Our Team

Our Research Team, led by Dr. Malandraki, includes a Research Associate, three doctoral students, two graduate students, and multiple research collaborators. Several undergraduate students per semester are also involved in our research projects through Undergraduate Research credit hours.

Research Associate

HHS Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences research associate Barbara Brown, Momentum Maker. Purdue Stuttering Project.  (Mark Simons / Purdue University)

Barbara Brown, MS, CCC-SLP

Research Associate

Short Bio:

Barbara Brown is a certified speech-language pathologist with extensive clinical experience in addition to serving as the project coordinator for NIH-funded grants awarded to Purdue faculty in the areas of the physiology of stuttering, motor speech development, and grammatical morphology in children with specific language impairment. Barbara currently co-teaches the Stuttering course and her interests include evidence-based practice and treatment outcomes in patients with communication and swallowing disorders.

Research Assistants

Cagla Kantarcigil, MS

Cagla Kantarcigil, MS

Doctoral Student (PhD Candidate)

Research interests:

  • Investigating the application of telehealth in dysphagia diagnosis, rehabilitation, and consultation
  • Developing evidence-based protocols for dysphagia rehabilitation

Kara Simon, MS

Doctoral Student

Research interests:

  • Physiology and neurophysiology of swallowing in aging and disease
  • Dual-task paradigms
  • Treatment efficacy research
IMG_1675.JPG [1]

Robert Fujiki, MS


Doctoral Student (Major Advisor: Dr. Sivasankar)

Research interests:

  • Voice physiology: vocal loading; endurance and laryngeal hydration
  • Relationship between swallowing and voice
  • Treatment efficacy research

Valerie Steinhauser, BS


Graduate Student 

Research/Clinical interests:

  • Physiology and neurophysiology of swallowing across the lifespan
  • Dysphagia in people with TBI, stroke, and Parkinson's Disease

Natalie Tomerlin, BS


Graduate Student 

Research/Clinical interests:

  • Swallowing and quality of life outcomes in head and neck cancer patients
  • Rehabilitation and maintenance of swallowing in individuals with neurodegenerative disease


  • Abby Oliver, BS
    • Undergraduate research assistant (2014-2017)
    • Abby is now completing her MS in Speech pathology at Purdue.
  • Naomi (Mia) Dreyer, MS, CFY-SLP
    • Graduate research assistant (2014-2016)
    • Mia is now completing her CFY in California.
  • Lucia Figueiredo-Mourao, PhD
    • Post-Doctoral Researcher (2014-2016)
    • Lucia is a Professor at the Universidade Estadual de Campinas in Brazil.
  • Pratik Kashyap, BS
    • Graduate research assistant (2015-2016)
    • Pratik is a PhD student at the school of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Purdue.
  • Kausar Abbas, PhD
    • Graduate research assistant (2015)
    • Kausar is now a faculty member at the University of Management and Technology in his home country, Pakistan.