Dr. Bruce McCandliss, a psychologist at the Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology and associate professor of psychology in psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College, has received a commendation by the President of the United States in the form of a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE).
The award is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government for outstanding scientists and engineers in the early part of their independent research careers.
Granted to him at a ceremony at the White House on Nov. 1, the award recognizes Dr. McCandliss' research into the biological basis for language development and dysfunction in developmental disorders such as dyslexia. Using insights of cognitive neuroscience, including brain imaging, he has helped develop methods to alleviate reading disabilities.
Dr. McCandliss was the sole nominee for this award from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), and one of only 12 scientists selected across all branches of the National Institutes for Health (NIH), all of whom were also honored at a separate ceremony led by NIH Director Elias Zerhouni. Nationwide, a total of 56 awards were granted, representing nine government agencies spanning all fields of science and engineering.
Dr. McCandliss is also the co-founder of Reading Works, a program he uses to help New York City public elementary school students who are struggling with basic reading skills. This program uses computer technology to teach reading skills based on insights from cognitive neuroscience research. Children involved in the program, which encompasses 20 40-minute sessions over a period of several months, demonstrate average improvements of 1.2 grade levels in reading skills.
The Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, established in 1996, honors the most promising researchers in the nation within their fields. Selection for the award is based on innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology and community service.
Weill Cornell Medical College
Weill Cornell Medical College -- Cornell University's Medical School located in New York City -- is committed to excellence in research, teaching, patient care and the advancement of the art and science of medicine, locally, nationally and globally. Weill Cornell, which is a principal academic affiliate of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, offers an innovative curriculum that integrates the teaching of basic and clinical sciences, problem-based learning, office-based preceptorships, and primary care and doctoring courses. Physicians and scientists of Weill Cornell Medical College are engaged in cutting-edge research in such areas as stem cells, genetics and gene therapy, geriatrics, neuroscience, structural biology, cardiovascular medicine, infectious disease, obesity, cancer, psychiatry and psychology, and public health -- and continue to delve ever deeper into the molecular basis of disease in an effort to unlock the mysteries behind the human body and the malfunctions that result in serious medical disorders. The Medical College -- in its commitment to global health and education -- has a strong presence in such places as Qatar, Tanzania, Haiti, Brazil, Austria and Turkey. With the historic Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, the Medical School is the first in the U.S. to offer its M.D. degree overseas. Weill Cornell is the birthplace of many medical advances -- from the development of the Pap test for cervical cancer to the synthesis of penicillin, the first successful embryo-biopsy pregnancy and birth in the U.S., the first clinical trial for gene therapy for Parkinson's disease, the first indication of bone marrow's critical role in tumor growth, and, most recently, the world's first successful use of deep brain stimulation to treat a minimally-conscious brain-injured patient. For more information, visit www.med.cornell.edu.