I am a tenure-track Assistant Professor and Director of the Neuro-Rehabilitation of Language Laboratory in the Communication Sciences and Disorders Department at Saint Louis University’s Doisy College of Health Sciences. As a proponent of culturally and linguistically competent interdisciplinary research and its potential for optimizing clinical interventions with diverse adult and aging populations, I have thus far dedicated my career to integrating the related fields of neuro-imaging, cross-linguistic scholarship and speech-language pathology. My clinical research investigates neuro-rehabilitation in culturally and linguistically diverse adult and aging populations with neurogenic cognitive-communicative disorders due to stroke, traumatic brain injury or neurodegenerative disease. The communities that I have been privileged to serve are vulnerable to chronic health disparities in America: minority groups, socio-economically disadvantaged groups, speakers of non- standard varieties of English, and speakers of other languages with low to no proficiency in English. My research pursues three themes:
1) Testing the clinical utility of state-of-the-art computer-based cognitive-communicative therapy programs in medically underserved, culturally and linguistically diverse adult and aging populations with neurogenic cognitive-communicative disorders;
2) Tailoring these computer-based cognitive-communicative therapy programs to the specific linguistic and cultural characteristics of these populations by incorporating personally relevant, familiar and functional content;
3) Coupling of these interventions with Ultrasound Visual Feedback for motor-speech function and neuro- modulation (Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic or Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation), and investigating the neural mechanisms underlying rehabilitation of neurogenic cognitive-communicative disorders with functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) of overt language production.