Maryanne Wolf

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Maryanne Wolf in 2010

Maryanne Wolf is the John DiBiaggio Professor of Citizenship and Public Service, Director of the Center for Reading and Language Research, and Professor in the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development at Tufts University.[1]

Education and work[edit]

She received her doctorate from Harvard University, where she began her work in cognitive neuroscience and developmental psycholinguistics on the reading brain, literacy’s development, and dyslexia. She has two degrees in literature from Northwestern University and from St. Marys College/University of Notre Dame.

Selected awards include Distinguished Professor of the Year from the Massachusetts Psychological Association; the Teaching Excellence Award for Universities from the American Psychological Association. For her work in dyslexia she has received the Alice Ansara Award, the Norman Geschwind Lecture Award, and Samuel Orton Award ( the International Dyslexia Association’s highest honors). For her research she has received the NICHD Shannon Award for Innovative Research, which resulted in the RAVE-O reading intervention program; the Distinguished Researcher Award; and Fulbright Research Fellowship for work on dyslexia in Germany. Most recently, she received the Christopher Columbus Award for intellectual discovery for her most recent work in Ethiopia and South Africa on the development of a digital learning experience that will bring literacy to children in remote regions of the world. This cross-disciplinary work is done in conjunction with the MIT Media Lab and Georgia State University and was the topic of three invited lectures to the Vatican Academy of Sciences under Pope Francis. Most recently she was awarded the 2016 Australian Journal of Learning Difficulties Eminent Researcher from Learning Difficulties Australia and the Dyslexia Research Hero award by Windward School in New York .


The author of over 150 scientific publications, Wolf wrote Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain, which has received numerous awards and is now translated into 13 languages. Forthcoming books in 2016 and 2017 include: Tales of Literacy for the 21st Century with Oxford University Press as part of their Literary Agenda Series, and Letters to the Good Reader: The Future of the Deep Reading Brain with HarperCollins. Within literacy areas, she serves on the Library of Congress Advisory Committee on Literacy Awards, and the Advisory Committee to the X Prize, whose new award will target Global Literacy, based in part on the recent work on literacy by her joint team in Ethiopia. With pediatric neurologist Martha Bridge Deckle she has published the RAN-RAS test for measuring naming speed, one of the best predictors of dyslexia across all languages. Funded by the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development, she created the RAVE-O intervention program for children with dyslexia and beginning readers.


Tufts Faculty Profile