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Career Profile: Speech-Language Pathologist

Career Profile: Speech-Language Pathologist

Christy Ludlow, Ph.D., Speech-Language Pathologist, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), National Institutes of Health (NIH)

National Institutes of Health: Office of Science Education

What I like best/least about my work…

What I like best about my work is discovering new things. In research, there is a lot of problem solving. Once in a while you get an answer, a new effect, or idea, and that’s a high. That is what keeps me going.

What I like least about my work are the administration responsibilities. Those tasks include filling out request forms for equipment, for appointments of new staff, for clinical protocols, and animal protocols. It takes a lot of time and is not challenging. However it must be done carefully or else the program suffers.

My career goals are…

My career goals are set for both immediate and long-term. My immediate goal involves a new project to help patients with chronic dysphagia as a result of a stroke, brain injury or a brain tumor. These patients can’t eat solid foods or feed themselves and often must be tube feed. I would like to develop a new treatment to help these patients.

For the long term, I would like to contribute new knowledge and understanding of the neurological basis for normal functioning of voice, speech and swallowing. With a better science base, we can develop treatments for dysfunctions affecting the central nervous system that limit voice, speech and swallowing functions.


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