Our Team

The Swallowing Innovations Lab brings together researchers, trainees, clinicians, and patients.

Our team approaches our research streams from unique perspectives, maintaining a dynamic and innovative environment. Our researchers, trainees and clinicians come from a variety of academic backgrounds and fields. We strive for clinical stakeholder and patient partner participation in all projects in order to maintain the clinical applicability of our work and facilitate prompt translation of our findings into practice, while keeping patients at the center of what we do.

University of British Columbia
director
Dr. Stacey Skoretz

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

Research Trainees
Katy Chen

BA

Masters Student

Details

Katy is a MSc Speech Language Pathology Student at the UBC School of Audiology and Speech Sciences, and also completed her BA in Speech Sciences and Psychology in 2020 from UBC. During her undergraduate studies, Katy conducted research with infant and pediatric populations, investigating early voice learning in 4 and 8 month old infants, as well as voice, word & sound recognition abilities in children with cochlear implants. For the past year, she has worked with individuals with chronic and neurodegenerative brain conditions at the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health, and is interested in studying dysphagia within this population during her graduate studies.

Robyn Jones

BSc

Project Assistant 

Details

Robyn is a student in the post-baccalaureate Diploma in Linguistics program at UBC. Currently studying psychology and linguistics, she aims to pursue a master’s program and career in speech-language pathology. She has a professional background working in communications and the technology industry, and holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Victoria. Robyn joined the Swallowing Innovations Lab in June 2020.

Elisabeth Kang

BA

Masters Student 

Details

Elisabeth (Elis) Kang is an MSc Speech-Language Pathology student at UBC’s School of Audiology and Speech Sciences. As a part of her graduate school journey, she is undertaking a research project furthering knowledge in early primitive oral reflexes and pediatric feeding. During her undergraduate degree, Elis contributed to several projects in UBC’s Interdisciplinary Speech Research Lab, including the suppression of articulatory movements in the labiodentalization of Korean bilabial phonemes during smiled speech and changes in postural control of patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

Veronica Letawsky

MSc, RSLP, SLP(C)

Doctoral Student

Details

Veronica Letawsky is a PhD student at the University of British Columbia’s School of Audiology and Speech Sciences. Expanding on her master’s thesis, Veronica’s doctoral research is focused on exploring the link between swallowing physiology and salivary biomarkers in healthy and disease conditions. This includes investigating volumetric and compositional changes in saliva and how these changes affect swallowing physiology and perception in those with chronic autoimmune conditions like Sjogren’s syndrome. In doing so, she is also exploring the utility of more in-depth saliva evaluations as part of swallowing assessments to inform dysphagia management. Veronica has completed training in salivary bioscience at the University of California-Irvine’s Institute for Interdisciplinary Salivary Bioscience Research and has a diploma in linguistics from UBC and a BSc in biological sciences from the University of Alberta.

Ann Marie Schreiber

MScSLP, RSLP, SLP (C)

Speech Language Pathologist
Doctoral Student

Details

Ann-Marie Schreiber is a PhD student studying the biomechanics of swallowing following tracheostomy and the science behind the implementation of evidence-based practice. She received both her B.A. in Psychology and M.Sc. in Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Alberta. Ann-Marie has extensive clinical experience in acute care and rehabilitation hospitals in Canada, the UK and Australia, with a particular interest in critical care. 

Matt Wilson

BASc Candidate

Project Assistant

Details

Matt is a 3rd year undergraduate student in the Faculty of Science at UBC, pursuing a major in Computer Science. He previously completed one year of Mechatronics Engineering at the University of Waterloo.

Matt has an extensive background in software development, with experience in full-stack web development, mobile and desktop app development, and embedded systems. He previously worked as a game developer and was a Unity Asset Store Publisher. His work involved advanced systems dealing with procedural generation and graphics.

