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Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Program

Leslie Mahler

Assistant Professor
Communicative Disorders
(401) 874-2490

Leslie Mahler, PhD, CCC-SLP, is an assistant Professor in the Department of Communicative Disorders. Leslie received a dual doctorate in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences and Neuroscience at the University of Colorado-Boulder in 2006 and has over 30 years of clinical experience working primarily in a hospital setting treating adults with neurological and disorders. She is actively involved in research investigating the efficacy of communication and swallow treatment in Parkinson's disease, Down syndrome, and stroke and has made numerous presentations at national and international conferences. She is a certified clinician in the LSVT® LOUD, an efficacious treatment approach for improving voice and speech function for people with Parkinson disease.

Leslie teaches courses in acquired cognitive disorders, voice disorders, dysphagia, medical speech language pathology, clinical pre-practicum, and phonetics. Leslie's current research interests are in the area of behavioral treatment of motor speech disorders following stroke and for individuals with Down syndrome and Parkinson disease. She is interested in translating principles of neuroplasticity into clinical practice to improve treatment outcomes.

Personal Statement: One of my goals for teaching at the University of Rhode Island is to combine extensive hospital-based clinical experience with research on the efficacy of behavioral treatment for adults with motor speech and voice disorders. It is critically important to bridge academic and clinical teaching to train students to be speech-language pathologists. My classes integrate clinical observations, development of relevant clinical skills, and analysis of clinical cases to provide students the opportunity to synthesize information from lectures and text books into a clinical context.

Courses Taught:

CMD 273 Phonetics
CMD 492 Special Problems
CMD 560 Voice Disorders
CMD 565 Pre-Practicum
CMD 571 Medical Speech-Language Pathology
CMD 581 Dysphagia
CMD 583 Acquired Cognitive Communication Disorders
CMD 598 Special Problems

Recent Publications:

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. PMC Journal – In Press.

Mahler, L. & Jones, H.N. (in press). Intensive treatment of dysarthria in two adults with Down syndrome. Developmental Neurorehabilitation.

Mahler, L. & Ramig, L.O. (in revision). Intensive voice treatment of dysarthria secondary to stroke. Journal of Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics.

Mahler, L. (in submission). Intensive treatment of dysarthria in an adult with cerebral palsy. Journal of Pediatric Rehabilitation.

Book Chapters:

Mahler, L., Ciucci, M., Ramig, L., & Fox, C. (2008). Swallowing problems in Parkinson's disease. In Trail, M., Protos, E., & Lai, E. (Eds). Neurorehabilitation in Parkinson's disease: An evidence based treatment model. SLACK Inc. Professional Book Division, Thorofare, NJ, pp. 279-294.

Fox, C., Ramig, L., Halpern, A., Petska, J., & Mahler, L. (2008). A speech therapy home program for patients with Parkinson's disease. In Trail, M., Protos, E., & Lai, E. (Eds). Neurorehabilitation in Parkinson's disease: An evidence based treatment model. SLACK Inc. Professional Book Division, Thorofare, NJ, pp. 245-276.

Fox, C., Ramig, L., Sapir, S., Halpern, A., Petska, J., & Mahler, L., Farley, B. (2008). Voice and speech disorders in Parkinson's disease and their treatment.. In Trail, M., Protos, E., & Lai, E. (Eds). Neurorehabilitation in Parkinson's disease: An evidence based treatment model. SLACK Inc. Professional Book Division, Thorofare, NJ, pp. 297-307.

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.

Research Awards:

Co-Principal Investigators, Mahler, L. & Marcoux, B. An Intensive Motor Training Approach to Communication and Movement Disorders for Individuals with Parkinson's Disease. College of Human Sciences and Services Research Partnership with physical therapy ($5,000), University of Rhode Island (2009-2010).

Mahler, L., Principal Investigator: Kovarsky, D., Connors, B., Marcoux, B. 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., Jacks, A. & 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-July 1, 2013

The Program

The Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Program (INP) offers a Master of Science (M.S.) degree, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree, or a Certificate in the Neurosciences. The program provides broad instruction across several neuroscience disciplines and gives students an opportunity to focus on a specific area of specialization.

Executive Committee Organizational Chart



Request for Proposals Rhode Island Neuroscience Collaborative Pilot Study Awards - Deadline for Applications: April15, 2014