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Faculty & Research

Joanna A. Christodoulou

Adjunct Lecturer on Education

Joanna A. Christodoulou

Degree:  Ed.D., Harvard University, (2010)
Email:  [javascript protected email address]
Vitae/CV:   Joanna A. Christodoulou.pdf
Office:  Gutman 406A
Faculty Coordinator:  Jeffrey Brisbin


Joanna A. Christodoulou works at the intersection of education and neuroscience. Her program of research, conducted at MIT in the Gabrieli Lab and at MGH Institute of Health Professions, focuses on brain and behavior correlates of development, difficulties, and intervention effects for reading. Goals of this work include 1) informing our understanding of reading challenges regarding how they are defined and conceptualized; 2) investigating effective assessment and identification approaches for struggling readers; 3) exploring and predicting the impact of interventions for readers; and 4) harnessing individual variability to improve educational outcomes. Her work is informed by a clinical role at the Learning Disabilities Program at Boston Children's Hospital. Joanna's research has been supported by organizations including the Spencer Foundation; the Fulbright Foundation; the Mind, Brain, and Behavior Initiative at Harvard; and the National Institutes of Health. She has worked as a reading instructor, taught courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and has led professional development workshops for educators and parents internationally. She earned a master's in applied child development from Tufts University, a master's in Mind, Brain, and Education from Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE), and an Ed.D. from HGSE.

Click here to see a full list of Joanna Christodoulou's courses.

Areas of Expertise

George E. Burch Fellowship, Smithsonian Institution, Principal Investigator,(2012)

William F. Milton Fund, Harvard Medical School, Co-Investigator,(2012)

National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Child Health and Human Development,(2011)

Harvard University Certificate of Distinction in Teaching, Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning & Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Education in Harvard College,(2010)

George W. Goethals Award for Distinction in Teaching, Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning & Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Education in Harvard College,(2009)

Mind, Brain, Behavior Research Award, Harvard University,(2007)

Mind, Brain, Behavior Research Award, Harvard University,(2006)

Spencer Pre-Doctoral Research Fellowship,(2006)

Fulbright Fellowship Award,(2003)


Immordino-Yang, M.H. & Christodoulou, J.A. (in press). Neuropsychological perspectives on social emotionand self. In R. Pekrun & L. Linnenbrink-Garcia (Eds.) Handbook of Emotions in Education. Taylor & Francis / Routledge.

Mody, M. & Christodoulou, J.A. (in press). Neurobiological correlates of language and literacy impairments. In Stone, C.A., Silliman, E.R., Ehren, B.J., & Wallach, G.P. (Eds.), Handbook of Language and Literacy: Development and Disorders. New York: Guilford Press.

Christodoulou, J.A., Saxler, P., & Del Tufo, S.N. (in press). New frontiers in education neuroscience. In A. Holliman (Ed.), Educational Psychology: An International Perspective.

Christodoulou J.A., Barnard, M.E., Del Tufo, S.N., Katzir, T., Whitfield-Gabrieli, S., Gabrieli, J.D.E., Chang B.S. (in press). Integration of gray matter nodules into functional cortical circuits in periventricular heterotopia. Epilepsy & Behavior.

Zhang, Y., Whitfield-Gabrieli, S., Christodoulou, J.A. & Gabrieli, J.D.E. (2013). Atypical balance between occipital and fronto-parietal activation for visual shape extraction in dyslexia. PLoS ONE, 8(6), e67331.

Kovelman, I., Christodoulou, J.A. & Gabrieli, J.D.E. (2012). Advances in the neural substrates of language: Toward a synthesis of basic science and clinical research. In M. Faust (Ed.) Handbook of the neuropsychology of language (pp. 868-892). London: Wiley-Blackwell.

Kovelman, I., Norton, E.S., Christodoulou, J.A., Gaab, N., Lieberman, D.A., Triantafyllou, C., Wolf, M., Whitfield-Gabrieli, S. & Gabrieli, J.D.E. (2012). Brain basis of phonological awareness for auditory language in children and its dysfunction in dyslexia. Cerebral Cortex, 22(4), 754-764.

Immordino-Yang, M.H., Christodoulou, J.A. & Singh, V. (2012). “Rest is not idleness”: Implications of the brain’s default mode for development and education. Perspectives in Psychological Science, 7(4), 352-364.

Christodoulou, J.A., Walker, L.M., Del Tufo, S.N., Katzir, T., Gabrieli, J.D.E., Whitfield-Gabrieli, S. & Chang, B.S. (2012). Abnormal structural and functional connectivity in gray matter heterotopia. Epilepsia, 53(6), 1024-32.

Mancilla-Martinez, J., Kieffer, M., Biancarosa, G., Christodoulou, J.A. & Snow, C. (2011). Investigating English reading comprehension growth in adolescent language minority learners: Some insights from the Simple View. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 24(3), 339-354.

Davis, K., Christodoulou, J.A., Seider, S. & Gardner, H. (2011). The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. In R.J. Sternberg & S.B. Kaufman (Eds.), Cambridge Handbook of Intelligence. (pp. 485-503). New York: Cambridge University Press.

Sylvan, L. & Christodoulou, J.A. (2010). Understanding the role of neuroscience in brain-based products: A guide for educators and consumers. Mind, Brain, and Education, 4(1), 1-7.

Gabrieli, J.D.E., Christodoulou, J.A., O’Loughlin, T. & Eddy, M. (2010). The reading brain. In D. Sousa (Ed.), Mind, Brain, and Education: Neuroscience implications for the classroom. Bloomington, IN; Solution Tree Press.

Ghosh, S.S., Kakunoori, S., Augustinack, J., Nieto-Castanon, A., Kovelman, I., Gaab, N., Christodoulou, J.A., Gabrieli, J.D.E. & Fischl, B. (2010). Evaluating the validity of volume-based and surface-based brain image registration for developmental cognitive neuroscience studies in children 4-to-11 years of age. NeuroImage, 53(1), 85-93.

Christodoulou, J.A. (2009). Updates to the theory of multiple intelligences: What matters for schools. The School Administrator. 66(2), 22-26.

Christodoulou, J.A., Daley, S.G. & Katzir, T. (2009). Researching the practice, practicing the research, and promoting responsible policy: Usable knowledge in mind, brain, and education. Mind, Brain, and Education, 3(2), 65-67.

Christodoulou, J.A. & Pierce, M. (2008). Cautions for consumers of “brain-based” reading programs. ASCD Express, 4(4).


Board Member, Massachusetts Branch of the International Dyslexia Association (MABIDA),(2010-present)

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