One of Matt’s most recent projects is an open-source desktop application centered on improving accessibility for those with poor hand function. It makes use of OCR, eye tracking and voice recognition software to allow users to control their desktop cursor without the use of a mouse or keyboard.

He assists in the development of the innovative virtual reality swallowing module project at Si-Lab.

Linda Wu

BA

Masters Student

 

 

Details

Linda is a MSc student in Speech-Language Pathology at the UBC School of Audiology and Speech Sciences. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Sciences from UBC in 2021. She has an undergraduate research background in phonetics and has contributed to the investigation of postural control of speech articulators as well as acoustic state detection models and their potential clinical applications. She joined Si-Lab in August 2021 as a MSc thesis candidate.

Research Associates
Dr. Camilla Dawson

DClinP, BSc (hons) MRCSLT, HCPC

Honourary Research Associate

Details

Dr. Camilla Dawson is a Consultant Speech and Language Therapist at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, one of the biggest hospital Trusts in the UK, hosting the largest single critical care unit in Europe, with 100 bed spaces. Camilla is a clinical academic, working clinically within critical care, with people who have undergone surgical treatment of head and neck cancer and those with altered airways. Camilla is an Honorary Research Fellow in the Institute of Clinical Sciences at the University of Birmingham, and an Honorary Research Associate in the School of Audiology and Speech Sciences within the Faculty of Medicine at The University of British Columbia.

Camilla’s doctoral research explored dysphagia following head and neck cancer surgery in the acute phase of recovery. This work identified the perspective of the individual following reconstructive surgery and their requirements from the surgical and rehabilitation team to improve outcomes. Her post-doctoral fellowship at the University of British Columbia, under the supervision of Dr. Skoretz, explored post extubation dysphagia, the impact of tracheostomy on swallowing and novel comparative medical research investigating swallowing across species.

Camilla has published a range of qualitative and quantitative research with international multi-disciplinary research teams, exploring dysphagia, tracheostomy, patient advocacy, and COVID-19 outcomes. Camilla provides leadership, management and mentorship to a large team of Speech and Language Pathologists and clinical academics. She was the 2021 winner of the British Academic Conference of Otolaryngology Allied Health Professional award and is an invited speaker at national and international conferences exploring dysphagia.

Staff
Tahira Tejpar

BA, MSc

Research Coordinator

Details

Tahira is a clinical research professional; her role at the Si-Lab is to facilitate and support ongoing research projects. She graduated with a B.A. in psychology from the University of Victoria in 2014 and a M.Sc in neuroscience from Simon Fraser University in 2017. Her Masters research explored the neural correlates of the auditory steady state response in Down Syndrome-initiating her interest in the field of audiology and speech science.

External Affiliates: Clinical
ALBERTA HEALTH SERVICES
Andrea Benoit

MSLP

Speech-Language Pathologist

University of Alberta Hospital, Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute

Mini Kurian

MClSc, RSLP

Speech-Language Pathologist

University of Alberta Hospital, Stollery Children’s Hospital

Alysha Serviss

MSc(A), RSLP

Speech-Language Pathologist, Cardiac Sciences

Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute

Karolin Skogsrud

MSLP, RSLP, SLP(C)

Speech-Language Pathologist, Neurosciences

University of Alberta Hospital

FRASER HEALTH
Caren Carlaw

MA, RSLP, SLP(C)

Clinical Practice Leader, Speech-Language Pathology, Surrey Memorial Hospital

Clinical Assistant Professor, University of British Columbia

Dulcie Carter

BSc MMedSci, RSLP, SLP(C)

Speech-Language Pathologist

Clinical Practice Leader, Speech Language Pathology, Fraser Health

Clinical Faculty, School of Audiology and Speech Sciences, University of British Columbia

Reena Parhar

MSc, RSLP, CCC-SLP

Speech-Language Pathologist

Clinical Supervisor, Adult Inpatient, Surrey Memorial Hospital

Clinical Faculty, School of Audiology and Speech Sciences, University of British Columbia

