Sally E. Shaywitz, MD, the Audrey G. Ratner Professor in Learning Development at the Yale University School of Medicine, is the co-director of the Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity. Dr. Shaywitz received her BA (with honors) from the City University, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and her MD from Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
As a physician-scientist, Dr. Shaywitz conducts cutting-edge research to advance the science of dyslexia and provide a framework for the 21st century scientific understanding of dyslexia. Together with her husband, Dr. Bennett Shaywitz, she originated and championed the "Sea of Strengths" model of dyslexia which emphasizes a sea of strengths of higher critical thinking and creativity surrounding the encapsulated weakness in decoding found in children and adults with dyslexia.
Dr. Shaywitz is the author of over 250 scientific articles and chapters. Her award-winning book, Overcoming Dyslexia (Shaywitz, 2003), details fundamental scientific findings on dyslexia and how to translate this scientific knowledge into policy and clinical practice. Overcoming Dyslexia has received critical acclaim and has been the top-selling trade book on dyslexia since its publication.
Dr. Shaywitz's ongoing neurobiological and longitudinal epidemiological studies continue to track a population-based cohort from kindergarten entry to mature adulthood. This research has provided contemporary knowledge of the prevalence, gender composition, universality, precursors, persistence, and long-term outcomes of dyslexia. Her neurobiological studies demonstrated a neural signature for dyslexia, and her more recent studies provided empirical evidence for the unexpected nature of dyslexia.
Dr. Shaywitz, an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences, has received numerous honors for her work in advancing the scientific understanding of reading and dyslexia, including an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Williams College; the Townsend Harris Medal of the City College of New York; the Annie Glenn Award for Leadership from Ohio State University; the Achievement Award in Women's Health of the Society for the Advancement of Women's Health Research; the Distinguished Alumnus Award of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry's Sidney Berman Award.
Dr. Shaywitz is regularly chosen as one of the "Best Doctors in America," one of "America's Top Doctors," and one of "New York's Top Doctors." In recognition of her contributions to the National Academy of Sciences, Dr. Shaywitz was honored with the distinction of being named a National Associate of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Dr. Shaywitz has served on the Congressionally-mandated National Reading Panel and the Committee on the Prevention of Reading Difficulties in Young Children of the National Research Council. By Presidential appointment, Dr. Shaywitz served on the National Board for the Education Sciences of the U.S. Department of Education and she has spoken at the World Economic Forum. Dr. Shaywitz has testified at several U.S. Congressional hearings; in May 2016, she testified for the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) on The Science of Dyslexia.