Overcoming obstacles and inspiring young minds

December 2, 2014

Jacquelyn Brown can serve as a role model for a lot of young people who are diagnosed with dyslexia, and for good reason. What could potentially become a stumbling block for others has given her a sense of perseverance and direction into a career in science.

Brown served as a postdoctoral fellow under VKC Associate Director and VKC/VBI Investigator Karoly Mirnics, M.D., Ph.D., within the Vanderbilt Brain Institute. Her work was supported by the Postdoctoral Training Program in Functional Neurogenomics (T32 MH065215), directed by another VKC/VBI Investigator, Randy Blakely, Ph.D.

Brown was recently interviewed by Ivanhoe about her struggles with reading as a child and how that led her into the field of neuroscience. Brown knew she was different from her peers early on and was officially diagnosed with severe dyslexia at the age of 7.

“At that time I still couldn’t read or write. In fact, I didn’t learn how to do that until about 10,” she told Ivanhoe. She was told she’d amount to little vocationally, but she wanted to know why.

“My mom was like, well you know scientists are going to have to figure that out honey. And I was like, then I’m going to be one of those scientists to figure it out.”

Exceeding anyone's expectations, Brown graduated college in three short years, and as a double major at that. She went on to earn her Ph.D. in neuroscience and is now studying mental illness at the cellular level.

Brown told Ivanhoe, “I couldn’t let other people dictate what my future was going to be.”

To read the Ivanhoe article on Jackie Brown, click here.

Click here to watch Jackie Brown's interview.