Dear friends and colleagues of Haskins Laboratories,
What a year! We have been very busy since you have last heard from us. Important and exciting new discoveries have been made this year on the cognitive and neurobiological bases of speech, language, and reading. Not only has the size and scope of Haskins Laboratories increased in the last several years, thanks to the talent and innovation of our scientists, so too has the size of our research community. Also our international collaborations have grown in order to better understand language universals; currently conducting studies in over 12 countries!
One foundation of Haskins Laboratories is to ensure we are always in the forefront of utilizing new technologies in our work, while not neglecting the core of sound scientific methods. The discoveries this year are numerous but to highlight a few: 1) papers have been published that reveal new insight in the brain basis of both stuttering / language issues in Parkinson’s disease; 2) discoveries include the role of memory in reading comprehension difficulties; and 3) a longitudinal study examining gene-brain-cognitive pathways associated with typical and atypical reading development in young children discovered that kids at elevated risk for dyslexia show abnormal levels of key neurochemicals (glutamate and choline) that appear to directly impact the development of efficient brain circuits for reading.
We continue to focus on translational themes, the linking of research to practice. This year we hosted a Global Summit, with representatives from many countries in which we focused on professional development for early childhood specialists from diverse cultures, training opportunities for scientists and clinicians from these regional communities with the latest tools and techniques, new research studies on early language and cognitive development in diverse high risk environments, and the utility of technology to support early childhood numeracy and literacy training efforts for children living in poverty in developing worlds.
While grant funding success has been outstanding as I mentioned last year, we are still in a time of diminishing federal funding for science in the United States which is why I am asking for your generous support in helping us to foster the next generation of groundbreaking studies here at Haskins Laboratories.I thank you in advance for your continued interest and support!
Ken Pugh, Ph.D.
President and Director of Research
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