Spotlight on our Awardees: Tiffany Hogan
2007 Research Grant for
New Investigators and
2003 Research Travel
Following a Dream
Tiffany Hogan, recipient of a 2003 ASHFoundation Research Travel Grant and a 2007 Research Grant for New Investigators and currently director of the Speech and Language Literacy Lab and professor in the department of communication sciences and disorders at MGH Institute in Boston, Massachusetts, knows exactly where her work is heading. Echoing the ASHFoundation's guiding principle that "In dreams are possibilities," Hogan says that "My dream is to determine subtypes of reading impairment early in order to target specific treatment and to prevent the negative effects associated with these impairments."
She is well on her way to realizing her dream. Hogan's research examines the genetic, neurological, and behavioral links between oral and written language development with a focus on co-morbid speech and language disorders. Her studies use innovative methods to examine intrinsic and extrinsic influences on word learning and phonological and lexical processing.
Hogan today may be certain of her research dream but her future was not always such a sure thing. "I probably wouldn't have started treatment research without the impetus of the ASHFoundation grants, which provided the funding for the collection of pilot data that allowed me to continue that line of work," Hogan says. She adds that the grants also awarded her some less quantifiable but, especially important for a new investigator, equally essential scientific building blocks: the confidence derived from peer support and appreciation of her work and the pride in becoming a recognized and accepted part of the community of science.
There were quantifiable rewards as well that came and are continuing to come. In 2007 Hogan received a grant from the International Dyslexia Association. This was followed in 2008 by an R03 grant aimed at examining word learning in children with dyslexia, specific language impairment, or both, from the National Institutes of Health. She currently holds an NIH R01 grant in collaboration with four colleagues investigating the influence of working memory on word learning. She also holds an Institute of Education Sciences subcontract in which she is examining reading comprehension and interventions in pre-kindergarten to 3rd grade children.
Hogan credits the ASHFoundation with allowing her the promise of fulfilling her dream. "The role of the ASHFoundation in career development can never be underestimated," she says. "It's shaped what I do and, because of the practical, clinical implications of my work and the work of my fellow researchers, the ASHFoundation will continue to shape the future of the professions."
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