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Swallowing Rehabilitation Research Lab

The Swallowing Rehabilitation Research Laboratory (SRRL) is located within Toronto Rehabilitation Institute University Center, an academic teaching hospital, affiliated with the University of Toronto. The SRRL was founded in 2003 by Dr. Catriona Steele. Dr. Catriona Steele’s lab is made up of a multidisciplinary group of individuals that includes speech-language pathologists, PhD students, research associates, and clinical engineers who are interested in exploring the mechanisms of swallowing and improving clinical practice.

Swallowing is a process that is easily overlooked by healthy people because it is done automatically without much thought. However, when an accident or disease interferes with this automatic process, the results can be devastating. People with degenerative diseases, head and neck cancer, and stroke survivors are prone to swallowing disorders or impairments (also known as dysphagia). Researchers in this lab are focused on projects that include understanding the pathophysiology of dysphagia, exploring treatments to restore functional swallowing, and developing a noninvasive device to detect swallowing impairments. In order to explore tongue function and its role in swallowing, the lab is currently using a variety of different technologies such as ultrasound, intra-oral manometry, surface EMG, airflow measures, videofluoroscopy, and electromagnetic articulography.

Current Lab Members:

  • Shauna Stokely, SLP
  • Melanie Tapson, SLP
  • Melanie Peladeau-Pigeon, Research Associate
  • Ahmed Nagy, Post Doctoral Fellow
  • Ashwini Namasivayam, PhD Candidate
  • Carly Barbon, PhD Candidate
  • Navid Zohouri, MHSc Candidate
  • Cecilia Campolongo, Administrative Assistant


Catriona M. Steele, Ph.D.

Senior Scientist
Director, Swallowing Rehabilitation Research Laboratory
+1 (416) 597-3422 ext. 7603
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