Erin Tschopp

MSc, RSLP

Speech-Language Pathologist

Clinical Practice Leader, Burnaby Hospital

Providence HEALTH
Tara Chen

BA, MSc, RSLP, SLP(C)

Speech-Language Pathologist

Clinical Instructor, School of Audiology and Speech Sciences, UBC

Rachel Kennedy

M.Sc, R-SLP, R-CORU

Speech-Language Pathologist

Clinical Instructor, School of Audiology and Speech Sciences, UBC

Indershini Pillay

MS, RSLP

Speech-Language Pathologist

Vancouver Coastal HEALTH
Tracey Findlay

MA, RSLP, SLP(C)

Practice Leader, Speech-Language Pathology in Vancouver Acute (GF Strong Rehab Centre, UBC Hospital & Vancouver General Hospital), part of Vancouver Coastal Health.

Clinical Instructor, School of Audiology and Speech Sciences, University of British Columbia

Stephanie Riopelle

MSc, RSLP, SLP (C)

Speech-Language Pathologist

Hillary Stahl

MSc, RSLP

Speech-Language Pathologist 

External Affiliates: Academic
Dr. Sean M Bagshaw

MD, MSc, FRCPC

Professor and Chair, Department of Critical Care Medicine

Department of Critical Care Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry and School of Public Health

University of Alberta

Scientific Director, Critical Care Strategic Clinical Network, 

Alberta Health Services, Alberta

Canada Research Chair in Critical Care Nephrology (2016-2021)

Website

Dr. James L. Coyle

PhD, CCC-SLP, BCS-S, F-ASHA

Professor, Communication Science and Disorders and Otolaryngology

School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences and School of Medicine

University of Pittsburgh

Board Certified Specialist, Swallowing Disorders

Fellow, American Speech Language and Hearing Association

Bio Link

Dr. Heather Flowers

MEd, MHSc, PhD, CCC-SLP, S-LP(C), Reg CASLPO

School of Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada

Institut du Savoir – Montfort – A Knowledge Institute, Ottawa, ON, Canada

The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, ON, Canada

The Canadian Partnership for Stroke Recovery, Ottawa, ON, Canada

Toronto General Hospital, University Health Network, Toronto, ON, Canada (clinical affiliation)

Scholar Link

Dr. Martin Haulena

DVM, MSc, DACZM

Head Veterinarian, Vancouver Aquarium

ResearchGate

Dr. Stephen Raverty

MSc, DVM, PhD

Veterinary Pathologist, Animal Health Center

British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture

ResearchGate

Dr. Meghan Sebastianski

BSc, MPH, PhD

Alberta Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) SUPPORT Unit Knowledge Translation Program

University of Alberta

Lab Alumni
Past Trainees
Post-doctoral Fellows

Dr. Camilla Dawson, DClinP, BSc (hons) MRCSLT, HCPC

Visiting Scientist

Dr. Arlo Adams, PhD

Masters Project Students

Nicole Anger, MSc, RSLP, SLP(C)

Reana Deng, MSc, SLP(C)

Geoff Fullerton, MSc, SLP(C)

Stephanie Riopelle, MSc, SLP(C)

Julia Varanese, MSc, SLP(C)

Orinna Yeung, MSc, SLP(C)

Undergraduate Research Students

Hirad Nourbakhsh, UBC Integrated Sciences

Jasmine Shi, UBC Integrated Sciences

Alison Wu, UBC Linguistcs

Lee Gellatly, SFU Linguistcs

Graduate WorkLearn Program Assistants

Courtney K Dorman, MSc, RSLP, SLP(C)

Allison Empey, MSc, RSLP, SLP(C) 

Alannah Turner, BFA, MSc, RSLP, SLP(C)

Undergraduate WorkLearn Program Assistants

Harleen Kaur Hehar, BSc Candidate

Lisa Nguyen, UBC Speech Sciences

Sadul Bombuwala, UBC Applied Sciences