The Swallowing Rehabilitation Research Laboratory (SRRL) was founded in 2003 by Professor Catriona Steele. The SRRL is located within Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, an academic teaching hospital, affiliated with the University of Toronto. The lab is funded generously by the National Institutes of Health (USA) and the Canadian Partnership for Stroke Recovery. We also have several industry collaborations.
Swallowing is a process that is easily ignored by healthy people because it is done automatically without much thought. However, when an accident or disease interferes with this automatic process, the results can be devastating. People with degenerative diseases, head and neck cancer, and stroke survivors are prone to swallowing disorders (also known as dysphagia). Studying the causes and treatments of swallowing disorders is the research focus of the lab.
The lab consists of a multidisciplinary group of individuals including speech-language pathologists, PhD students and clinical engineers who are interested in exploring the mechanisms underlying swallowing impairment and finding ways to improve clinical practice and treatment outcomes.