Leah B. Helou, PhD, CCC-SLP, is a voice-specialized clinician and researcher. Her overarching research interests are centered on mind-voice pathways. Specifically, Helou studies how psychological states and traits impact the voice and vocal motor behaviors. In addition, she completed a post-doctoral fellowship in neurobiology at the Systems Neuroscience Institute at the University of Pittsburgh. There, she investigated the neuroanatomical circuitry underlying cortical control of muscles of breathing and voice. Helou continues to advance each of these programmatic research interests as an assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh. In addition to her research, Helou has been practicing clinically since 2004. Her clinical areas of interest pertain to so-called “functional” voice and laryngeal breathing disorders, as well as voice and communication along the gender spectrum. In 2011, Helou founded the Transgender Voice and Communication Training Program at the University of Pittsburgh Voice Center. These clinical and research interests are both complementary and intertwined, and all converge on the broader theme of “mind-voice pathways,” which is the focus of her work.
Department of Communication Science and Disorders