The long-term objective of this K23 Award is to help establish the candidate's independent research career in the field of educational neuroscience and learning disabilities. The candidate has completed clinical training in psychiatry. She also has research experience in neuroimaging and developing 'simple'models to predict reading success using functional and structural neuroimaging. The candidate's training will take place at interdisciplinary research centers/labs directed by international leaders in developmental disorders and clinical neuroscience (Allan Reiss), in neuroimaging methodology (Gary Glover), and in education and reading acquisition (Connie Juel). The mentoring team will be complemented by consultants who are experts in reading and dyslexia (Bruce McCandliss, Heikki Lyytinen and John Gabrieli) and statistics (Booil Jo).
The specific aim of the project is to develop models using a combination of behavioral and neuroimaging measures to predict reading success. Learning to read is important for the well-being of individuals, and inadequate reading skill leads to a higher probability of early school drop-out and a greater likelihood of having a lower paying job. The development of better and novel methods for identifying children's future reading success is an essential step for the development of effective approaches to prevention and early intervention of reading disabilities. The proposed research project is therefore greatly compatible with the mission of the NICHD and is highly relevant to public health. To develop prediction models, initial neuropsychological evaluation, functional and structural neuroimaging, followed by longitudinal neuropsychological evaluations will be performed in kindergarten children with high risk for reading disorders. Models will be created and validated using advanced statistical analyses. The main hypotheses, based on preliminary data, are that 1) there will be abnormal brain patterns associated with reading in high risk children, 2) specific, a priori hypothesized profiles of brain function and morphology will predict reading outcome, and 3) combining neuroimaging and behavior will predict reading outcome significantly better than using a behavioral model alone - the current standard in educational practice. The candidate will pursue formal coursework in literacy, education and statistics that will make substantive contributions to her development as an independent clinical investigator focused on reading research.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (K23)
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Study Section
Pediatrics Subcommittee (CHHD)
Program Officer
Miller, Brett
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University of California San Francisco
Schools of Medicine
San Francisco
United States
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