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International Conference 2024

Conference Committee

We are delighted to introduce the British Dyslexia Association International Conference Committee whose considerable expertise and experience ensures that this is a world-class, gold-standard event. Each individual is renowned for their work within the field of dyslexia and other specific learning difficulties. We extend our gratitude to committee members for their ongoing contribution.

Professor Silvia Paracchini (Chair of Committee)

Professor of Neurogenetics and Genomics, University of St Andrews

Dr Paracchini graduated in Biological Sciences at the University of Pavia and obtained a DPhil in Human Genetics from Oxford University in 2003. During her post-doctoral training in Prof. Anthony Monaco’s group at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, she became interested in dyslexia genetics. In 2011, she was awarded a Royal Society University Research Fellowship to set up her group at the University of St Andrews in Scotland In 2013, she became a member of the Young Academy of Scotland and then was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology (FRSB; 2018) and Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (FRSE; 2019).

Recently, she started a collaboration with Canon Medical Research Europe to develop deep learning methods applied to genomic data. In 2022 she founded the Specific Learning Difficulties Network (SLDN) to coordinate multidisciplinary work around dyslexia and dyscalculia and to raise awareness around these conditions

Professor Julia Carroll

Professor, Institute of Global Education, Coventry University

Julia has always been interested in how children learn to use both spoken and written language, and how these two skills may be linked. Much of her research focuses on difficulties in spoken and written language.

Julia has held several large research grants, from the ESRC, Nuffield Foundation and British Academy and has published over 30 journal articles on dyslexia, literacy and language. She has also co-authored a book, Developing Language and Literacy.

She is currently Editor in Chief for the Journal of Research in Reading and a Board Member of PATOSS. Julia was also Chair of the British Dyslexia Association International Conference in 2014.

Dr Jennifer Donovan

Director, Cotswolds Learning

Dr Jennifer Donovan has been an educator for more than 25 years working across the age range in schools and more recently, as senior lecturer supporting specialist teacher training at University College London and Bath Spa University. Her primary research interest is in understanding how to best support individuals with a range of Special Educational Needs including dyslexia and developmental co-ordination disorder. She is particularly interested in developing assessment informed practice by incorporating approaches such as dynamic assessment to complement existing protocols.

She is an experienced practitioner and keen to build communities by developing researcher-practitioner partnerships. Dr Donovan is a member of the Advisory Education Panel for the Dyspraxia Foundation and a member of the BDA Accreditation Board. She is currently Director of an education consultancy based in Gloucestershire

Professor Manon Jones

Professor of Psychology, Bangor University
Director of the Miles Dyslexia Centre

Professor Jones' fundamental research is in the cognitive(neuro) science of reading and language, with a particular focus on skilled adult reading, developmental dyslexia, and biliteracy. She is particularly interested in elucidating the cognitive skills that enable some readers to become highly fluent, but remain difficult to acquire for others.

As well as conducting these laboratory-based experiments, Professor Jones is Principle Investigator of the Research on the Instruction of Literacy with Language (RILL) project (, an intensive classroom programme designed to assist primary-aged children in improving literacy skills.

Professor Dianne Newbury

Professor of Genetics and Genomics, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, UK

Dianne Newbury is a molecular geneticist who studies genetic contributions to childhood neurodevelopmental disorders. Her investigations specifically focus around developmental language disorders (DLD) and their relationship to other neurodevelopmental difficulties, such as dyslexia and developmental coordination disorder (DCD). Dianne has a lab at Oxford Brookes University and her research is currently funded by the Waterloo Foundation.

When not researching, Dianne teaches on postgraduate Medical Genetics and Genomics courses and undergraduate Biomedical Sciences, Medical sciences and biological sciences courses at Oxford Brookes University.

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