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Rob is a certified speech-language pathologist and PhD student in the Department of Communication Science and Disorders at the University of Pittsburgh. He also holds a TL1 predoctoral fellowship in the Institute of Clinical Research Education. He has worked in clinical inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation settings, primarily with patients with neurogenic communication disorders stemming from stroke, traumatic brain injury and degenerative diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, multiple sclerosis and dementia. His research currently focuses on the translation and clinical implementation of treatments for aphasia.

Aphasia is a language disorder caused by brain injury that directly impacts individuals’ ability to use language in their everyday life (e.g., talking, listening, reading, and writing). Aphasia can have substantial impacts on health-related quality of life, life participation, and overall well-being. There are 2-4 million people with aphasia in North America today.

My research currently focuses on specifying treatments for aphasia in order to improve their efficacy, efficiency, and clinical effectiveness. I am interested in understanding how treatment ingredients can facilitate generalization to outcomes prioritized by people with aphasia (e.g., connected speech). When implemented via technology, aphasia treatments can use more complex paradigms, collect data necessary to refine treatment efficacy, provide individuals with aphasia access to greater treatment intensity, and allow highly valued face-to-face clinical time to focus on counseling, goal setting, and life participation.

My hope is that this work will improve clinician’s ability to integrate treatments that address language difficulties, communication skills, life participation and well-being, even with today’s clinical practice constraints. To achieve these goals, my research leverages quantitative methods such as multilevel modeling, Bayesian statistics, and natural language processing tools. I’ve developed advanced skills in statistical programming (R, python), using tools like R {shiny} for science communication or making research products available to clinicians. I’m passionate about increasing open science practices in aphasia research and identifying small tech-focused projects with a potential for large impact, such as, which helps aims to help people with aphasia find aphasia research studies.


Department of Communication Science and Disorders


Doctor of Philosophy in Communication Science and Disorders


  • ANCDS Conference Student Fellowship
  • NIH-NIDCD Academy of Aphasia conference grant (R13 DC017375-01)
  • NIH-NIDCD Fellowship: Research Symposium in Clinical Aphasiology
  • Adult Communication Disorders Annual Scholarship, UNC-Chapel Hill
  • Robert W. Peters Award for excellence in research, UNC-Chapel Hill

Representative Publications

Research Interests

  • Aphasia treatment outcomes

  • Implementation science

  • Quantitative methods & open science

Research Grants

  • (pending) NIH-NIDCD NRSA individual predoctoral fellowship: Determinants of multilevel discourse outcomes in anomia treatment for aphasia
  • The University of Pittsburgh CTSI–Clinical and Translational Science Fellowship: Comparing Treatment Intensity between Research and Clinical Practice in Post-Stroke Aphasia 
  • School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Research Development Fund

Ongoing Projects:

  • Determinants of Multilevel Discourse Outcomes in Anomia Treatment for Aphasia
  • Integrating Complementary Learning Principles in Aphasia Rehabilitation through Adaptive Modeling,