hollis Scarborough Award recipients include Dr. Hollis Scarborough (who received the inaugural award in 2019), Dr. Linnea Ehri, Dr. Mark Seidenberg, and Dr. Don Compton.

Register to attend the 2023 symposium at: www.aimpa.org/symposium.

EBRL at 29th Annual SSSR Meeting

Last week Ph.D. students Tin Nguyen, Andrea Burgess, Natalie Huerta, Emily Harriott and Dr. Amanda Martinez-Lincoln attended the 29th Annual Society for the Scientific Study of Reading conference. They were happy to represent both the science of reading that we study here at the lab and Vanderbilt University at large. They return refreshed and brimming with knowledge from their peers.

Pictured (Left to Right): Emily Harriott, Dr. Amanda Martinez-Lincoln, Andrea Burgess, Natalie Huerta, and Tin Nguyen

Dr. Laurie Cutting Receives Peabody Distinguished Faculty Award

In recognition for her continued contributions and labor for Vanderbilt’s research and staff, Dr. Laurie Cutting was honored this year to be awarded the Peabody College Distinguished Faculty Colleague Award for 2021-2022. Receiving this award is an exceptional honor, yet there is always more to do. Research isn’t something you can hold or touch with your hands, but a horizon to strive for. And so, the work continues.

EBRL Recruiting Kindergarteners for Reading Study!

We are currently recruiting participants for our executive function study with kindergarteners. If you have a child that is a kindergartener and might be interested in participating in a longitudinal study tracking their reading/academic progress, please fill out this survey.

We are also currently seeking individuals ages 8 to 20 with reading difficulties or Neurofibromatosis Type 1 to participate in our research study. If interested or if you want more information, please contact us at (615) 875-5534 or email us at educationbrain@vanderbilt.edu.

Click to see the flyer for more information!

Flyer for Families of Kindergarteners

Andrea Burgess Awarded INCF/ReproNim Fellowship

Andrea Burgess, third-year graduate student in the lab, received funding for ReproNim/INCF Training Fellowship Program, sponsored jointly by ReproNim and the International Neuroinformatics Coordinating Facility (INCF). This is a full year Train-the-Trainer fellowship program which provides Fellows with conceptual and practical training in reproducible neuroimaging, as well as tailored support for individual syllabus development and implementation of reproducibility training back home at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center. She is excited to take what she learns from this program to help improve neuroimaging practices at Vanderbilt!

To find out more about this fellowship, click here.

EBRL at Brain Blast 2022

EBRL had a fun time meeting you at Brain Blast 2022!

Brain Blast is a free educational event for kids held every year by the Vanderbilt Brain Institute. Every year children K-8th grade get to meet and learn from real brain scientists about the brain and we always enjoy meeting everyone and teaching them about our lab and what we do at EBRL. This year Mr. Commodore himself came for a visit and even practiced laying still for an MRI! If you’d like to come to next year’s Brain Blast and participate in this free event, please check back with our site regularly and with the Vanderbilt Brain Institute’s calendar. Brain Blast occurs every year in March.

 

 

NIH funds $8 Million Grant for EBRL Research

The first few years of an infant’s life are vastly important for development. Long before enrolling in school, elements of their environment can affect the trajectories of children’s outcomes for the rest of their lives. In an effort to studies these environmental factors, the National Institutes of Health have awarded Vanderbilt a grant as part of a multi-institutional overview of variables influencing infant and child brain development, including substance exposure.

Substance use in pregnant women has increased over the past decade, highlighting the importance of efforts to understand how environmental and other exposures during pregnancy affect brain development and child outcomes. The PRELUDE consortium for the HEALthy Brain and Child Development study will recruit 2720 pregnant women in the 2nd and 3rd trimester and follow their children to age 10, using neuroimaging, behavioral assessments, EEG, biosample collection, and assessments of parent-child interaction and the home environment. This research will lead to greater understanding of factors affecting early childhood brain development, allowing targeted interventions and improved outcomes for mother-child dyads.

If you’d like to learn more about the study, you can learn more about it here or here.

Dr. Mercedes Spencer Accepts Tenure-Track Assistant Professor Position at Northwestern University

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Mercedes Spencer!
mercedes
Dr. Spencer will begin a tenure-track Assistant Professor appointment in the Roxelyn and Richard Pepper Department of Communication Studies at Northwestern University in July 2022. Her ongoing and future work aims to identify potential early indicators of reading comprehension difficulties to better predict and prevent later reading comprehension problems in children.