- Professor Emerita
- Communicative Disorders
- Phone: 401.874.2490
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Office Location: Independence Square, Suite K
Dr. Mahler began her professional career as a speech-language pathologist working with adults with neurological disorders in a medical setting and then transitioned to academia after completing a dual doctorate in Speech and Hearing Sciences and Neuroscience at the University of Colorado-Boulder in 2006. She joined the faculty at the University of Rhode Island (URI) in 2007 where she has leveraged her unique combination of skills and experiences to drive innovation in classroom and clinic teaching.
The main focus of Dr. Mahler’s research is to rigorously evaluate the impact of clinical treatments for specific populations of people with neurological diagnoses and translate those findings to clinical practice. Her research includes translating how principles of neural plasticity can be applied to the treatment of individuals with communicative disorders.
- 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
Dr. Mahler’s research and expertise is integrated with the graduate courses she teaches in Motor Speech Disorders, Dysphagia, Acquired Cognitive Disorders, and an undergraduate course on the neuroscience of communication and movement called, “The Real Reason for Brains.” Clinical teaching includes LOUD for Life (for people with Parkinson disease), Gateway Café (for traumatic brain injury and stroke survivors), and a Longitudinal Research Study (for adults with neurological diagnoses).
Dr. Mahler is the principal investigator for the Motor Speech Lab that is part of the Department of Communicative Disorders. The main focus of Dr. Mahler’s research is to rigorously evaluate the impact of clinical treatments for specific populations of people with neurological diagnoses and translate those findings to clinical practice. Her research includes translating how principles of neural plasticity can be applied to the treatment of individuals with communicative disorders. Dr. Mahler has active collaborations with Kinesiology, Physical Therapy, and Nutrition and Food Sciences pursuing research and experiential learning opportunities that include graduate and undergraduate students.
- Mahler, L., Principal Investigator: The Gateway Café and Wellness Center. Traumatic Brain Injury System Component Development. Department of Human Services, Rhode Island ($50,000). University of Rhode Island (2010-2011).
- Jones, H., Mahler, L., & Kishnani, P. Co-Investigator. Total speech treatment of dysarthria in adults and children with Down syndrome. ($88,500) Anna’s Angels fund for Down syndrome research. January 1, 2012-September 1, 2015.
- -Dr. Jones is a research collaborator at Duke University Medical Center. Dr. Kishnani is a pediatric geneticist at Duke University Medical Center.
- Mahler, L. & Friedman, J. Assessment of speech and swallowing in people with Parkinson’s disease pre- and post-deep brain stimulation. University of Rhode Island Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Collaborative. July 15, 2014-December 15, 2015.
Role: PI, $25,000
- Mahler, L., Delmonico, M, & Lofgren, I. Longitudinal Study of Communication, Nutrition, and Physical Activity. Institute for Integrated Health and Innovation May-June, 2016.
Role: PI, $2131.15
- Audette, J., Mahler, L., Palmer, M., & Schultz, S. Carnegie Global Faculty Travel Grant to Guatemala. May, 2017.
Role: Co-PI, $10,000
- Mahler, L. & Clarkin, C. LSVT BIG treatment Intervention Study Preliminary Training of DPT Students. Enhancement of Graduate Research Award, URI. December 2017.
Role: PI, $990
- Mahler, L., O’Grady, B., Clarkson, C. LSVT BIG Exercise-Induced Neuroplasticity in Patients with Parkinson’s Disease. LSVT Global. June 2018-June 2019.
Role: PI, $1500
- Mahler, L., Lofgren, I., Delisio, M., & Moody, R. LOUD for Life. Innovation in Interprofessional Education and Practice Proposal, URI. November 2018-June 2019.
Role: PI $2278
- Clinical Application of Wearable Telehealth IOT Systems for Speech Processing (2016). Ser. No. 62/242,731.
Spielman, J., Ramig, L.O., Mahler, L., Halpern, A., & Gavin, W.J. (2007) Effects of an extended version of the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment on voice and speech in Parkinson’s disease. American Journal of Speech, Language Pathology, 16, 95-107.
Mahler, L., Ramig, L.O., Fox, C. (2009). Intensive voice treatment (LSVT® LOUD) for dysarthria secondary to stroke. Journal of Medical Speech-Language Pathology, 17(4), 165-182.
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.
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.
Maris, S., Taetzsch, A., Quintanilla, D., Letendre, J., Picard, A., Mahler, L. Xu, F, Lofgren, I. & Delmonico, M. (2014). The combined effects of Tai Chi, resistance training, and diet on physical function and body composition in obese older women. Journal of Aging Research, Article ID 657851, 2014. DOI: 10.1155/2014/657851.
