Students: Join the Lab

Students: Join the Lab 2023-01-26T12:56:19-06:00

The Northwestern SCSC in The Roselyn and Richard Pepper Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders welcomes motivated undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students, and postdoctoral fellows who are interested in learning more about dysphagia to join the lab. Student scientists are not only provided research experience in the key components of study planning, execution, and dissemination, but in doing so, gain a deeper understanding of dysphagia physiology and pathophysiology to improve their clinical care. All SCSC members are provided the opportunity to observe how research findings impact clinical care through participation in our interdisciplinary weekly dysphagia rounds.

We encourage undergraduate students interested in gaining introductory knowledge of neural control and physiology within the upper aerodigestive tract to join the SCSC. Our undergraduate scientists are provided foundational content knowledge regarding responsible conduct of research, swallowing physiology, and equipment used in clinical swallowing research. Students are introduced to ongoing studies conducted in the SCSC, and are provided opportunities to observe research projects conducted at NM hospital. Undergraduate scientists may structure their SCSC experience as an internship, work study position, or independent study based on individualized student goals and available funding.

Graduate students interested in gaining advanced knowledge in the neural control and function of the upper aerodigestive tract and research methods are welcome to join the SCSC. Lab experiences follow a tiered progression based on the Communication Sciences and Disorders graduate curriculum. Throughout the first year of graduate study, students learn about the responsible conduct of research, study design and methods, IRB processes, and data acquisition and analysis. Upon successful completion of the dysphagia course, second year SCSC graduate scientists applying their knowledge of research methods and swallowing physiology to aid in the execution of dysphagia investigations. These investigations provide graduate students an opportunity to refine their modified barium swallow study analysis methods and gain a stronger understanding of how MBSS results are applied in clinical care. Graduate scientists are provided the opportunity to structure their SCSC experience as an internship, independent study, or thesis work based on individualized student goals and available funding.

The SCSC provides an enriching environment for doctoral students in pursuit of independent research careers in the field of swallowing disorders and cross-system disorders of the upper aerodigestive tract. Under the mentorship of Dr. Martin-Harris and members of the SCSC interdisciplinary medical and research team, doctoral students have access to patients with dysphagia related to neurologic, pulmonary, oncologic and respiratory system diseases and conditions across the age spectrum through the SCSC’s collaborations with the Center for Audiology, Speech, Language and Learning as well as Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Students learn and practice responsible conduct of research, research design and methods using state-of-the-art technology including physiologic signal processing and imaging. ¬†Learn more about doctoral study in Communication Sciences.

Real-time MBS observation opportunities in the SCSC

Dr. Martin-Harris collaborates with the Speech-Language Pathologists at Northwestern Memorial Hospital to provide real-time consultation during Modified Barium Swallow Studies (MBS). TIMS Connect is a software system that provides two-way live video and audio transmission, allowing Dr. Martin-Harris to participate in the MBS, provide feedback to clinicians, and communicate face-to-face with patients remotely from the SCSC.

TIMS Connect sessions will resume in the Winter Quarter.

Apply to volunteer in the SCSC

The SCSC is not currently not accepting applications at this time. Please check back for possible volunteer opportunities in the future.