The mission of the Voice Outcomes and the Inquiry of Cough and Essentials in Swallowing (VOICES) Lab (P.I. Laurie Slovarp, PhD) at The University of Montana is to conduct research that has a direct impact on clinical management and quality of life of patients with chronic cough and related upper airway disorders. 

People and Places

Dr. Laurie Slovarp, PhD, CCC-SLP, BCS-S, the director of the VOICES Lab, is an expert in dysphagia (i.e., swallowing disorder), voice, and upper airway disorders. She worked as a medical speech-language pathologist for 10 years before pursuing her PhD. Her extensive clinical experience guides the research in the VOICES Lab. In early 2019, Dr. Slovarp received Investigational New Drug authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to begin a clinical trial investigating a new treatment that combines elements of progressive desensitization paired with behavioral cough therapy. 

Other ongoing studies in the VOICES Lab include (1) creation and validation of a self-report screening tool for physicians to use to help identify patients with chronic cough who are good candidates for behavioral cough therapy (BCT) and (2) investigating the underlying mechanisms that explain the treatment effect of BCT.


Research within the VOICES Lab is focused on improving standards of care for patients with dysphagia and chronic cough. 
The ultimate goals of the lab include:

  • Improve efficiency and cost-effectiveness of care of patients with chronic cough.
  • Develop and research new and innovative assessment and treatment strategies that target gaps and inadequacies in current management techniques and models for patients with chronic cough and related upper airway disorders.
  • Understand the underlying mechanisms involved in cough hypersensitivity and behavioural cough treatment.

Click here to read more about current research in the VOICES lab.