Skip to content Skip to main navigation
Teachers College, Columbia University
Printer-friendly Version
Teachers College, Columbia University Logo

Laboratory for the Study of Upper Airway Dysfunction


Michael J Fox Foundation

Novel Management of Airway Protection in Parkinson's disease: A clinical trial

The overarching aim of the proposed study is to determine the efficacy of two novel, distinct, and intensive rehabilitation paradigms, expiratory muscle strength training (EMST) and sensorimotor treatment for airway protection (smTAP), on airway protective clinical outcomes in persons with PD and dysphagia.  We anticipate our results will lead to reductions in the risks associated with airway protective deficits in PD.                                                    

CurePSP Foundation
Developing treatments for swallowing and communication deficits in PSP
The objective of this application is to better define airway protective deficits and communicative dysfunction in PSP and to test the feasibility of multiple treatment targets on airway protection and communication in PSP.  The information to be gleaned from this study has the potential to substantially shift the approach to management of airway protective and communication disorders in PSP by identifying therapeutic targets and potential behavioral biomarkers.

Columbia University Medical Center – Interdisciplinary Research Initiatives Seed (IRIS) Fund Program

Neurological control of the swallow reflex

The goal of the research is to identify the somatosensory neuron classes present in the swallow apparatus (e.g. mechano- , chemosensory) of humans and rodents, testing whether these neurons are necessary for a normal swallow, and analyzing whether these are altered in aged humans with dysphagia and animal models.


Teachers College, Columbia University - Provost Investment Fund 2015

Clinical-Research Neurorehabilitation Center at Teachers College, Columbia University

This application proposes the creation of the Clinical-Research Neurorehabilitation Center (CRNC) at

Teachers College, Columbia University.  The applicants of this proposal, both licensed speech-language pathologists (SLPs) and experienced clinical researchers in adult neurogenic populations, are uniquely qualified to oversee the creation and growth of a center focused on neurorehabilitation within the context of an academic model.

Teachers College, Columbia University - Provost Investment Fund 2016

Clinical Research Initiative in Rehabilitation for Neurodegenerative Diseases

This application proposes an initiative aimed at strengthening clinical research for rehabilitation in neurodegenerative disease at Teachers College.  The funding will be used to enhance the collaboration between the Neurorehabilitation Research Laboratory and the Upper Airway Dysfunction Laboratory (both housed in the Department of Biobehavioral Sciences) and the Movement Disorders Division at Columbia University Medical Center.  The goal is to promote access to critical patient populations which will enhance and facilitate the clinical research agenda in rehabilitation for neurodegenerative diseases at Teachers College and Columbia University. 

Northern Health Foundation – Victoria, Australia

Using Expiratory Muscle Strength Training (EMST) for dysphagia in PD in the community setting

The primary objective of this study is to assess whether an intensive home program of EMST can improve swallowing safety for individuals with Parkinson’s disease in the community setting. 


Michael J Fox Foundation Pre-proposal (*Pre-proposal accepted, full application submitted January 2017)
Efficacy of home-based therapy, EMST and SpeechVive, to improve communication in people with Parkinson’s disease
The aim of the proposal is to examine the efficacy of combining these two clinically proven, home-based rehabilitation paradigms for people with PD to 1) determine the potential for improved benefit to communication and 2) examine the potential for increased maintenance and generalization of treatment outcomes. 


National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders - R21
Airway protection deficits according to stimulus type in Parkinson’s disease
The objective of this study was to test the efficacy of a novel screening device to detect airway protective deficits in a large cohort of people with Parkinson’s disease.
Role: Sub-Investigator; PI for Sub-contract to Columbia University
PI: Karen Hegland, University of Florida

Clinical and Translational Science Institute – NIH KL2 Award
NIH (NCATS) CTSA awards to the University of Florida UL1TR000064 and KL2TR000065
Airway protective mechanisms and Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery in Parkinson’s disease

The overarching aim of the proposed study was to prospectively study the effects of unilateral subthalamic nucleus (STN) vs. globus pallidus interna (GPi) deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery in Parkinson’s disease on swallowing and cough function. This aim was achieved by testing the swallowing and cough function of 40 consecutive patients with PD receiving DBS surgery.

Parkinson’s Study Group

Effects of Singing on Speech and Swallow in Patients with Parkinson’s Disease
The aim of this pilot study was to test the effects of group singing on functional speech and swallowing outcomes in persons with PD. 
PI: Elizabeth Stegemoller, PhD