Vera Joanna Burton, M.D., Ph.D.

Headshot of Vera Joanna Burton
  • Assistant Professor of Neurology


Dr. Joanna Burton is a neurodevelopmental pediatrician at the Kennedy Krieger Institute and an assistant professor in the Department of Neurology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

Dr. Burton graduated with honors with a bachelor’s degree in Linguistics from the University of Chicago in 1994. She then taught bilingual special education in Washington, DC for 5 years. She received an MD/PhD in 2008 from the University of Illinois, with the PhD in speech and hearing science, focusing on language acquisition. She then trained in general pediatrics at the University of Maryland Medical Center before receiving specialized training in neurodevelopmental disabilities at the Kennedy Krieger Institute. She currently sees patient with attentional and language based learning difficulties in the Center for Developmental and Learning, focusing on the development concerns of children with complex medical needs and those with a history of perinatal brain injury. She also sees patient in the Neurorehabilitation Concussion Clinic and provides inpatient consultations for high risk infants at Johns Hopkins Hospital. more


  • Assistant Professor of Neurology

Departments / Divisions



  • M.D.; University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago (2008)
  • Ph.D.; University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago (2008)

Research & Publications

Research Summary

Dr. Burton's dissertation focused on the effects of environment on assessment of word learning. She is a member of the Neurosciences Intensive Care Nursery (NICN) at the Charlotte Bloomberg Children’s Hospital at the Johns Hopkins Hospital and co-director of the Study on perinatal brain injury recovery and outcome (SPROUT) research collaborative at Kennedy Krieger. She currently investigates the neurodevelopmental outcomes of premature infants and term infants with a history of hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy. She is working to identify which factors best predict short and long-term neurodevelopment and behavior associated with difficulties in daily living and academic success, specifically in the areas of attention and language. She also works with multi-disciplinary teams to examine potential interventions to mitigate early brain injury in these infants.

Contact for Research Inquiries

Kennedy Krieger Institute
801 N. Broadway
Baltimore, MD 21205 map

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