Friday Evening Lecture Series
The Science of Reading: Overcoming Dyslexia
Sally E. Shaywitz, Yale University School of Medicine and Bennett A. Shaywitz, Yale University School of Medicine
Introduction by William T. Speck, Marine Biological Laboratory
Extraordinary progress in understanding the nature of reading and dyslexia, including their neural underpinnings, have direct implications for the earlier and more accurate identification and more effective treatment of dyslexia. This presentation focuses on these discoveries and their translation into clinical practices for overcoming dyslexia.
Sally E. Shaywitz is Professor of Pediatrics at the Yale University School of Medicine. Dr. Shaywitz received her AB (with Honors) from the City University where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and her M.D. from Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She is currently with her husband, Dr. Bennett A. Shaywitz, Co-Director of the Yale Center for the Study of Learning and Attention. Dr. Sally Shaywitz' research provides the basic framework: conceptual model, epidemiology and neurobiology for the scientific study of learning disabilities, particularly dyslexia. Dr. Shaywitz is the author of 200 scientific articles, chapters and books, including the widely acclaimed national bestseller, Overcoming Dyslexia: A New and Complete Science-Based Program for Reading Problems at any Level (Knopf, 2003) which received the 2004 Margo Marek Book Award and the 2004 NAMI Book Award.
Dr. Shaywitz, a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, will be awarded an Honorary Degree by Williams College in June 2005. Among her other accomplishments, she was selected, along with her husband as recipient of the 2004 Lawrence G. Crowley Distinguished Lectureship at Stanford University, the 2001 Leonard Apt Lectureship of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the 1999 Sidney Berman Award of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. She received the 2004 Townsend Harris Medal of the City College of New York and was also the 1998 recipient of the Achievement Award in Women's Health of the Society for the Advancement of Women's Health Research and the 1995 Distinguished Alumnus Award of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Each year, Dr. Shaywitz has been chosen as "One of the Best Doctors in America" and "One of America's Top Doctors" and one of "New York's Top Doctors." Dr. Shaywitz currently serves on the Advisory Council of the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke (NINDS), the National Research Council Committee on Women in Science and Engineering, the National Board for Education Sciences, the scientific advisory board of the March of Dimes and the Scientific Advisory Board of the Haan Foundation for Children. Dr. Shaywitz co-chairs the National Research Council Committee on Gender Differences in the Careers of Science, Engineering and Mathematics Faculty; she has most recently served on the Institute of Medicine Committee on Understanding the Biology of Sex and Gender Difference; on the National Reading Panel and on the Committee to Prevent Reading Difficulties in Young Children of the National Research Council. Dr. Shaywitz also serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Learning Disabilities and Learning Disabilities: A Contemporary Journal.
Bennett A. Shaywitz is Professor of Pediatrics and Neurology and Chief of Pediatric Neurology at the Yale University School of Medicine. Dr. Shaywitz received his A.B. from Washington University where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and his M.D. from Washington University School of Medicine and completed his Pediatric training and then a Postdoctoral fellowship in Child Neurology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Together with his wife, Dr. Sally Shaywitz, Dr. Bennett Shaywitz established and is currently Co-Director of the Yale Center for the Study of Learning and Attention. Dr. Shaywitz has a long-standing interest in disorders of learning and attention in children and young adults. Recently he has used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to discover differences in brain organization and function in children and adults with dyslexia and he is now using fMRI to study how the brain changes as children with dyslexia are taught to read.
The author of over three hundred scientific papers, Dr. Shaywitz' honors include, among others, election to membership in the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, selected to deliver the 2005 New York University Medical Scientist Training Program Honors Lecture and as recipient of the 2003 Distinguished Alumni Award from Washington University. Dr. Shaywitz was also selected, along with his wife, as a recipient of the 2004 Lawrence G. Crowley Distinguished Lectureship at Stanford University, the 2004 Waldo E. Nelson lectureship at St. Christopher's Children Hospital and the 2001 Leonard Apt Lectureship of the American Academy of Pediatrics and to receive the Sidney Berman Award for the Study and Treatment of Learning Disabilities presented by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Each year Dr. Shaywitz has been chosen as "One of the Best Doctors in America" and "One of America's Top Doctors." He currently serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of the March of Dimes, on the Functional Brain Imaging Advisory Board of the Haan Foundation for Children and has served on the Institute of Medicine Immunization Safety Review Committee. Dr. Shaywitz also serves on the editorial board of Pediatrics in Review, Learning Disabilities: A Contemporary Journal, and Child Neuropsychology.
William T. Speck received his B.A. from Rutgers University and his M.D. from the Wake Forest University School of Medicine. After completing his residency and fellowship training at Columbia University, he obtained a joint appointment in the Departments of Pediatrics and Microbiology. After three years, Dr. Speck moved to the Department of Pediatrics at Case Western Reserve University, where he directed the Division of Infectious Diseases and house staff education and subsequently served as Professor and later Chairman and Director of the Department of Pediatrics. In addition, in 1982 he was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, an appointment he held for ten years. In 1992 Dr. Speck moved to New York to become the President and CEO of the Presbyterian Hospital, a position he held until 1999, when the hospital merged with New York Hospital and its regional health care system, creating the largest academic health care delivery system in the United States. In August 2000, he joined the MBL as Interim Director and Chief Executive Officer. In 2001, Dr. Speck was appointed Director and Chief Executive Officer of the MBL. A pediatrician by training, Dr. Speck first came to the MBL in the 1970s to conduct research on the effects of drugs and environmental pollutants on developing embryos. He is a member of the MBL Corporation and has served on the Laboratory’s Board of Trustees since 1994.