Voices Lab


The VOICES lab, co-directed by Laurie Slovarp, PhD, CCC-SLP and Jane Reynolds, PhD, CCC-SLP is at the forefront of research into voice and related upper airway disorders, with a special focus on chronic cough. Dr. Slovarp and Dr. Reynolds draw upon their extensive clinical experience as medical speech-language pathologists to shape patient-centered research. Their collective years of hands-on practice in diagnosing and treating swallowing, voice, and upper airway disorders provide them with a unique perspective on the needs and challenges faced by patients. This clinical insight serves as the foundation for their research, ensuring that the studies conducted in the VOICES Lab are not only scientifically rigorous but also directly relevant and beneficial to patients. This patient-centered approach is especially evident in their focus on refractory chronic cough (RCC), a cough that has not been effectively treated with medical intervention. Through their research, Dr. Slovarp and Dr. Reynolds are committed to improve RCC patient care by investigating and addressing barriers of care, streamlining behavioral treatment protocols, pioneering innovative assessment and treatment strategies, and unraveling the underlying physiological mechanisms involved in RCC and behavioral cough treatments.

In early 2019, Dr. Slovarp received Investigational New Drug authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to begin a clinical trial investigating a new treatment that combines elements of progressive desensitization paired with BCST. Two pilot studies have shown promising results, with significant improvements in cough-related quality of life and reduced urge-to-cough suggesting this treatment reduces cough sensitivity, which is known to the be underlying pathology causing RCC. Drs. Slovarp and Reynolds, along with several collaborators Marie Jette, PhD at University of Colorado, Amanda Gillespie, PhD at Emory University, and Stuart Mazzone, PhD at University of Melbourne are working hard to secure funding to further investigate CDT in a multi-site clinical trial.

Drs. Slovarp and Reynolds are also exploring novel treatment delivery models with AI-based digital therapeutics (i.e., treatment via a smartphone application), internet-based treatment models, group treatment, and telehealth, in order to improve treatment accessibility.

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      Laurie Slovarp, PhD, CCC-SLP                    Jane Reynolds, PhD, CCC-SLP


Research within the VOICES Lab is focused on improving standards of care for patients with dysphagia and chronic cough. 
The ultimate goals of the lab include:

  • Improve efficiency and cost-effectiveness of care of patients with chronic cough.
  • Develop and research new and innovative assessment and treatment strategies that target gaps and inadequacies in current management techniques and models for patients with chronic cough and related upper airway disorders.
  • Understand the underlying mechanisms involved in cough hypersensitivity and behavioural cough treatment.

Read more about current research in the VOICES lab on the Medium website.


Drs. Slovarp and Reynolds are involved in several research collaborations including:


VOICES lab research has been supported through the Mountain West Clinical Translational Research Infrastructure Network (MW-CTRIN), the Montana IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE), and the Center for Population Health Research (CPHR) under grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Funding has also been provided through the University of Montana Small Grant Program and the American Speech Language Hearing Association.