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.
Taetzsch, A., Quintanilla, D., Maris, S., Letendre, J., Mahler, L. Xu, F, Delmonico, M. & Lofgren, I. (2015). Impact on diet quality and resilience in urban community dwelling obese women with a nutrition and physical activity intervention. Journal of Aging: Research and Clinical Practice, 4(2), 102-108.
Xu F, Letendre, J. Bekke, J. ,Beebe, N., Mahler LA, Lofgren IE, Delmonico, M. (2015). Impact of a program of Tai Chi plus behaviorally based dietary weight loss on physical functioning and coronary heart disease risk factors: A community-based study in obese older women. Journal of Nutrition in Gerontology and Geriatrics. 34(1), 50-65.
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.
Xu F, Delmonico, MJ, Lofgren, IE, Uy, KM, Maris, SA, Quintanilla, D., Taetzsch, AG, Letendre, J, Mahler, L. (2017) Effect of a combined Tai Chi, resistant training and dietary intervention on cognitive function in obese older women. Journal of Frailty & Aging, 6(3), 167-171.
LoBuono, D., Paulin, C., Xu, F., Mahler, L., Delmonico, M.J., & Lofgren, I.E. (2018). Parkinson’s awareness and the role of a health care team in managing Parkinson’s disease. The Digest, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 53(2), 13-21.
Jones, H., Crisp, K., Kuchibhatla, M., Mahler, L., Risoli, T., Jones, C., & Kishnani, P. (2019). Auditory-perceptual speech features in children with Down syndrome. American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 124(4), 324-338.
Manuscripts Accepted and in Press
Dahl, K. & Mahler, L. (2019). Acoustic measures of transfeminine voices and perceptions of voice femininity. Journal of Voice.
Courses Taught 2011-2019
- CMD 273 Phonetics
- CMD 280G The Real Reason for Brains (new grand challenge course 2019)
- CMD 491/2 Undergraduate Special Problems
- CMD 560 Voice
- CMD 565 Pre-Practicum
- CMD 571 Medical Speech-Language Pathology
- CMD 581 Dysphagia
- CMD 582 Motor Speech Disorders
- CMD 583 Acquired Cognitive Disorders
- CMD 598 Graduate Special Problems
- CMD 599 MS Thesis
- NEU 101 Foundations of Neuroscience (required for proposed undergraduate major)
- NEU 210 Neuroethics and Diversity (required for proposed undergraduate major)
- NEU 503 Introduction to Neuroscience
- NEU 504 Neuroethics
- NEU 591 Special Problems
- NEU 599 MS Thesis
- NEU 699 Doctoral Thesis
Dr. Mahler developed interdisciplinary experiential learning opportunities important for training students in speech-language pathology and other allied health disciplines that are relevant to future trends in communicative disorders and neuroscience.
Clinical teaching includes LOUD for Life (for people with Parkinson disease), Gateway Café (for traumatic brain injury and stroke survivors), and a Longitudinal Research Study (for adults with neurological diagnoses). These initiatives provide training opportunities for students and clinical resources for patients that would not otherwise be available. Two years ago Dr. Mahler led the development of a program for transgender individuals who want to make their communication more gender congruent. These efforts resulted in URI’s graduate program being recognized for providing transgender access to care by the Speech Pathology Masters’ Program publication.
Previous and Current Graduate Students
- Octavia Miller, INP/MS, 2014
An intensive total speech treatment using principles of motor learning in an individual with dysarthria.
- Jaclyn Schiemer, CMD/MS , 2014
Intensive treatment of dysarthria in an adult with a traumatic brain injury.
- Charlotte Purcell, CMD/MS, 2015
Effects of intensive speech treatment for an individual with spastic dysarthria secondary to stroke.
- David Ryder, INP/PhD, 2016
The impact of deep brain stimulation on speech comprehensibility and swallowing in patients with idiopathic Parkinson’s disease.
- Kim Dahl, CMD/MS, 2018
Acoustic measures of transfeminine voices and perceptions of voice femininity.
- Dennis Byrd, INP/PhD, 2019 expected
Motor cortex activity in individuals with Parkinson’s disease
- Christine Clarkin, INP/PhD, 2020 expected
LSVT BIG exercise-induced neuroplasticity in patients with Parkinson’s disease
- Justin Yehle, CMD/MS, 2020 expected
Efficacy of transgender voice training