The Swallowing Cross-Systems Collaborative [SCSC] was founded in 2017 by Dr. Bonnie Martin-Harris.
Our interdisciplinary team of researchers, educators and clinicians conducts its work at our Chicago Hub located at Northwestern University, as well as a Charleston Hub located at the Medical University of South Carolina, with funding from the National Institute of Health, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Evelyn Trammell Trust.
Millions of adults and children suffer from swallowing disorders [dysphagia] related to medical issues such as premature birth or congenital disorder neurological injuries, head trauma, neurological diseases, stroke, pulmonary conditions, digestive disorders, or cancer. Dysphagia often targets our most vulnerable and fragile populations – the very young and the very old – contributing to poor nutrition, pulmonary infections and even death, which makes appropriate clinical education, early identification and dysphagia treatment critically important.
Our focus is exploring dysphagia and the influence of the respiratory and upper digestive systems on the swallowing function, and standardizing swallowing metrics to improve clinical practice and treatment outcomes. The potential for swallowing disorders to have cross-system effects on multiple body systems necessitates this type of collaborative, interdisciplinary research and care.