Dana L. Suskind

Founder and Co-Director


Dana Suskind, MD, is Founder and Co-Director of the TMW Center for Early Learning + Public Health, Director of the Pediatric Cochlear Implant Program, and Professor of Surgery, Pediatrics, and Public Policy (affiliated) at the University of Chicago. A recognized thought leader on the national stage, Dana has dedicated her research and clinical life to optimizing foundational brain development and preventing early cognitive disparities and their lifelong impact. Her work is focused in particular on helping parents leverage their power as brain architects.

Dr. Suskind is the author of Parent Nation: Unlocking Every Child’s Potential, Fulfilling Society’s Promise and Thirty Million Words: Building a Child’s Brain. She is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics, a Fellow for the Council on Early Childhood, and an Honorary Professor at the Australian National University. Her work has been profiled by numerous media outlets, including the New York Times, The Economist, Forbes, NPR, and Freakonomics.

Book Thirty Million Words: Building a Child's Brain

In her 2015 best-seller, Dr. Dana Suskind distills the science of early language acquisition and brain development and explains to readers the incredible importance of adult-child interaction.

Book Parent Nation: Unlocking Every Child's Potential, Fulfilling Society's Promise

Dr. Dana Suskind offers a revelatory new look at the neuroscience of early childhood development—and how it can guide us toward a future in which every child has the opportunity to fulfill their potential.

Website Building a Parent Nation

A website dedicated to the ideas in Dr. Suskind’s book, “Parent Nation.” We’re bringing those ideas to life by Building a Parent Nation.

Video What Parents Know Matters

Dr. Dana Suskind discusses TMW Center research that reveals what parents know about early childhood development, and their role in promoting that development, impacts their behavior.

Journal Article Shifting parental beliefs about child development to foster parental investments and improve school readiness outcomes

Socioeconomic gaps in child development open up early, with associated disparities in parental investments in children. Understanding the drivers of these disparities is key to designing effective policies.