Dr. Barbara Lewis

Dr. Barbara LewisBarbara Lewis, Ph.D., is a tenured Professor at Case Western Reserve University. Her primary appointment is in the Department of Communication Sciences with a secondary appointment in the Department of Pediatrics. Her expertise is speech and language disorders of children. She is a licensed and certified speech language pathologist. Her research focuses on the genetic basis of developmental speech and language disorders, in particular speech sound disorders associated with syndromes, including Prader-Willi syndrome. She has over 50 peer-reviewed publications on developmental speech and language disorders. Dr. Lewis has been funded through NIH-National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) for over 20 years to investigate genetic influences on behavioral phenotypes of speech sound disorders. She is also a co-investigator on longitudinal studies of children exposed to cocaine in utero and very low birthweight children. Recently, she has begun functional imaging studies of children with speech and language disorders.


Ms. Lisa Freebairn

Ms. Lisa FreebairnMs. Freebairn received her Master’s Degree in Communication Disorders from Case Western Reserve University and her undergraduate degree at the Ohio State University. She has worked as a researcher in the fields of Phonology and Child Language for over 20 years. She has extensive experience testing and diagnosing children and has been a part of this research team since the beginning. She has worked as an adjunct faculty member at Cleveland State University. Currently she teaches Communication Disorders and Anatomy/Physiology at Baldwin Wallace College and CASE. She also does achievement testing for private practice. In her spare time, Ms. Freebairn works as a stage actress in regional Northeastern Ohio productions, as well as doing improvisational comedy. She has done commercial vocal work and has trained actors in voice, diction and dialect. Ms. Freebairn’s areas of teaching interest include: Phonetics, Phonological Disorders, Anatomy and Physiology of Speech & Hearing & Acoustics. Language Disorders and Development, Voice and Diction for Actors, and Pediatric Diagnostics.


Dr. Sudha Iyengar

Dr. Sudha IyengarDr. Sudha Iyengar’s interest in genetics developed from during her undergraduate years in St. Xavier College in Mumbai, India. She sought advanced education in human genetics and enrolled in the Ph.D. program in Human Genetics at the School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, from where she eventually graduated with both a M.S.. and Ph.D. degree in Genetic Epidemiology. She obtained further post-doctoral training at Yale University and was recruited to Case Western Reserve University in 1997 as a Senior Instructor. She is currently a tenured Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Genetics and Ophthalmology at Case Western Reserve University. She initiated studies for the molecular and statistical assessment of speech sound disorder in families, cases and controls from Cleveland during her early years as a Senior Instructor in conjunction with Dr. Lewis, and has worked on this project since that time. Her laboratory has performed candidate gene analysis, linkage analysis and association analysis for speech sound disorder, including finding linkage to the first major loci on chromosome 3, 15 and 1.


Dr. Catherine Stein

Dr. SteinDr. Stein is an Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Case Western Reserve University. She received her bachelor’s degree at John Carroll University and her Ph.D. at Case Western Reserve University. She has been involved in this study of speech sound disorder since her days as a doctoral student, and now she is interested in identifying genes related to familial risk for speech sound disorder and using statistical models to understand how speech and language skills at preschool predict reading and spelling skills at school age and adolescence. Her other research focuses on studying genetic risk for infectious diseases, including tuberculosis and HIV; these studies are conducted internationally.



Dr. H. Gerry Taylor

Taylor photo, more formalH. Gerry Taylor, Ph.D. is Professor of Pediatrics, Psychiatry, and Psychological Sciences at Case Western Reserve University and Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital. He is a pediatric neuropsychologist with a background in clinical assessment of children. He has a record of federally funded investigations of the outcomes of childhood neurological conditions. The major aims of his research are to better understand the effects of early neurological risks on the child and family, the neurological basis of developmental disabilities, and the influences of social and environmental factors on outcome. Dr. Taylor has conducted NIH-funded research for 30 years and is past member of NIH review panels in behavioral medicine and maternal and child health. He is also a past president of Division 40 of the American Psychological Association, has been on several journal editorial boards, and is involved in fellowship training programs in pediatric psychology and neuropsychology, behavioral pediatrics, and neonatology.