Lauren Tabor

Lauren joined the Rehabilitation Science program in summer 2015. She is mentored by Dr. Emily Plowman.

What has been your experience in the Rehabilitation Science program? What have you enjoyed most about the program?

There are many aspects of the Rehabilitation Science program that I think set it apart including the translational collaboration, breadth of research areas and passionate and established researchers and professors, all of which I admire and aspire to emulate in my future research and academic career. Coming from a background in speech-language pathology, I didn’t have exposure to so many different areas of rehabilitation science and research, which is definitely a highlight of the program for me here at UF. As a result, Drs. Plowman and Humbert are consistently providing new and exciting opportunities for the Swallowing Systems Core lab to take part in collaborations with outside researchers.  I truly believe the interdisciplinary nature and high standards set within the program will make me the best possible researcher and professor, and am very grateful for the opportunity to complete my PhD here.

What are you currently researching?

Individuals with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis develop dysphagia, or swallowing impairment, which contributes to malnutrition, pneumonia, reduced quality of life and morbidity. Currently, no evidence-based dysphagia treatment and management strategies exist for bulbar dysfunction resulting in primarily palliative care for these individuals. Therefore, my current research is focused on identifying the pathophysiological mechanisms of swallowing impairment in individuals with ALS. Specifically, utilizing frame-by-frame and pixel-based analytical tools to objectively identify impairments in both swallowing efficiency and airway safety, and ultimately determine appropriate dysphagia management strategies using biofeedback to maximize therapy outcomes.

What awards have you received and what have you published or presented? 


  1. Tabor, LC, Rosado, K, Robison, R, Hegland, K, Humbert, I & Plowman, EK (2016) Respiratory Training in an Individual with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology. Accepted for publication 7/2016
  2. Watts, S, Tabor, LC & Plowman EK (2016). To Cough or Not to Cough? Examining the Potential Utility of Cough Testing in the Clinical Evaluation of Swallowing. (2016). Current Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Reports. (Under review).
  3. Tabor LC, Gaziano J, Watts S, Robison R, Plowman EK (2016) Defining Swallowing-Related Quality of Life Profiles in Individuals with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Dysphagia. doi:10.1007/s00455-015-9686-2
  4. Plowman EK, Tabor LC, Robison R, Gaziano J, Dion C, Watts SA, Vu T, Gooch C (2016) Discriminant ability of the Eating Assessment Tool-10 to detect aspiration in individuals with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Neurogastroenterology and motility : the official journal of the European Gastrointestinal Motility Society 28 (1):85-90. doi:10.1111/nmo.12700
  5. Plowman EK, Watts SA, Robison R, Tabor LC, Dion C, Gaziano J, Vu T, Gooch C (2016) Voluntary Cough Airflow Differentiates Safe Versus Unsafe Swallowing in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Dysphagia. doi:10.1007/s00455-015-9687-1
  6. Tabor, LC & Plowman EK (2016). Neurodegenerative Swallowing Disorders. InSuiter, D. & Gosa, M, Dysphagia. Thieme Publishers, Anticipated publication December2016.
  7. Tabor, LC, & Plowman, EK, Living with ALS: adjusting to swallowing difficulty. ALSA Patient Handbooks, Anticipated publication December 2016
  8. Plowman EK, Watts SA, Tabor LC, Robison R, Gaziano J, Domer AS, Richter J, Vu T, Gooch C (2015) Impact of expiratory strength training in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Muscle & nerve. doi:10.1002/mus.2499

Published Abstracts:

  1. Plowman, E.K., Tabor, LC, Robison, R., Watts, S., Gaziano, J., Rosado, MK., Richter,J., Vu T., & Gooch, C. (2015) Discriminate Ability of the Eating Assessment Tool for predicting aspiration, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia, Volume 16, November 2015.
  2. Plowman, E.K., Tabor, LC, Rosado, MK., Robison, R., Gaziano, J., Richter, J., Vu T.,& Gooch, C. (2015). Randomized sham control trial of EMST on bulbar function. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia, Volume 16, November, 2015



  1. FLASHA 2016 Oral Presentation-“Preserving Respiratory and Bulbar Function in ALS”, Orlando, FL
  2. ASHA 2015 Oral Presentation-“Role of the Speech-Language Pathologist in the Multidisciplinary ALS Clinic: Insights Learned & Shared”, Denver, CO
  3. NEALS 2015 Poster Presentation-“Defining Swallowing-Related Quality of Life Profiles in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis”, Clearwater, FL
  4. No-Tech to Go-Tech Conference 2015-Oral Presentation-“Dysphagia Screening in ALS: The Utility of Patient Report Scales”, Christchurch, New Zealand


  1. 2015 ASHA (American Speech-Language Hearing Association) Research Mentoring-Pair Travel Award