Research Assistant Professor, Department of Special Education
Katherine S. Aboud, Ph.D., is a Research Assistant Professor in Special Education at Vanderbilt University, and recipient of the NIH Director's Early Independence Award (2021). Her research focuses on the neural characterization of reading processes and the treatment of reading disorders using multi-modal neuroimaging approaches and non-invasive brain stimulation.
The goal of her research program is to characterize and enhance adult learning through high-definition, multimodal brain imaging and neuromodulation, with a specific focus on reading and related disorders. To accomplish this, she relies on her expertise in multimodal neuroimaging, neurocognitive models of reading and related disorders, and non-invasive brain stimulation. This unique convergence of expertise has resulted in the following primary arms of her research program: 1.) Individualized, high-definition (fused MRI-EEG) brain characterization of reading processes, 2.) Individualized, high-definition brain characterization of reading disorders, and 3.) Individualized, high-definition non-invasive brain stimulation to enhance learning from texts in populations with and without reading disorders.
In 2021 she was a recipient of the NIH Outstanding Scholar of Neuroscience Award. In 2020-2021, she co-led a research initiative on neuromodulation with Vanderbilt’s Soldier-Inspired Innovation Incubator; this initiative won first place in the US Army Medical Research and Development Command xTech BOLT prize competition. She completed her doctoral work in Peabody College of Education and the Vanderbilt Brain Institute at Vanderbilt University, where she was awarded the Elaine Sanders-Bush Award for Outstanding Neuroscience Research for her work in reading disabilities. She has been a Learning Disability Hub Scholar in the Special Education Department at Peabody College since 2017. In 2016 she was selected as a Fellow in the inaugural National Center of Adaptive Neurotechnology training program. Prior to her work at Vanderbilt, she was an Intramural Research Training Award (IRTA) fellow at the National Institute of Deafness and other Communication Disorders at the NIH.