2017 Fall Voice Conference
October 12-14, 2017
The Ritz-Carlton, Pentagon City - Washington, DC

Keynote Speakers

Joseph C. Stemple, PhD, CCC-SLP, ASHAF

Communication Sciences & Disorders
College of Health Sciences
University of Kentucky

Dr. Stemple received his Ph.D. in Communication Disorders from the University of Cincinnati in 1977. He joined the faculty in the UK Division of Communication Sciences and Disorders in 2005 following a 30-year clinical career as founder and director of the Blaine Block Institute for Voice Analysis and Rehabilitation, Dayton, OH, and the Professional Voice Center of Greater Cincinnati. He used these clinical and administrative skills to guide the development of UK's Voice and Swallow Clinic. He holds a joint appointment with the Department of Otolaryngology and is Affiliate Faculty with the UK Graduate Center for Gerontology.

Dr. Stemple is the author of the texts Voice Therapy: Clinical Studies (4th ed) and Clinical Voice Pathology: Theory and Management (5th ed) (Plural Publishing, Inc, 2014) as well as research articles and text chapters related to clinical voice disorders. Dr. Stemple is an active national and international speaker and lecturer on topics related to evaluation and management of voice disorders. He is a Fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

Scholarly Focus
Dr. Stemple's research involves a translational study of various aspects of the aging voice including epidemiology, treatment outcomes, and the biology and physiology of aging laryngeal muscles.

Educational Focus
Dr. Stemple teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in Communication Sciences and Disorders related to voice production and treatment and research methods. He also mentors and teaches doctoral students in the Rehabilitation Sciences Doctoral Program and supervises Research Apprenticeships and Independent Studies of the Ph.D. students.

Nikki Johnston, PhD

Associate Professor
Otolaryngology & Communication Sciences, Division of Research
Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
Medical College of Wisconsin

Research Focus:
  • Extraesophageal reflux
  • Use of pepsin as a marker for extraesophageal reflux
  • Uptake of pepsin by laryngeal epithelial cells & its role in reflux - attributed laryngeal injury & disease
  • Isolate and identification of the receptor with which pepsin interacts on laryngeal epithelial cells
  • New therapeutics for reflux (pepsin inhibitors/receptor antagonists)
  • Role of reflux, specifically pepsin, in laryngopharyngeal cancers
  • Role of pepsin in Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal adenocarcinoma
PhD: University of Dundee, United Kingdom (2002)

Dr. Johnston’s research laboratory aims to test pepsin, as a marker for reflux, in clinical tissue and secretion samples from patients with diseases of the upper airway, demonstrate the effect of nonacid pepsin on respiratory epithelium using in vitro and in vivo models, and identify the molecular signaling pathways through which nonacid pepsin elicits cell damage. She has been investigating the role of reflux, specifically pepsin, in injury and disease of the aero-digestive tract for several years now. Dr. Johnston has presented this work at national and international scientific and clinical meetings and directed two international conferences on extra-esophageal reflux disease, the future: diagnosis and treatment. She has published the data in several peer reviewed journals, contributed chapters for reflux-related books, and edited a book on this subject.

In addition to investigating the role of pepsin as a diagnostic marker for reflux and its role in the pathophysiology of reflux-attributed inflammatory disease, her group has highlighted a potential role for pepsin in carcinogenesis of the laryngopharynx. Her research team is currently performing experiments to elucidate pepsin as a promoter/causal agent involved in early events of carcinoma in the laryngopharynx, and to investigate the mechanism by which pepsin causes/contributes to inflammation and carcinogenesis in the laryngopharynx.