Dr. Dunn is a Distinguished Professor of the Department of Occupational Therapy Education at the University of Missouri. She is an internationally known expert for her studies about sensory processing in everyday life. She received her occupational therapy and a special education graduate degree from the University of Missouri, and her doctorate in applied neuroscience from the University of Kansas.
She has published more than 100 research articles, book chapters, and books and has spoken around the world about her work. She is the author/co-author of all of the Sensory Profile measures, which capture people's responses to sensory events in everyday life. These assessments have been translated into dozens of languages and are used for both professional practice and in research programs. In 2014, Dr. Dunn completed the update and standardization research on the Sensory Profile 2, to ensure that researchers and professionals in practice have the most current evidence to support their decisions.
She has received the top honors in her field, including the Award of Merit for outstanding overall contributions, and the Eleanor Clark Slagle Lectureship for outstanding academic contributions. She is a member of the Academy of Research for the American Occupational Therapy Foundation and has received the A. Jean Ayres research award. She has also received a Kemper Teaching Fellowship for her outstanding educational approach.
In 2013, she received an Honorary Doctorate from A.T. Still University of Health Sciences to acknowledge her contributions to knowledge development in the health professions. She has written a book for the public about her research entitled Living Sensationally: Understanding Your Senses, which has been featured in Time magazine, Cosmopolitan magazine, Canadian Public Radio, and the London Times newspaper among others. In July 2009, Living Sensationally received the Seal of Excellence from the Children of the New Earth magazine for parents, professionals, and other care givers.