Did you know that voice disorders are an emerging global health problem?
In fact, voice disorders affect nearly 30% of the general population and 80% of professional voice users (such as teachers, singers, etc.) who rely on their voice to make a living! Here at the Voice and Upper Airway Research Laboratory (VUA Lab), we focus on advancing personalized medicine in voice and upper airway
disorders, with the ultimate goal of guiding surgeons and speech pathologists in the best methods to repair voices that have been lost.
Have you heard of the larynx? Commonly known as the “voice box”, this remarkable organ plays a very important role in our bodies; not only does it house our vocal folds, which are responsible for producing our voice, but it is also involved in breathing and swallowing. Pretty amazing, right? At the VUA Lab, we conduct in-depth research on the larynx and different areas of voice so that we can understand voice production and voice disorders from multiple facets.
Our projects include conducting molecular research to determine what drives the vocal fold injury and repair processes after surgical and vocal trauma, creating computer models to simulate patient-specific voice injuries and healing responses, and investigating the role of the central and peripheral nervous systems in individuals’ perception of vocal fatigue. In collaboration with engineers and surgeons, we are also developing non-invasive methods to facilitate the assessment of vocal fold pathology, creating 3D printable biomaterial for vocal fold reconstruction, as well as wearable e-health devices for voice safety monitoring.
So, if you are fascinated by voice and want to learn more about our cutting-edge research, come visit the VUA lab and help us give a voice to everyone!
Please contact Dr. nicole.li-jessen [at] mcgill.ca (Nicole Li-Jessen)