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SISC in the News

The SISC lab provides opportunities for undergraduate, masters, and doctoral students to engage in research activities. Some receive support through graduate assistantships or the Undergraduate Creative Activity and Research (UCARE) program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Others complete research experiences as part of their coursework, and some even volunteer their time to be part of this work. Findings have been presented at the university's research fair each spring and summer, as well as regional, national, and international conferences.

Rahul Krishnamurthy successfully defended his dissertation titled A Mechanistic Model for Aero-Resistive Expiratory Muscle Strength TRAINING-Induced Brain Plasticity on Monday April 22nd. Congratulations, Dr. Krishnamurthy! 

Lab members and alumni presented research at the 2024 Dysphagia Research Society Annual Meeting in San Juan in March 2024.

Rahul Krishnamurthy presented a session titled Expiratory Muscle Strength Training for Speech and Swallowing Rehabilitation at the 2023 Nebraska Speech-Language-Hearing Association Convention. The lab team also presented at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Convention in Boston in November 2023.

Ross Westemeyer successfully defended his dissertation titled Neuroplastic and Behavioral Effects of Skill- and Strength-Based Swallowing Rehabilitation on Monday April 17th. Congratulations, Dr. Westemeyer!

Rahul Krisnamurthy has been awarded a Council of Academic Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders (CAPCSD) doctoral scholarship. Up to eight such honors are awarded annually to students pursuing a Ph.D. who are focused on an academic career in communication sciences and disorders. Read more about Rahul's award and planned dissertation HERE. Congratulations Rahul!

Rahul Krishnamurthy is also the presenting author of Benchmarks and Reliability Testing of Commercially-Available Expiratory Muscle Strength Training (EMST) Devices, presented at the 2023 Dysphagia Research Society Annual Meeting.

The SISC lab team presented two student-led sessions at the 2022 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Convention. Ross Westemeyer, a doctoral candidate at that time, presented Can Taste Help My Patients Swallow? A Scoping and Systematic Review. Cassidy Krawczak-Kummrow, a masters student, presented Community/Provider Perspectives for Enhancing Communication-Related Gender Affirmation Services. Publications related to both of these topics are forthcoming.

To support clinical competence in the delivery of gender affirming communication services, Dr. Dietsch and collaborators published a more inclusive version of the commonly used "Rainbow Passage", and presented a seminar at the 2022 Nebraska Speech-Language-Hearing Association Fall Convention.

A study published by the SISC lab in collaboration with colleagues from Michigan State University identified that persons with Parkinson disease spend significantly less time talking each day than their neurotypical colleagues. The work was highlighted in a Nebraska Pocket Science feature available HERE

Ross Westemeyer, a doctoral candidate in the SISC lab, was an invited speaker at the Fall 2021 Colloquium Series hosted by Dalhousie University's School of Communication Sciences and Disorders. His presentation, titled Evidence-Based Practice in Pediatric Dysphagia, was also featured at the Nebraska Speech-Language-Hearing Association's Annual Convention (October 2021). This is Westemeyer's first international invited presentation and the third consecutive year in which he has presented as part of the Medical SLP Track at the NSLHA convention. His previous NSHLA topics included the role of motor learning in management of motor speech disorders and dysphagia.

The SISC team presented new findings regarding the effects of taste stimulation on neurological activity at the international Dysphagia Research Society Annual Meeting held virtually in March 2021.

Bekah Hutchinson successfully defended a masters thesis titled The Alignment Between Self-Identity and Observable Communication Characteristics of Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Individuals in March 2021. This project was completed through the SISC lab in collaboration with colleagues in the university's Psychology department.

The SISC team published groundbreaking new findings regarding genetic influences on sensory and motor aspects of swallowing and presented the findings at the international Dysphagia Research Society Annual Meeting held virtually in Spring 2020.

The SISC lab was featured in a series titled Food as Medicine in Nebraska Today. View the full story HERE 

Swallowing disorders can have devastating effects on quality of life in addition to health-related consequences. Work from the SISC team was featured in an international popular science magazine and in the local newspaper