Brain, Education, and Mind (BEAM) Team

Dedicated to Improving Student Outcomes

The Brain, Education, and Mind (BEAM) Team is based in the Center for Health and Rehabilitation Research at the MGH Institute. It is led by Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders Assistant Professor Joanna Christodoulou, EdD. She earned a Doctorate in Human Development and Psychology from the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE); a Masters in Mind, Brain and Education from HGSE; and a Masters in Child Development from Tufts University. Her background integrates clinical, research, and applied work in service of problems in education.

The BEAM Team is dedicated to conducting research in service of improving student outcomes by investigating factors contributing to prevention of reading challenges, identification of protective characteristics, and optimizing individualized interventions.

We aim to align education, clinical, and research approaches to these issues. Our research tools include standardized assessments of cognition, language, and literacy, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to understand the function and structure of the brain as it relates to behavior. We aim to translate findings about groups and averages to relevant interpretations for individual students or patients.

Current Research Topics

Current research topics include:

  • What is the impact of summer activities on the reading development of typical readers and struggling readers?
  • What are the brain-behavior correlates of reading fluency in:
    • typical readers,
    • struggling readers, and
    • patients with Periventricular Nodular Heterotopia, a unique brain anatomy associated with reading fluency challenges?
  • What are the brain-behavior correlates of reading intervention efficacy in struggling readers?
  • What roles can cognitive factors and language experience play in struggling readers who are bilingual, in supporting or exacerbating reading challenges?
  • How does student engagement, actual and perceived, relate to academic outcomes and brain-behavior dynamics?

Join the BEAM Team

The BEAM Team is recruiting participants between 6-17 years old and research team members for brain and behavior research.

Join our research by contacting us at

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Contact BEAM Team

BEAM Team logo

Center for Health & Rehabilitation Research
96 13th Street, 2nd Floor
Charlestown Navy Yard


Mailing Address:
MGH Institute of Health Professions
Charlestown Navy Yard
36 1st Avenue
Boston, MA 02129-4557

Twitter: @BEAMstudies

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