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About Our Research

The central goal of our research is to improve the diagnostic accuracy and treatment effectiveness of voice and swallowing disorders. Our research is driven by clinical needs that we have identified from working with patients with voice and swallowing disorders. We work to address these clinical needs with collaborators using the theoretical underpinnings and methodology common to voice and swallowing disorders and several other domains, such as: psychometrics, visual perception, neurology, neuroimaging, radiology, and comparative effectiveness.

We are currently addressing this central goal through 4 broad initiatives:

Current Funding

  • Throat Clearing, Coughing, and Alternative Behaviors, R03 DC008403 NIH NIDCD, Total Direct $300,000
  • Standardizing Laryngeal Endoscopy, KL2 SCTR, Total Direct $219,325
  • Impact of Acute Stroke Brain Lesion and Swallowing Impairment on Short-Term Swallowing Outcomes, SCTR Pilot Project, Total Direct $49,779

Training Offered

Students from the doctoral program are welcome to rotate through this laboratory during their time at MUSC. Students can gain experience in research related to the evaluation and treatment experience with patients with voice and swallowing disorders. Rotations are individualized. To get the most out of the rotation experience, we ask that you work with us to develop a plan with objective outcomes prior to beginning the rotation. If you are interested in rotating, please contact Heather Bonilha.


  • 2010 Manuel Garcia Prize, presented at the 28th IALP World Congress August 22, 2010.
  • First Annual Sataloff Young Investigator Award, presented at the Voice Foundation Symposium June 3-7, 2009.
  • Lessons for Success ASHA/NIH workshop award. April 30 - May 2, 2009.
  • Early Career Contributions in Research Award, American Speech-Language and Hearing Association, presented at ASHA National Convention, November 22, 2008, Chicago, IL.
  • Centenary Plan Award, University of South Carolina, August 2006-August 2009.
  • New Investigators Research Forum Award, The Voice Foundation, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. “An Investigation of the Impact of Mucus and Mucus Clearing Behaviors”, 2005.
  • College of Health and Public Affairs Outstanding Student Award, University of Central Florida, 2002.

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