Suzanne Perkins, Ph.D., M.Ed.
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Suzanne Perkins, Ph.D. M.Ed. is a Research Investigator in the Research Center for Group Dynamics in the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan. She is an educational neuroscientist examining the role of context in the development of cognitive processes in children and adolescents with a special focus on childhood maltreatment, other
violence exposure, and poverty.
Her research focus stems from her former career as a special education teacher of children with emotional and behavioral disorders. She worked with adolescents removed from their families in residential homes. This removal was primarily due to abuse and neglect and most students exhibited comorbid educational deficits, disabilities, and mental illness. She noticed a synergy between cognition and stressors in her students’ daily interactions, which brought her to graduate school at the University of Michigan in the Combined Program in Education and Psychology to research this synergy.
She received T32 training through a grant on exposure to violence as a graduate student. She was awarded a grant from the Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research through the Clinical Translational Scholars program to develop and implement a functional and structural neuroanatomical investigation of cognitive control following exposure to traumatic life events in children and adolescents and conducted a second study of the brain basis of language processing in young adults from poverty backgrounds, matched to adults from middle-class homes. In 2022 she was awarded a re-entry supplement from NICHD to study maltreatment and return to science through the Center for Innovation in Child Maltreatment Policy Research and Training (CICM).