Dr. Newport received a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1975. She was a member of the faculty in the Department of Psychology at the University of California, San Diego and the University of Illinois before joining the faculty at the University of Rochester, eventually serving as the George Eastman Professor of Brain and Cognitive Sciences.
In July of 2012, she joined the faculty at Georgetown University where she currently serves as the director of the Center for Brain Plasticity and Recovery.
Dr. Newport has been recognized by a number of organizations for the impact of her theoretical and empirical contributions to the field of language acquisition. She has been elected as a fellow in the Association for Psychological Science, the Society of Experimental Psychologists, the Cognitive Science Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Sciences. Her research has been supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the McDonnell Foundation, and the Packard Foundation. In 2015 she received the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Computer and Cognitive Science.
Dr. Newport runs the Learning and Development Lab, which studies the acquisition of language, the relationship between language acquisition and language structure, and the Pediatric Stroke Research Project which studies the recovery of language after damage to the brain early in life.