Susan Thibeault, PhD

Susan Thibeault, PhD

Director, Developmental Research Program

Dr. Thibeault is a Professor of Surgery, Biomedical Engineering and Communicative Disorders and the Diane M. Bless Endowed Chair of Otolaryngology. She serves as Director of the Developmental Research Program and as a mentor for the Career Enhancement Program of the Wisconsin HN SPORE Grant. The overarching theme of her programmatic research is to further understanding of the biological mecha- nisms of vocal fold injury and repair in normal and cancer lesions. Specifically, her research has focused on translational and clinical investigations of laryngeal disor- ders to characterize critical aspects of dysregulated extracellular matrix deposition. She presently has two main areas of focus in my research laboratory. The first being tissue regeneration of the vocal fold lamina propria. This work involves characterizing cells that may be used for cellular therapy and these include fibroblasts, adult stem cells, and induced pluripotent stem cells. She works with a hyaluronan hydrogel and studies the effects of three dimensional cell culture and vibration with this hydrogel.

The second area of focus in Dr. Thibeault’s laboratory is laryngeal immunology. She is the Director of the Voice and Swallow Clinics at the University of Wisconsin-Madi- son. This is a large clinic that includes many patients who have head and neck cancer. She has been a Speech Language Pathologist for over 20 years and has seen head and neck cancer patients throughout her career for voice restoration and dysphagia. She is specifically interested in determining the relationships among laryngeal cancer, reflux, smoking, and the immune system. She is fortunate to be a member of the NIH Biomaterials and Biointerfaces (BMBI) study section in addition to being on the editorial boards of a number of journals.

Finally, Dr. Thibeault is dedicated to educating the next generation of scientists, and toward that end she mentors junior faculty, Speech Language Pathologists, post/pre doctorates, master, undergraduate and high school students and is Co Director of the NIDCD-sponsored UW Madison T32 Training Grant in Voice Science. She is also the Chair of the Department of Surgery Research Grant Review Committee. This committee is responsible for reviewing, scoring and assigning all grants internally funded by the Department of Surgery. She will use her clinical, administrative, and research experience in head and neck cancer to serve the Wisconsin Head and Neck SPORE.


PhD, University of Wisconsin, Communication Disorders (2001)

MS, State University of New York, Buffalo, NY, Communication Disorders (1992)

BS, University of Western Ontario, Biology (1989)

Academic Appointments

Director, Voice and Swallow Clinics, UWHC

Professor, Surgery, Communication Sciences and Disorders (2013)

Associate Professor, Surgery, Communication Sciences and Disorders (2010)

Assistant Professor, Surgery, Communication Sciences and Disorders (2006)

Affiliate Faculty, Biomedical Engineering (2006)

Selected Honors and Awards

2013 Steven D Gray Resident Research Award, American Bronchoesophageal Association

2012 Journal of Voice Best Basic Science Paper

2011 Editors Award – Best Speech Manuscript, Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research

2011 NSSLHA Mentor Award, Wisconsin Speech Language and Hearing Association

2010 Diane Bless Endowed Chair in Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery

2010 Kay Pentax Lecturer, American Speech Language and Hearing Association

2007 Robin Cotton Lecturer, American Academy of OHNS

2006 Young Faculty Award, American Laryngological Association

2005 Award for Early Career Contributions in Research, American Speech Language Hearing Association

Boards, Advisory Committees and Professional Organizations

1992-pres. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

1997-pres. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, SIG 3 Voice & Voice Disorders

2003-pres. Voice Foundation

2003-pres. Ad Hoc Reviewer NIDCD, NIH R03, R13, K01 and K08

2003-pres. Ad Hoc Reviewer Motor Function Speech Rehab Study Section, NIH

2003-pres. Editorial Board Journal of Voice

2005-pres. International Association of Phonosurgery

2005-pres. Editorial Board Annals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology

2006-pres. American Speech-Language-Hearing Assoc, SIG13 Swallowing & Swallowing Disorders

2006-pres. American Laryngological Association, Associate Fellow

2007-pres. International Society of Hyaluronan Sciences

2007-pres. American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery

2011-pres. Senior Editorial Board, American Journal of Stem Cells

2012-pres. Study Section Member, Biomaterials and Biointerfaces

Contact Information

Susan Thibeault, PhD

1111 Highland Avenue, 5107 WIMR,
Madison, WI 53705