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My PhD research focused on enhancing understanding of cough and swallowing physiology and pathophysiology. My research was inspired by my clinical work as a speech-language pathologist with patients with neurogenic coughing and swallowing disorders. I completed five studies that focused on refining methods of assessing laryngeal sensation, specifically citric acid cough reflex testing and developing a rehabilitation protocol for reduced laryngeal sensation following neurological injury.
More recently, a major interest of my post-doctoral research has been to understand the underlying mechanisms of upper airway muscle training in patients with obstructive sleep apnea. In this context, my research involves using a variety of experimental approaches to measure upper airway neuromuscular control and respiratory mechanics in patients before and after training of the tongue and soft palate. I have a unique skillset as a speech-language pathologist with both clinical and research expertise in assessment and rehabilitation of the upper airway in the context of cough, swallowing, speech and sleep-disordered breathing.