Voice & Swallowing Services

Focus of Lab

In addition to providing evidence-based clinical service delivery, the Voice & Swallowing Services clinic is engaged in clinical research aimed at improving the quality of life of patients with impairments in voice, speech and swallowing. Specifically, the research focus in the Voice & Swallowing Services is to develop improved understanding of the neural control and pathophysiology of voice, speech and swallowing disorders as a basis for innovative and effective treatment approaches to improve the clinical outcomes in our patients.


Current Projects

Self-training device in improvement of dysphagia

Dr. Kamarunas is working in collaboration with Dr. Christy Ludlow conducting a treatment study on a swallowing self-training device that aids in adult swallowing rehabilitation.  This study is no longer accepting new participants at this time. It is projected that a new recruitment cycle will be forthcoming

Cortical control of swallowing

Dr. Kamarunas is working in collaboration with JMU students on several projects investigating the changes in cortical control of swallowing with swallow treatment techniques. For more information, please contact Dr. Kamarunas at 540-568-8846 or kamaruee@jmu.edu

Effects of Lung Volume on Swallowing in Individuals with COPD

Teresa Drulia, M.S., CCC-SLP is currently investigating the role of lung volume at the time of the swallow in individuals with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) when compared with healthy volunteers. Future investigation will be aimed at improving functional swallowing outcomes in COPD using respiratory muscle strength training. Participants will receive $75 for completing the study. For additional information regarding eligibility as a healthy or COPD participant, please contact Teresa Drulia at druliatc@jmu.edu.

Past Doctoral Research Projects

Dr. Carrie Rountrey (JMU 2015) Investigating voice and speech in the natural environment in Parkinson's Disease

Dr. Seng Mun Wong (JMU 2015) Measurement of swallowing function using MBS studies in individuals with swallowing impairment

Dr. Rachel Mulheren (JMU 2015) Effects of taste on swallowing frequency and cortical activation