About the Lab

Welcome to the Swallowing Innovations Lab! Founded by Dr. Stacey Skoretz in 2016, the lab is the first of its kind at the University of British Columbia and in Western Canada.
Our Goals
Being able to eat and drink is a core physiological and social aspect of human existence. It nourishes our bodies and creates opportunities for shared enjoyment and spending time together. Most people swallow – food, drink, or saliva – hundreds of times per day without a second thought. However, for some swallowing can become impaired, compromising health and quality of life. The medical term for impaired swallowing is dysphagia. People with dysphagia can have food get stuck in their throat, or often have food and fluid ‘go down the wrong way’. They are at great risk for pneumonia, malnutrition, dehydration, and choking. Given the central role eating and drinking fulfills in daily life, many people with dysphagia also develop anxiety or depression. Our ultimate goal is to help avoid the negative consequences of dysphagia.
At the Swallowing Innovations Lab (Si-Lab), we utilize a clinical-research framework to improve dysphagia outcomes through evidence-based assessment and management. Our goals include: understanding the cross-system interactions during swallowing following critical illness, engaging patients to ensure patient-centered and individualized therapeutic approaches, linking research to practice through knowledge synthesis and translation endeavours, and enhancing education in the swallowing sciences through the development and use of novel technologies. The lab incorporates leading-edge infrastructure, including but not limited to high-fidelity diagnostic equipment and biological signals capture systems. The lab is also home to a dedicated high-fidelity patient simulator providing specialized training in swallowing diagnostics and physiology to students, clinicians and researchers.
…Skoretz and colleagues have performed a considerable service in moving us from determining whether it [dysphagia] commonly occurs to working out how we can better understand its nature and begin to initiate programs to prevent and mitigate its consequences.
DR. JOHN E. HEFFNER

Reference: Heffner, JE. (2010). Swallowing complications after endotracheal extubation: Moving from “whether” to “how”, CHEST; 137; 509-510 DOI 10.1378/chest.09-2477.

Dr. Stacey Skoretz

PhD, CCC-SLP, SLP (C), R.SLP

Dr. Skoretz is the Director of the Swallowing Innovations Lab and a medical Speech-Language Pathologist. She is an Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia’s School of Audiology and Speech Sciences and an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Critical Care Medicine at the University of Alberta. In addition, she is appointed as an Investigator with the Centre for Heart Lung Innovation at St. Paul’s hospital, Staff Scientist with Providence Health and a Research Affiliate with Fraser Health.

Our Team

At the Swallowing Innovations Lab we bring together: researchers from multiple disciplines; post-doctorate, graduate, and undergraduate trainees; clinicians at the forefront of their practice, and patients. Our dynamic team is focused on improving care and quality of life for individuals with dysphagia.