Jeff Searl is a professor in the Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders (CSD). He is the Director of the Undergraduate Program in CSD. Dr. Searl is the director of the Lip-Tongue-Larynx Lab (LTL Lab) focused on studying the impacts of cancer and other diseases on speech and voice production. The goal of his research is to identify or develop best clinical practices that preserve, rehabilitate, or optimize communication in the presence of these diseases.
Dr. Searl examines voice and speech production from multiple perspectives utilizing physiological, acoustic, and auditory-perceptual methodologies. He approaches the study of communication as a licensed and certified speech-language pathologist with extensive experience treating laryngeal voice disorders, alaryngeal communication disorders (that is, after the larynx is removed), and speech and communication issues after surgical or oncological treatment of oral-pharyngeal cancer. Of particular interest over the past several years is understanding issues of effort and fatigue associated with communicating when a person has an altered speech system. Findings clinical approaches to minimize effort is a primary motivation for the research done in the LTL Lab.
Dr. Searl also has a strong interest in building a well-qualified workforce of speech-language pathologists and other healthcare providers who can provide evidence-based interventions for people with head and neck cancer. In pursuit of this goal, Dr. Searl is working to develop innovative simulation trainings in collaboration with experts in simulation training, virtual reality app development, and interprofessional education and training. Additionally, Dr. Searl works with several non-profit organizations to plan and execute training conferences for students and practicing clinicians.
Dr. Searl earned his BA in Psychology from Santa Clara University followed by hi MA and Ph.D. degrees in speech-language pathology from the University of Kansas. He is a Fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and has held several leadership positions in this and other professional organizations.