Marjorie Nicholas, PhD, CCC-SLP, FASHA, is Chair of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, and is a professor specializing in adult neurogenic communication disorders.

She founded the MGH Institute's onsite Aphasia Center, which provides diagnostic and treatment services to adults with aphasia and related communication impairments. The Aphasia Center operates on the Life Participation Approach to Aphasia (LPAA) model.

Prior to joining the MGH Institute, she was a speech-language pathologist for over 15 years at the VA Boston Healthcare System.

She has co-authored numerous research articles on aphasia and language in normal aging, and is co-author of various assessment and treatment materials for aphasia including the book, Manual of Aphasia and Aphasia Therapy (3rd edition), the Boston Assessment of Severe Aphasia (BASA), the Sentence Production Program for Aphasia (SPPA), and the C-Speak Aphasia software program.

She also is a research collaborator with Dr. Lisa Tabor Connor at Washington University St. Louis on investigations of factors related to life participation in people with and without aphasia post-stroke.

Dr. Nicholas became a Fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (FASHA) in 2017.

  • BA, Linguistics, Brown University, Providence, RI
  • MS, Communication Disorders, Boston University, Boston, MA
  • PhD, Communication Disorders, Emerson College, Boston, MA

Research Interests

Dr. Nicholas' research interests focus on the treatment of severe aphasia, and in particular on the cognitive and neuroanatomical mechanisms underlying patterns of recovery. She also conducts research on nonverbal cognition and social support in people with aphasia and on the relation between cognitive and linguistic impairments as well as environmental supports to quality of life and life participation post-stroke.


Lee, Y., Nicholas, M., and Connor, L.T. (2022). Understanding psychosocial influences on participation in cognitively-, physically-, and socially-demanding activities after stroke. Poster at the OT Summit of Scholars, Madison, WI.

Ianni, C., Magee, L., Dagli, C., Nicholas, M., Connor, L.T. (2022). Self-Reported Emotional Health & Social Support but not Executive Function Predict Participation After Mild Stroke. Poster at AOTA INSPIRE 2022, San Antonio TX, and virtually.

Metrano, A., Nicholas, M., Vallila-Rohter, S., Zipse, L., & Pennington, S. (2021). Understanding event processing in people with aphasia. Poster at the annual convention of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association, Washington, D.C.

Nicholas, M., Pittmann, R., Pennington, S., Savastano, M., Senecal, E., Hildebrand, M., Ambrosi, D. & Brady Wagner, L. (2018). S-IHP’s CAP: Interprofessional intensive comprehensive aphasia program for life participation: lessons learned across three years. Seminar at the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) annual convention, Boston, MA.

Lovette, B. Nicholas, M., Helm-Estabrooks, N., Eichstadt, T. (2018). Why we must assess nonlinguistic cognition in people with aphasia and how to do it. Seminar at the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) annual convention, Boston, MA.

Lee, Y., Fritz, K., Dagli, C., Nicholas, M., Connor, L. (2022). Social support fully mediates the association between communication abilities and social participation among persons with post-stroke aphasia. Aphasiology.

Nicholas, M. & Helm-Estabrooks, N. (2021). Communicative Drawing Therapy for People with Severe Aphasia. Chapter in S. Rubio-Bruno and A. Ardila (Eds.), La Afasia por Expertos, Buenos Aires: Libreria Akadia Editorial.

Nicholas, M., Pittmann, R., Pennington, S., Hildebrand, M., Connor, L.T., Ambrosi, D., Brady Wagner, L., Savastano, M. (2021). Outcomes of an interprofessional intensive comprehensive aphasia program’s first five years. Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation.

Nicholas, M., Hunsaker, E. & Guarino, A.J. (2017). The relation between language, non-verbal cognition and quality of life in people with aphasia, Aphasiology, 31:6, 688-702, DOI: 10.1080/02687038.2015.1076927

Nicholas, M., Sinotte, M.P., & Helm-Estabrooks, N. (2011). C-Speak Aphasia alternative communication program for people with severe aphasia: Importance of executive functioning and semantic knowledge. Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, 21(3), 322-366.

Contact Information

Awards and Honors

Fellow of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association, 2017

Fellowship is one of the highest honors the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) bestows. To be awarded Fellow, the nominee must have made outstanding contributions to the discipline of communication sciences and disorders.