Dr. Robert Hillman is an Adjunct Professor in Communication Sciences and Disorders, and was the Founder and Former Director of the Interdisciplinary PhD  Program in Rehabilitation Sciences at MGH Institute of Health Professions. He also served as Director of Research Programs at the Institute 2008-2018.

Dr. Hillman is also currently the Co-Director and Research Director of the Center for Laryngeal Surgery and Voice Rehabilitation at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Professor of Surgery and a member of the Speech and Hearing Bioscience and Technology faculty at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Hillman has been awarded over 26 grants from governmental and private sources to support his research. He has had research funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) since 1984. His research and over 150 publications have focused primarily on developing methods for improving the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of voice and airway disorders.

In the past Dr. Hillman has been actively involved in the design and review of research programs at NIH, having served on the "Expert Panel on Voice and Voice Disorders to Update the National Strategic Research Plan" for the National Institute for Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, and as a project site visitor for the National Cancer Institute, as a core member of the Motor Function and Speech Rehabilitation Study Section at the NIH Center for Scientific Review, and as a Member of the Advisory Council for the  National Institute for Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. He has also served as an editorial consultant and on the editorial boards of several professional journals and has been an invited/keynote speaker at over 50 national and international meetings.

Dr. Hillman is an elected Fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and is one of only a small number of speech-language pathologists in the country to be elected as an Associate Member of the American Laryngological Association and the - American Bronchoesophalogical Association - both  physician organizations.

Dr. Hillman has received numerous awards for his work including the Editor’s Award from the Journal of Speech and Hearing Research of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association , Casselberry Award from the American Laryngological Association, Alumni Fellow and Distinguished Alumni Awards from the Pennsylvania State University,  two Broyles-Maloney Awards from the American Bronchoesophalogical Association,  Manuel Garcia Prize (2010) from the International Association of Logopedics and Phoniatrics,  Willard R. Zemlin Lecture and Award from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Special Interest Division for Speech Science,  Honors of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association,  Certificate of Achievement from the Voice Foundation, and Kawana Lifetime Achievement Award from the Publications Board of the  American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. 

  • BS, Speech Pathology, Pennsylvania State University
  • MS, Speech Pathology, Pennsylvania State University
  • PhD, Speech Science, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

Research Interests

  • Mechanisms for normal and disordered voice production
  • Evaluation and development of methods for alaryngeal (laryngectomy) speech rehabilitation
  • Development of objective physiologic and acoustic measures of voice and speech production
  • Evaluation of methods used to treat voice disorders.

J. H. Van Stan, D. D. Mehta, D. Sternad, R. J. Petit, R. E. Hillman (2017). Ambulatory voice biofeedback: relative frequency and summary feedback effects on performance and retention of reduced vocal intensity in the daily lives of participants with normal voices. Journal of Speech-Language and Hearing Research, 60 (4), 853-864.

V. M. Espinoza, M. Zanartu, J. H. Van Stan, D. D. Mehta, R. E. Hillman (2017). Glottal aerodynamic measures in adult females with phonotraumatic and non-phonotraumatic vocal hyperfunction. Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research, 60 (8), 2159–2169.

R.R. Patel, A.N. Shaheen, J. Barkmeier-Kraemer, M. Courey, D. Deliyski, T. Eadie, D. Paul, J.G. Švec, R.E. Hillman (2018), “Recommended Protocols for Instrumental Assessment of Voice: American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Expert Panel to Develop a Protocol for Instrumental Assessment of Vocal Function”, American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 27, 887–905.

S. Zeitels, P. Lombardo, J. Chaves, W. Faquin, R.E. Hillman, J. Heaton, J. Kobler (2109), “Vocal Fold Injection of Absorbable Materials: A Histological Analysis with Clinical Ramifications”, Annals of Otology, Rhinology & Laryngology Vol. 128 (3S), 71S-81S.

Mehta DD, Espinoza VM, Van Stan JH, Zañartu M, Hillman RE. The difference between first and second harmonic amplitudes correlates between glottal airflow and neck-surface accelerometer signals during phonation. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 2019;145(5):EL386–EL392.

Contact Information