Skip to main content

College of Liberal Arts
Voice Physiology Laboratory

About Us

Building upon Dr. Sandage’s decades of clinical work in voice, upper airway, swallowing, and craniofacial disorders and her doctoral training in applied exercise science, the Voice Physiology Laboratory conducts research that merges basic muscle physiology and exercise performance testing practices with the study of voice and upper airway function. Dr. Sandage was the first voice scientist in the world to earn a doctoral degree in exercise science and her innovative scholarship approaches laryngeal physiology from several aspects: 1) basic and applied research to characterize the metabolic demand of the intrinsic laryngeal skeletal muscles to better apply voice habilitation and rehabilitation programs for occupation-specific voice requirements (vocal dose, vocal power, and vocal ergonomics), 2) develop habilitation and rehabilitation training programs that honor client specific voice needs based on principles of muscle physiology, 3) develop standardized clinical approaches and clarify the differential diagnoses process for upper airway disorders (chronic refractory cough and inducible laryngeal obstruction), and 4) further characterize laryngeal function for women in perimenopause and menopause who are taking hormone replacement therapy and have comorbid health conditions. The work conducted in this laboratory is primarily interprofessional in nature with research collaborations established with the Depts. of Music, Theatre, Biological Sciences, Mathematics and Statistics, and the School of Kinesiology at Auburn University. Dr. Sandage also presently collaborates with colleagues at New York University, Stanford University, and Indiana University.

Areas of Research

  • Voice and upper airway physiology
  • Influence of hormones on vocal function in women
  • Health disparities - Equitable access to voice and upper airway assessment and treatment
  • Therapy outcome measures in upper airway disorders
  • Standardization of vocal function measures
  • Upper airway thermoregulation

Laboratory Equipment

  • Laryngeal imaging (stroboscopy and high speed)
  • Acoustic and aerodynamic equipment
  • Vocal dosimetry
  • Upper airway thermoregulation monitoring