Our People

Director

Yana Yunusova, Ph.D, CCC-SLP

Dr. Yana Yunusova

Photo Credit: Jason Hang

Dr. Yana Yunusova is a Professor at the Department of Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Toronto. Dr. Yunusova is also the Director of the Speech Production Lab at UofT, the Bulbar Function Lab at Sunnybrook Research Institute and the Vocal Tract Visualization Lab at UHN-Toronto Rehabilitation Institute. Click here to to learn more about Dr. Yunusova’s research.

E-mail: yana.yunusovaATutoronto.ca

Post-doctoral Research Fellow

Ashley Waito, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, SLP(C), Reg. CASLPO

Dr. Ashley Waito is a post-doctoral research fellow at the Bulbar Function Lab – Sunnybrook Research Institute. She completed her Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Sciences (Speech Language Pathology) at the University of Toronto (2019) and clinical Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from University of Alberta (2012). Her research interests relate to the clinical and physiological changes of speech and swallowing in individuals with ALS, including the impact of bulbar impairment on patient and caregiver experiences. Through her work, Ashley aims to guide the role of speech-language pathologists who assess and manage individuals with ALS, identify clinical biomarkers which may aid diagnostic pathways, and evaluate the effectiveness of management options aimed at minimizing the social and participatory impact of complex conditions.

Email: ashley.waitoATmail.utoronto.ca

Diego Guarin, Ph.D., MEng

Dr. Diego Guarin is a post-doctoral research fellow at the Vocal Tract Visualization Lab – UHN-Toronto Rehabilitation Institute. He completed his Ph.D. (2017) and Master’s (2013) in Biomedical Engineering at McGill University. His research interests relate to the application of machine learning techniques to analyze biomedical signals and systems to develop methods to better understand the mechanism of the central nervous system in controlling movement and posture. Through his work, Diego aims to develop new therapies and devices for neurorehabilitation.

Email: diego.guarinATuhn.ca

Research coordinator

Madhura Kulkarni, M.D., M.P.H

Dr. Madhura Kulkarni

Dr. Madhura Kulkarni is the lab manager for the Speech Production Lab at the University of Toronto as well as a research coordinator for ongoing projects at the Bulbar Function Lab at SRI and the VTV lab at UHN-Toronto Rehabilitation Institute. She completed her Masters degree in Public health from the University of Saskatchewan (2013) and her Honors Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery from Ryazan State I.P. Pavlov Medical University (2009) in Russia. She is interested in research related to biostatistics, clinical epidemiology and neurodegenerative diseases.

Email: madhura.kulkarniATsunnybrook.ca

Current Students

Amanda Martino, Ph.D Student


Amanda Martino is pursuing a PhD in Speech-Language Pathology at Rehabilitation Sciences Institute. She completed her Master of Science degree in clinical Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Toronto (2018) and Bachelor of Science in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience at Western University (2016). Her research investigates the neuroimaging underpinnings of bulbar ALS with and without cognitive-linguistic deficits.

Email: amanda.martinoATmail.utoronto.ca

Reeman Marzouqah, Ph.D Student


Reeman Marzouqah is pursuing a PhD in Speech-Language Pathology at Rehabilitation Sciences Institute. She completed her Master of Science degree in clinical Speech-Language Pathology and a Bachelor of Science in Speech and Hearing Sciences at the University of Jordan. Her research investigates the use of exercises to strengthen oro-pharyngeal muscles to treat obstructive sleep apnea post-stroke.

Email: reeman.marzouqahATmail.utoronto.ca

Deniz Jafari, Ph.D Student

Deniz Jafari is pursuing a PhD in Speech-Language Pathology at Rehabilitation Sciences Institute with a specialization in the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering. She completed her Masters in Clinical Engineering (2019) and Bachelors in Engineering Science – Aerospace option (2016) from the University of Toronto. Her research focuses on developing novel assessment methods using facial tracking technology and acoustic measurement for neurological diseases.

Email: deniz.jafariATmail.utoronto.ca

Research Assistants

Aidan Dempster, B.Sc. (Year 2)
Aidan is responsible for developing a code for automatic synchronization of audio and video data during data collection of 3D video data.

Chelsea Tanchip, B.Sc. (Year 4)
Chelsea is currently working on developing and modifying code for automated assessments of acoustic data and analyzing the effect of noisy environments on accuracy of acoustic data measurements.

Farah Wehbe, MHSc
Farah is responsible for checking data quality of and measuring acoustic data as well as assisting graduate students with the projects.

Henry Wang, B.Sc. (Year 2)
Henry is responsible for developing and modifying code for the User Interface used in data collection of audio/video data from the 3D camera.

Mihaela Stefan, MA
Mihaela Stefan is responsible for data quality assurance, post-processing and measurement of acoustic data including making judgements and voice assessments for patients with neurodegenerative diseases.

Niyousha Taati, BSc (Year 4)
Niyousha is responsible for scheduling patients with Parkinsons disease to participate in our research project. Her responsibilities also include assisting in data collection, administering the UPDRS and UDysRS scales, ensuring databases are up to date and checking quality of acoustic data.

Volunteers

Nour Youssef
Priya Sivarajan
Scotia McKinley
Selina Teti

Former graduate students

Sanjana Shellikeri, PhD (2019)

Nicholas Wasylyk, MSc (2018)

Elaine Kearney, PhD (2017)

Andrea Gauster, MSc (2009), M.D.

Krista Rudy, MSc (2011)

Former undergraduate students and research assistants

Armen Bakirtzian Ashkon Pourheidary
Cara Allison Kehoe Derrick Lim
Cindy Cui Haley Park
Jamal Ansari Jaime Cazes
Johnson Dinh Julie Chan
Kent Phuong Lauren Greenwood
Mariam Mekhail Matthew Myers
Michelle Falikowski Peter Zhou
Renuka Giles Shinthuja Wijayasri
Vasily Giannakeas Vincci Tau
Vishwathsen Karthikeyan Wenyi Yin