Mentorship is an integral component of career advancement in academic medicine. There is also an acute need to mentor and nurture the next generation of career scientists in the area of dysphagia, a prevalent condition that places high burden on patient health and quality of life. The candidate proposes to increase the cadre of POR researchers and team scientists in swallowing disorders and respiratory-swallowing interactions with emphasis on discovery of novel methods of objective assessment and evidence-based, targeted interventions that hasten recovery across the course of a disease or condition and facilitate optimal outcomes. Research and career development will take place in a mentorship structure that provides an environment of support for successful patient oriented researchers transitioning into the early stages of academic careers in the study of swallowing and respiratory-swallowing impairment. These opportunities, in part, will arise from the candidate's own proposed research plan and collaborations. The primary objective of the research plan is to develop swallowing impairment phenotypes that express in three patient conditions with high morbidity and burden related to swallowing impairment (pulmonary, neurologic, head and neck cancer) using turn-key, standardized, valid and reliable measurement and data storage methods, developed by the candidate, and novel statistical mapping techniques. The secondary objective is to demonstrate a link between respiratory-swallow coordination pattern, airway protection, and the nature and severity of swallowing impairment. The long-term goal of this research is to develop prediction models (statistical and dynamic) that will enable clinicians to empirically predict type, severity, and treatment responsiveness of swallowing impairment at early stages of the dysphagia-related disease or condition.

Public Health Relevance

The goal of this application is to provide educational and career development opportunities and mentorship structure to support patient oriented researchers as they transition into the early stages of an academic career in the study of swallowing and respiratory swallowing impairment. This research plan will lead to the development of the first predictive model of swallowing impairment enabling clinicians to empirically predict type, severity, and treatment responsiveness of swallowing impairment, a condition with high health, quality of life and economic burden.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
Midcareer Investigator Award in Patient-Oriented Research (K24)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Communication Disorders Review Committee (CDRC)
Program Officer
Rivera-Rentas, Alberto L
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Northwestern University at Chicago
Other Health Professions
Graduate Schools
United States
Zip Code
Garand, Kendrea L; Strange, Charlie; Paoletti, Luca et al. (2018) Oropharyngeal swallow physiology and swallowing-related quality of life in underweight patients with concomitant advanced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis 13:2663-2671
Wilmskoetter, Janina; Martin-Harris, Bonnie; Pearson Jr, William G et al. (2018) Differences in swallow physiology in patients with left and right hemispheric strokes. Physiol Behav 194:144-152
Garand, K L; Schwertner, Ryan; Chen, Amy et al. (2018) Computational Analysis of Pharyngeal Swallowing Mechanics in Patients with Motor Neuron Disease: A Pilot Investigation. Dysphagia 33:243-250
Garand, Kendrea L Focht; Armeson, Kent E; Hill, Elizabeth G et al. (2018) Identification of Phenotypic Patterns of Dysphagia: A Proof of Concept Study. Am J Speech Lang Pathol 27:988-995
Tran, Thi Tu Anh; Harris, Bonnie Martin; Pearson Jr, William G (2018) Improvements resulting from respiratory-swallow phase training visualized in patient-specific computational analysis of swallowing mechanics. Comput Methods Biomech Biomed Eng Imaging Vis 6:532-538
McGrattan, Katlyn E; McFarland, David H; Dean, Jesse C et al. (2017) Effect of Single-Use, Laser-Cut, Slow-Flow Nipples on Respiration and Milk Ingestion in Preterm Infants. Am J Speech Lang Pathol 26:832-839
Wilmskoetter, Janina; Bonilha, Heather; Hong, Ickpyo et al. (2017) Construct validity of the Eating Assessment Tool (EAT-10). Disabil Rehabil :1-11
May, Nelson H; Pisegna, Jessica M; Marchina, Sarah et al. (2017) Pharyngeal Swallowing Mechanics Secondary to Hemispheric Stroke. J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis 26:952-961
O'Rourke, A; Humphries, K; Lazar, A et al. (2017) The pharyngeal contractile integral is a useful indicator of pharyngeal swallowing impairment. Neurogastroenterol Motil 29:
McGrattan, Katlyn Elizabeth; McGhee, Heather; DeToma, Allan et al. (2017) Dysphagia in infants with single ventricle anatomy following stage 1 palliation: Physiologic correlates and response to treatment. Congenit Heart Dis 12:382-388

Showing the most recent 10 out of 18 publications