Kathryn Connaghan, PhD, CCC-SLP

Photo of Kathryn Connaghan, PhD, CCC-SLP
Research Associate
Communication Sciences and Disorders
Speech and Feeding Disorders Lab
(617) 724-6347
Office Location: 
Center for Health & Rehabilitation Research, Building 79/96, second floor

Dr. Connaghan joined the Speech and Feeding Disorders Lab at the MGH Institute of Health Professions in 2018. After working as a speech-language clinician, Dr. Connaghan attended the University of Washington, where she received her doctorate in speech science.

Her work focuses on motor speech disorders in both children and adults. She has conducted a number of investigations on the role of prosody (the rate, rhythm, and intonation of speech) in motor speech disorders, not only as a characteristic of speech impairment, but also as a potential strength and target of intervention.

Her current research program is designed to understand the underlying mechanisms and social impacts of speech impairment in motor disorders such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), cerebral palsy (CP), and Downs syndrome. The goal of this work is to identify particular aspects of motor speech impairment that will facilitate the identification, progression, and response to treatment, as well as provide the foundation for the development of efficacious interventions.

Dr. Connaghan’s work has been supported by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research, the American Speech-Language Hearing Foundation, the Cerebral Palsy International Research Foundation, and Tufts Clinical Science and Translation Institute. Her work has been published in national and international peer-reviewed publications, including the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research and the American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology.

Research Interests

Dr. Connaghan’s research focuses on understanding the underlying mechanisms of speech impairment experienced by children and adults with dysarthria. This work is designed to identify specific aspects of speech impairment that affect daily communication interactions, overall participation, and that can be targeted for assessment and treatment.


BSc, Biopsychology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia Canada 
MA, Communication Disorders, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
PhD, Speech Science, University of Washington, Seattle, WA


Connaghan, K.P. & Patel, R. (2017). The impact of contrastive stress on vowel acoustics and intelligibility in dysarthria. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 60(1), 38-50. doi:10.1044/2016_JSLHR-S-15-0291​

Connaghan, K.P. & Moore, C.A. (2013). Indirect estimates of jaw muscle tension in children with suspected hypertonia, suspected hypotonia, and matched controls. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 56, 123-136.

Patel, R., Connaghan, K., Franco, D., Edsall, E., Forgit, D., Olsen, L., Ramage, L., Tyler, E. & Russell, S. (2013). The Caterpillar: A novel reading passage for assessment of motor speech disorders. American Journal of Speech Language Pathology, 22, 1-9.


Green, J.R., Connaghan, K.P., Yunusova, Y., Stipancic, K., Gutz, S., Rowe, H. Cordella, C., & Berry, J.  Exploring voice measures to track disease onset and progression in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). 29th International Symposium on ALS/MND, Glasgow, Scotland, 2018.

Green, J.R., Connaghan, K.P., Yunusova, Y., Stipancic, K., Gutz, S., Rowe, H. Cordella, C., & Berry, J.  Vocal changes across disease progression in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Acoustical Society of America, Victoria, BC, Canada, 2018.