Robert E. Hillman, PhD, CCC-SLP

Robert Hillman
Director of the Interdisciplinary PhD Program in Rehabilitation Sciences , Adjunct Professor
Communication Sciences and Disorders
PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences
(617) 726-0216
Office Location: 
B34 - 2nd Floor

Dr. Robert Hillman is Director of the Interdisciplinary PhD Program in Rehabilitation Sciences, and Adjunct Professor in Communication Sciences and Disorders, both in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. He 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, and as a core member of the Motor Function and Speech Rehabilitation Study Section at the NIH Center for Scientific Review. 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 five speech-language pathologists in the country to be elected as an Associate Member of the American Laryngological Association (a physician’s organization).

Additional awards he has received include elected membership in Phi Kappa Phi Honorary Society (1975), academic tenure at Boston University (1986), Certificate of Appreciation from the Veterans Administration Cooperative Studies Program (1991), Award of Merit from Sargent College at Boston University (1992), Editor’s Award from the Journal of Speech and Hearing Research of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association for publication of the article of highest merit in speech research for 1996, Casselberry Award from the American Laryngological Association for co-authorship (with Dr. Steven Zeitels) of the outstanding manuscript in laryngology (1998), two Partners in Excellence Awards for accomplishments at the MGH Institute of Health Professions (2000), and an Alumni Fellow Award from the Pennsylvania State University (2008) given by the President of the University to select alumni who are recognized leaders in their professions.

Most recently Dr. Hillman has received the Broyles-Maloney Award from the American Bronchoesophalogical Association for outstanding accomplishments in advancing the art and science of bronchoesophagology (2010); the Manuel Garcia Prize (2010) from the International Association of Logopedics and Phoniatrics for outstanding scientific contributions to the official journal of IALP and to the field of Communication Sciences and Disorders; the 2011 Willard R. Zemlin Lecture and Award from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Special Interest Division for Speech Science to recognize an outstanding speech scientist who has "demonstrated a record of outstanding contributions to the broad spectrum of issues concerning speech science."; the Honors of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (2011) which is the highest honor that the Association can bestow to “recognize individuals whose contributions have been of such excellence that they have enhanced or altered the course of the Professions"; the 2013 Certificate of Achievement from the Voice Foundation; and the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Pennsylvania State University, which is the highest honor bestowed by the Board of Trustees at Penn State upon an outstanding alumna or alumnus.

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.


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


Ghassemi M, Van Stan JH, Mehta DD, Zanartu M, Cheyne HA, Hillman RE, Guttag JV. Learning to detect vocal hyperfunction from ambulatory neck-surface acceleration features: Initial results for vocal fold nodules. IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2014, 61(6), 1668-1675.

M. Zanartu, G. Galindo, B. D. Erath, S. D. Peterson, G. R. Wodicka, R. E. Hillman (2014) "Modeling the effects of a posterior glottal opening on vocal fold dynamics with implications for vocal hyperfunction", J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 136(6), pp. 3262-3271, DOI: 10.1121/

A. F. Llico, M. Zanartu, A. J. Gonzalez, G. R. Wodicka, D. D. Mehta, J. Van Stan and R. E. Hillman, (2015) "Real-time estimation of aerodynamic features for ambulatory voice biofeedback", J. Acoust. Soc. Am., in press.

Van Stan JH, Mehta DD, Hillman RE. (2015). The effect of voice ambulatory biofeedback on the daily performance and retention of a modified vocal motor behavior in participants with normal voices. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, in press.

Deliyski DD, Hillman RE, Mehta DD. (2015). Laryngeal high-speed videoendoscopy -- Rational and recommendations for accurate and consistent terminology. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, in press.

J. H. Van Stan, N. Roy, S. Awan, J. Stemple, R. E. Hillman (In Press). A voice therapy taxonomy. American Journal of Speech Language Pathology.

Lien Y.A.S., Calabrese C., Michener C.M., Heller Murray E., Van Stan J.H., Mehta D.D., Hillman R.E., Noordzij J.P., Stepp C.E. "Voice relative fundamental frequency via neck-skin acceleration in individuals with voice disorders", Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, In Press.

See Curriculum Vitae for complete publications, presentations and research.

PubMed listing of 48 Hillman publications, with abstracts.

Curriculum Vitae