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Teresa Pitts

Research Assistant ProfessorDr. Teresa Pitts

Department of Physiological Sciences
Box 100144
1333 Center Drive
Gainesville, FL 32610-0103
Office: 352-294-4066
Fax: 352-392-5145


  • DOCTORAL DEGREE, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 2010
  • MASTER OF ARTS, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 2006
  • BACCALAUREATE OF ARTS, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL, 2003


  • 2013 – 2018: National Institutes of Health K99/R00 Pathway to Independence
  • 2013 – 2014: University of Florida Opportunity Fund

Academic Honors

University of Central Florida

  • Florida Merit Scholarship, 1999-2003
  • National Society of Collegiate Scholars, 2003
  • Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders Top GPA, Summer 2005

University of Florida

  • Grinter Fellowship – Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, 2006-2008
  • Delta Epsilon Iota, 2010

Professional Honors

University of Central Florida

  • FLASHA annual convention 2nd place poster presentation, 2005

University of Florida

  • New Investigator Grant: Dysphagia Research Society Conference and the
    American Speech and Hearing Association, 2009
  • Outstanding Young Alumnus to the Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences in the College of Public Health and Health Professions, 2011

Research Interests

Her research has brought to light the co-existence of disordered swallow and cough in Parkinson’s disease which puts these patients at risk for significant respiratory complications. Pertinent findings included the viability of using voluntary cough to detect at-risk patients for swallowing disorders, and then treating those at-risk patients with Expiratory Muscle Strength Training which improved cough and swallowing safety scores. She is currently working to develop a model of airway protection including dysphagia (disorder of swallow) and dystussia (disorder of cough) for testing of novel therapies to extend the quality-of-life of persons living with neuromuscular diseases.

Public Relations

Webinars on Multiscale Modeling in Physiology, In Vivo and In Silico Models of Airway Protection, 2014

Selected Research Publications

  1. Castillo D, Pitts T. (2013) Influence of baclofen on laryngeal and spinal motor drive during cough in the anesthetized cat. Laryngoscope, 123(12): 3088-3092. weblink
  2. Hoffman-Ruddy B, Pitts T, Lehman J, Spector B, & Sapienza C. (2013) Improved voluntary cough immediately following office based vocal fold medialization injections. Laryngoscope (in press). weblink
  3. Pitts T, Rose M, Mortensen A, Poliacek I, Sapienza C, Lindsey BG, Morris KF, Davenport PW, Bolser DC. (2013) Coordination of cough and swallow: A meta-behavioral response to aspiration. Journal of Respiratory Physiology and Neurobiology (in press). weblink
  4. Pitts T. (2013) Airway protective reflexes. Journal of Lung (in press). weblink

PubMed Search Results

Google Scholar Page

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