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Joanna Christodoulou, EdD

Telephone: (617) 643-1482



Dr. Christodoulou is an Associate Professor at MGH Institute of Health Professions, as well as  Research Associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Adjunct Lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her research is situated at the intersection of education and neuroscience, and aims to use behavioral and brain data to improve student outcomes and optimize educational interventions for struggling learners. Learn more about Dr. Christodoulou.

Postdoctoral Researchers


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Rebecca Marks, PhD
Postdoctoral Researcher




Rebecca Marks, PhD, is a postdoctoral researcher in the Brain, Education, and Mind (BEAM) Lab, directed by Dr. Joanna Christodoulou, as well as in the Gabrieli Lab at MIT. Rebecca’s research uses behavioral and neuroimaging (fMRI and fNIRS) methods to examine how children’s spoken language skills pave the way for successful reading development. She is particularly interested in the role of morphological awareness in learning to read among multilingual speakers and children with reading impairments.  She loved Kevin Henkes’ books as a kid, especially Julius, The Baby of the World. Read more about Dr. Marks.


Anila D'Mello


Anila D’Mello, PhD
Postdoctoral Researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology



Anila is a postdoctoral associate in the Gabrieli Lab at MIT. She is interested in exploring the neural underpinnings of language behaviors across neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism and dyslexia.


Doctoral Researchers


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Amy Maguire



Amy is a doctoral student in the IHP's Rehabilitation Sciences program. She is excited and grateful to be learning under the mentorship of Dr. Christodoulou. Her research highlights the intersection of speech language pathology and neurosurgery, exploring outcomes in adults and children with brain tumors and epilepsy. Her current work in the BEAM lab is focused on reading, math, and other cognitive outcomes following hemispherectomy surgery in pediatric patients. Amy's clinical practice is rooted in serving the assessment and treatment needs of adults with neuro-oncologic diagnoses in the Department of Speech, Language, and Swallowing Disorders at the Massachusetts General Hospital, where she established an SLP brain tumor team and continues to see patients. Her favorite children's book is Owl Moon.  


Graduate Students


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MaryClare(MC) McDonough

MC McDonough is a first-year graduate student in the IHP’s MS Speech-Language Pathology program, and is interested in the intersection between communication sciences and disorders and music therapy. She hopes to complete a thesis on the connection between musical ability/experience and phonological processing in children with developmental dyslexia, and how it might relate to reading outcomes in this population. MC’s favorite children’s book is “Goodnight Moon” by Margaret Wise Brown. 






Research Assistants

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Benjamin LaFond

Ben is an undergraduate studying Linguistics and the Classics at Harvard. He is interested in the intersection between language and medicine. His favorite children's book is "Animalia" by Graeme Base.




Xochitl Arechiga
Research Assistant

Xochitl received her master's from the Mind, Brain and Education program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She is interested in bilingualism, language acquisition, and English language proficiency and the interconnectedness of these topics with socioeconomic status. 




BEAM Team Alumni


Lauren Baron, PhD '18, CCC-SLP, MS
Postdoctoral Researcher

Noor Al Dahhan, PhD
Postdoctoral Researcher

Rachel Romeo, PhD, CCC-SLP
Postdoctoral Researcher

Laura Mesite, EdD
Postdoctoral Researcher

Parnika Bhatia, MA-MBE
Doctoral Researcher

Heather Beckius, MS '18, SLP-CF (research affiliate)

Allegra Le, MS '18 (research affiliate)

Neha Paranjpe, MS '18, SLP-CF (research affiliate)

Lili Uchida (research affiliate)

​Aliza Grant, BA (Graduate Assistant) MS-SLP Candidate

Kayla Kenney, BA (Graduate Assistant) MS-SLP Candidate

Claire Leong, BA (Graduate Assistant) MA-MBE Candidate at HGSE

Vanina Zack, BA (Graduate Assistant) MS-SLP Candidate

Olivia Meegoda, BA (Graduate Assistant) Language and Literacy CAS Candidate

​Andrea Imhof, BA (Research Assistant)

Dayna Wilmot, BA (Technical Assistant)

​Shabnam Yazdanpanah, B.S. (c) Biology (undergraduate intern)

Dessi Miles (SSJP Summer Research Intern)

Mirschille Valmond (SSJP Summer Research Intern)