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About me

Adjunct professor at the Division of Speech and Language Pathology, Clintec, KI, employed by Karolinska University Hospital, the Functional Area Speech and Language Pathology as a speech language pathologist.

My main field of interest within speech and language pathology is assessment and intervention of patients with different types of voice disorders and development of outcome measures for interventions such as voice therapy and phonosurgery. I got my PhD in 1994 at Karolinska Institutet with the thesis "Vocal fold closure during phonation - physiological, perceptual, and acoustic studies". I was a Fulbright fellow at Columbia University in New York 1983-1984, became associate professor at KI 2006 and adjunct professor at KI 2019.

Research description

Research areas

The research area "Voice and speech in persons with gender dysphoria" includes several projects. One is a prospective controlled treatment study of transwomen, people who are assigned male sex at birth and who identify themselves as women. Many need feminizing voice treatment to find a  voice congruent with their gender identity. Some also need pitch-raising vocal fold surgery. The ongoing treatment study is carried out in collaboration with researchers at LaTrobe University in Australia. The purpose is to investigate effects and efficiency of feminizing voice therapy and identify predictors for good treatment results. Other projects are to develop questionnaires for both transwomen and transmen regarding their voice and communication in relationship to their gender identity. Studies about testosterone’s impact on the vocal folds and the voice are ongoing in collaboration with PhD Ulrika Nygren, and Professor Agneta Nordenskjöld.   In the area ​​"Work-related voice disorders and voice ergonomics", voice use is studied with a portable voice accumulator, which can measure the speaker's voice activity, and the level of the noise in the environment up to a week's time. Voice data is stored in a database from which the covariation between voice usage, noise level and self-perceived voice problems can be mapped. Results have been presented in a thesis by Annika Szabo Portela (2017). The portable voice meter is also used in Joakim Körner Gustavsson's doctoral project, in which patients with Parkinson's disease are included. These patients have often very weak voices. A tactile feedback function is tested to help the patient to speak with a louder voice.

Education

Teaching area

Course director for "Voice Disorders" (6 credits) and Medicine 5 (4.5credits) as part of the speech and language pathology program at KI. Teacher/supervisor for students during their clinical placement training. Has been the course director for many free standing courses at advanced level. The most recent ones are "Voice and speech in transsexual individuals - assessment and intervention" (7.5 credits) and "Voice disorders and voice ergonomics" (7.5 p). I regularly supervise thesis projects and master's theses. I am currently co-supervisor to the doctoral student Joakim Körner Gustafsson and am planning for other doctoral students. I participate in teacher exchange within the ERASMUS program with University of Sheffield in England, Copenhagen University in Denmark and Åbo Akademi in Finland. I was recently a visiting professor at the University of Tampere.

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