NIH awards grant to Konczak lab to develop technology for treating a voice disorder

Jürgen Konczk, Ph.D.
Arash Mahnan, Ph.D. student

Jürgen Konczak, Ph.D., professor in the School of Kinesiology is the principal investigator on an NIH funded grant program administered through the University’s Office of Discovery and Translation that seeks to promote new therapies for rare diseases. The project will design and build a device that will improve the symptoms of a voice disorder called spasmodic dysphonia (SD).

People with SD experience involuntary spasms of the laryngeal musculature that leads to a strained or choked speech. There is no cure for the disease and speech therapy is ineffective. The device will alter how it feels when one speaks. The idea behind the technology is that this sensory trick will help patients to improve their voice quality.  The device development and its testing will be conducted in Konczak’s Human Sensorimotor Control Laboratory.

Arash Mahnan, biomedical engineer and doctoral student in the HSC lab will serve as primary research assistant for this project.