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Teachers College, Columbia University
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Laboratory for the Study of Upper Airway Dysfunction

Our Team

The UAD is comprised of researchers, clinicians, and students committed to improving clinical outcomes and quality of life in patients with dysphagia and dystussia through research, clinical care, and education.

Michelle S. Troche, PhD/CCC-SLP

Director and Principal Investigator, Laboratory for the Study of Upper Airway Dysfunction

Dr. Michelle S. Troche is an Assistant Professor in the Communication Sciences and Disorders Program, Department of Biobehavioral Sciences at Teachers College, Columbia University.  She completed her doctoral studies at the University of Florida where she also served as faculty member prior to joining Columbia University.  She is director of the Laboratory for the Study of Upper Airway Dysfunction.  Her research is aimed at improving health outcomes and quality of life associated with disorders of airway protection (i.e., swallowing and cough).  To that end, she employs a two-pronged approach including both basic science and clinical research.  Basic science research goals focus on developing a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying airway protection and its disorders.  Clinical research goals are the development of novel and robust evaluation and treatment techniques for dystussia (deficits of cough function) and dysphagia (deficits of swallowing function).  Current projects focus on multiple behaviors contributing to airway protection and the ability to modify those behaviors via non-pharmacological treatment paradigms.  Research participants include healthy volunteers, people with Parkinson’s disease, other movement disorders, and ischemic stroke. Her clinical work has mainly been in the area of Movement Disorders where she has evaluated and treated the motor speech and airway protective function of hundreds of patients.    

She has expertise and has mentored students and taught in the areas of: cognitive-motor relationships, neural/myogenic adaptations to exercise and training, with emphasis on the swallowing, coughing and respiratory systems, and clinical disorders of motor speech, voice, and airway protection.  Her research, teaching, and mentorship have been recognized by several awards and in her academic record.  She has served as principal, co-Investigator and/or study coordinator on various large-scale NIH and VA funded projects.  She directs a collaborative, multidisciplinary, and productive laboratory which creates a rich environment for trainees of all levels.