Abigail E. Haenssler, PhD, CCC-SLP

profile photo of abigail
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Communication Sciences and Disorders

Dr. Haenssler joined the Speech and Feeding Disorders Lab at the MGH Institute of Health Professions after completing her PhD at East Carolina University in 2021. Her previous research focused on using MRI to study anatomical variations in individuals with cleft palate and speech and surgical outcomes.  Dr. Haenssler also worked clinically, treating individuals with speech and resonance disorders associated with velopharyngeal dysfunction.

Research Interests

Dr. Haenssler’s research interests include speech acoustics, motor control of speech, resonance disorders, craniofacial anomalies, and velopharyngeal dysfunction.  Dr. Haenssler’s current work focuses on understanding the underlying mechanisms of speech impairment for individuals with ALS and their impact on communication participation. 


PhD, Communication Sciences and Disorders, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC
MS, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Nova Southeastern University, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
BS, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA


Perry JK, Haenssler AE, Kotlarek K, Chen J, Fang X, Guo Y, Mason K, Webb M. Does the type of MRI sequence influence perceived quality and measurement consistency in investigations of the anatomy of the velopharynx? Online ahead of print. 

Haenssler AE, Mann R, Mann S, Perry JL. (In press). An MRI case study: The anatomic cleft restoration concept utilizing buccal flaps in a primary palatoplasty. FACE: Journal of the American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons. 

Haenssler AE, Fang X, Perry JL. (2020). Effective velopharyngeal ratio: A more clinically relevant measure of velopharyngeal function. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 63, 3586-3593.

Haenssler AE, Perry JL. (2020). The effectiveness of the buccal myomucosal flap on speech and surgical outcomes in cleft palate: A systematic review. International Journal of Speech & Language Pathology and Audiology, 8, 50-58.

Haenssler AE, Baylis A, Perry JL, Kollara L, Fang X, Kirschner R. (2020). Impact of cranial base abnormalities on cerebellar volume and the velopharynx in 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome. Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal, 57(4), 412-419.

Kotlarek KJ, Haenssler AE, Hildebrand KE, Perry JL. (2019). Morphological variation of the velum in children and adults using MRI. Imaging Science in Dentistry, 49(2), 153-8. PMID: 31281792 

Perry JL, Chen JY, Kotlarek KJ, Haenssler A, Kuehn DP, Sutton BP, Fang X, Sitzman TJ. (2019). Morphology of the musculus uvulae in vivo using MRI and 3D modeling among adults with normal anatomy and preliminary comparisons to cleft palate anatomy. Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal, 56(8), 993-1000.