Kerry Ebert Wins NIH Funding

Monday, March 9, 2015

Kerry Ebert, PhD, assistant professor in the College of Health Sciences at Rush University’s Department of Communication Disorders and Sciences, has been awarded National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) R03 funding to study attention in bilingual children with language impairment.

The three-year project is aimed at improving understanding of developmental communication disorders in diverse populations. Ebert will examine attention skills in bilingual children with primary language impairment, a common developmental disorder that results in clinically significant delays in language acquisition but is also associated with subtle deficits in attention skills.

In addition, Ebert will look at how bilingualism may enhance attention skills. Studying the interacting influences of bilingualism and primary language impairment on attention may contribute to enhanced identification and treatment of developmental language impairments.

The NIH NIDCD R03 award is for $450,000. This type of funding supports basic and clinical research by scientists who are in the early stages of establishing an independent research career. Ebert also recently won a $10,000 award from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation for her work.

Ebert teaches courses in the College of Health Sciences on language disorders in preschool and school-aged children, as well as on articulation and phonological disorders. She also evaluates and treats children with speech and language concerns in the Rush University Medical Center speech-language pathology clinic.