Many exciting projects are underway in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders providing undergraduate and graduate students with opportunities to learn through research. In addition to individual faculty- and student-led projects, active research laboratories address a broad range of topics in speech, hearing, and language. Current investigations include studies in audiogenomics; tinnitus; cell and molecular pathology related to cellular repair, neuroaudiology, and brain injury; evaluation and treatment of cognitive-communication disorders; and early speech and language development.
Below is a description of our laboratories and some of our current research activities.
O’neil Guthrie, PhD, CCC-A: Cell and Molecular Pathology Laboratory Accordion Closed
Dr. O’neil W. Guthrie received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from the State University of New York campuses at Geneseo and Fredonia. He completed research training in molecular biology and audiology at the University of Pittsburgh where he earned a Ph.D. He then completed postdoctoral training in molecular genetics at Duke University where he was awarded the Hargett Cell Biology Fellowship. In addition to his research credentials, he is also a licensed clinical audiologist with over 15 years of diagnostic and rehabilitation experiences. His basic science research program is focused on revealing molecular mechanisms that regulate the integrity of active genes and the engineering of biomedical approaches to enhance the capacity of cells to protect their DNA. To this end, Dr. Guthrie’s research group employs a range of genetic, epigenetic, molecular and pharmacologic strategies to regulate cellular DNA repair capacity. The research from this work has led to patented and unpatented molecular constructs that could affect clinical outcomes. In addition to his basic science research program, Dr. Guthrie is also interested in translational research that improves clinical and epidemiology outcomes. His research on the interaction between jet-propulsion fuel and background noise exposure has revealed that such combined exposures can disrupt brain functions without peripheral nervous system impairment or hearing loss. This work challenges federal, state and local regulators to consider auditory brain dysfunctions in regulations that govern civilian and military work exposures. His research has been generously supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department of Defense (DoD/Air Force) and the Veterans Administration. Dr. Guthrie is the Principal Investigator for the Cell and Molecular Pathology Laboratory (CMPL) in Wettaw biochemistry.
Emi Isaki, PhD, CCC-SLP: Adult Cognitive-Communication Laboratory Accordion Closed
Emi Isaki taught at the U of Hawaii in Manoa before joining the NAU faculty. As a medical speech-language pathologist, she worked with adults with neurogenic communication disorders in a variety of settings (i.e., acute care, outpatient services, rehabilitation, and skilled nursing facilities). Her areas of expertise include: traumatic brain injury (TBI) rehabilitation for adults, pragmatic/social communication skills, community re-entry for adults with neurogenic disorders, and multicultural communication. Her current research focuses on cognitive-communication screening of concussion/mild TBI and the timing of therapy, and the use of telepractice for service delivery and supervision of graduate student clinicians. Additionally, she mentors students involved in adult neurogenic research projects. She also supervises graduate student clinicians in the NAU Speech and Hearing Clinic who evaluate and treat clients with aphasia, right hemisphere disorders, pragmatic deficits, and cognitive-communication disorders.
- Website: Adult Cognitive-Communication Laboratory
- Graduate Research Assistants (CSD): Amy C., Alicia C., Leia C., Delany C.
Anna Sosa, PhD, CCC-SLP: Child Speech and Language Lab Accordion Closed
Anna Sosa completed her PhD in Speech and Hearing Sciences at the University of Washington in 2008. Prior to joining the NAU faculty in 2009, she worked as a school-based Speech Language Pathologist in Washington State. Her research focuses on the relationship between lexical and phonological development in young children with typical and delayed speech and language development. She supervises graduate students in the NAU clinic in the areas of evaluation and assessment of infants and toddlers and phonology and articulation intervention.