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Jeffrey R Gruen, MD

Professor of Pediatrics (Neonatology) and of Genetics; Faculty, Investigative Medicine Program, Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences



Dr. Gruen received his BS and his MD degrees from Tulane University in New Orleans. He has been at Yale since beginning internship training in pediatrics in 1981, which was followed by subspecialty training in neonatology and research training in molecular genetics with Dr. Sherman Weissman. Dr. Gruen formally joined the faculty at Yale in 1988, splitting his time as a neonatology attending in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Yale-New Haven Hospital and his lab where he initially mapped the gene for hemochromatosis. By 2000, the focus of his lab turned to mapping and identifying the reading disability (dyslexia) gene locus on chromosome 6 (DYX2). His lab was the first to generate high-resolution genetic markers, genetic association maps, and gene expression maps of DYX2. These studies led to the identification of DCDC2, a dyslexia gene that was cited by the journal Science as the 5th top breakthrough of 2005. The lab performed an NIH funded clinical study of DCDC2 and other genes related to reading and language in the ALSPAC birth cohort of 10,000 children and mothers. These studies identified the transcriptional control element called READ1, and READ1 alleles that are detrimental and protective for reading disability and language impairment. Dr. Gruen is the principal investigator for the Yale Genes, Reading and Dyslexia (GRaD) Study, a ground-breaking case-control study of dyslexia in 1,400 Hispanic American and African American children recruited from seven sites across North America. He was the Yale site PI for the NIH Pediatric Imaging NeuroGenetics (PING) Data Resource Study of 1,575 normal children, ages 3-20 years. Most recently, Dr. Gruen started the New Haven Lexinome Project, a new six-year longitudinal study of the genetics of response-to-intervention spanning the entire 2015 and 2016 New Haven Public Schools first grade classes. The goals of the New Haven Lexinome Project are to determine risk for learning disabilities conferred by specific genetic variants for presymptomatic diagnosis, and to determine how genetic variants inform intervention for precision/personal education. In addition to his research, Dr. Gruen continues to attend 8 weeks each year in the NICU at the Children’s Hospital at Yale-New Haven.

How genes can change language. Short video showing how our genes could account for a substantial amount of the diversity of languages around the world

Education & Training

  • Fellow
    Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT (1988)
  • Resident
    Yale-New Haven Hospital, New Haven, CT (1984)
  • Intern
    Pediatrics, Yale-New Haven Hospital, New Haven, CT (1982)
  • MD
    Tulane University (1981)
  • BS
    Tulane University, Chemistry (1977)


  • GRaD Study
    New Haven, CT, United States; Saint Catharines, ON, Canada; Toronto, ON, Canada; Boulder, CO, United States; Denver, CO, United States; Baltimore, MD, United States; Boston, MA, United States; Albuquerque, NM, United States; San Juan, San Juan, Puerto Rico 2009
    Genes, Reading and Dyslexia (GRaD) Study: Genetic study of dyslexia (reading disability) in minority youth.

Honors & Recognition

AwardAwarding OrganizationDate
Innovative Research AwardKavli Institute2022

Departments & Organizations