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Kimberly Noble    

Director of the Neurocognition, Early Experience & Development (NEED) Lab at Columbia University; Working to Understand How Poverty Effects Child Brain Development

Dr. Kimberly Noble is a neuroscientist and board-certified pediatrician, and director of the Neurocognition, Early Experience and Development (NEED) lab. She and her team study how socioeconomic inequality relates to in children's cognitive and brain development. 

She is also an Associate Professor of Neuroscience and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University.

Her work examines socioeconomic disparities in cognitive development, as well as brain structure and function, across infancy, childhood and adolescence. She is particularly interested in understanding how early in infancy or toddlerhood such disparities develop; the modifiable environmental differences that account for these disparities; and the ways we might harness this research to inform the design of interventions.

Along with a multidisciplinary team from around the country, with funding from NIH and a consortium of foundations, she is currently leading the first clinical trial of poverty reduction to assess the causal impact of income on children’s cognitive, emotional and brain development in the first three years of life.

"The brain is not destiny," Noble says. "And if a child's brain can be changed, then anything is possible."

Dr. Noble has served as the principal investigator or Co-PI on several federal and foundation grants, and was named a “Rising Star” by the Association for Psychological Science. Her work linking family income to brain structure across childhood and adolescence has received worldwide attention in the popular press.

Neuroscientist and pediatrician Kimberly Noble is leading the Baby's First Years study: the first-ever randomized study of how family income changes children's cognitive, emotional and brain development. She and a team of economists and policy experts are working together to find out: Can we help kids in poverty simply by giving families more money?

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