Department of Communicative Disorders

Fernwood Building, 3071 Kingstown Rd, Kingston, RI 02881


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Leslie A. Mahler

Leslie Mahler
  • Associate Professor
  • Office: Fernwood Building, Rm 203
  • Phone: 401.874.2490
  • Email:


Dr. Leslie Mahler joined the faculty at the University of Rhode Island in January 2007 after completing a dual doctorate in Speech and Hearing Sciences and Neuroscience at the University of Colorado-Boulder. Her goal is to bridge research, classroom teaching, and clinical teaching by maintaining an active clinical practice for research and treatment based on 25 years of experience as a medical speech-language pathologist in a hospital setting.

Dr. Mahler incorporates research findings from her treatment studies and the literature into classroom teaching and applies theory taught in the classroom to evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of clients in the clinic.


Dr. Mahler’s research interests and publications are in the area of assessment and treatment of motor speech disorders/dysarthria and cognitive-linguistic abilities to improve quality of life for adults with neurological diagnoses.  The focus of her research is investigating how principles of motor learning can be translated to the treatment of individuals with neurological diagnoses to drive activity dependent changes in neural plasticity with long-term benefits that generalize to improved functional communication.

Her research focus is on populations she treated during her 25 years as a hospital-based SLP including Parkinson’s disease, brain injury, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, Down syndrome and cerebral palsy.  She is also interested in evaluating the impact of deep brain stimulation on speech and swallowing abilities in people with Parkinson disease and essential tremor.

In addition, she is collaborating with faculty in the departments of Kinesiology and Food & Nutrition Services to examine the role of cognition in diet and exercise for older obese women and longitudinal research of adults with Parkinson disease and acquired brain injuries.

She is co-inventor of technology with Kunal Mankodiya (from the URI College of Engineering) to acquire speech data outside of the clinical environment with the goal of improving and maintaining treatment outcomes.


  • Ph.D., Speech Language & Hearing Sciences/Neuroscience (Dual Doctorate), University of Colorado (Boulder, CO), 2006
  • M.B.A., Strategic Marketing, Drake University (Des Moines, IA), 1987
  • M.A., Communication Disorders, University of the Pacific (Stockton, CA), 1977
  • B.A., Speech, Language & Hearing Sciences, University of Colorado (Boulder, CO), 1975


LoBuono, D.L., Taetzsch, A.G., Lofgren, I.E., Xu, F., Delmonico, M.J., & Mahler, L. (2016) Cognitive status and cardio-metabolic risk of patients with acquired brain injury and Parkinson’s disease. Disability and Health Journal, 9(1), 134-139.  DOI: 10.1016.j.dhjo.2015.06.001.

Dubey, H., Goldberg, J.C, Abtahi, M., Mahler, L., & Mankodiya, K. (2015). EchoWear: Smartwatch technology for voice and speech treatments of patients with Parkinson’s disease. Proceedings of the Wireless Health Conference; National Institutes of Health, Baltimore, MD. DOI:

Mahler, L., Ramig, L.O., & Fox, C. (2015). Evidence-based treatment of voice and speech disorders in Parkinson disease. Current Opinion in Otolaryngology & Head and Neck Surgery, 23, 209-215. 

Mahler, L. & Jones, H.N. (2012). Intensive treatment of dysarthria in two adults with Down syndrome. Developmental Neurorehabilitation,15, 44-53.

Mahler, L. & Ramig, L.O. (2012). Intensive voice treatment of dysarthria secondary to stroke. Journal of Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics, 26, 681-694.

Spielman, J., Mahler, L., Halpern, A., Gilley, P., Klepitskaya, O., and Ramig. L. (2011). Intensive Voice Treatment (LSVT®LOUD) for Parkinson’s disease following Deep Brain Stimulation of the Subthalamic Nucleus. Journal of Communication Disorders, 44, 688-700.

Ciucci, M., Mahler, L., & McFarland, D. (2011). Swallowing disorders in Parkinson’s disease. In Theodoros, D. & Ramig, L. (Eds), Communication and swallowing in Parkinson disease (pp. 199-223). Oxford, England: Plural Publishing.

Curriculum Vitae (PDF)

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