Dr. Michelle S. Troche is assistant professor in the Department of Biobehavioral Sciences at Teachers College, Columbia University. She completed her doctoral studies at the University of Florida, where she served on faculty prior to joining Columbia University. She is director of the Laboratory for the Study of Upper Airway Dysfunction, and her research is aimed at improving health outcomes and quality of life associated with disorders of airway protection. To that end, she employs a two-pronged approach including basic science and clinical research. Basic science research goals focus on developing a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying airway protection and its disorders. Clinical research goals are the development of novel and robust evaluation and treatment techniques for dystussia (cough dysfunction) and dysphagia (swallowing dysfunction). This work is of significant impact given that aspiration pneumonia secondary to swallowing and cough disorders is a leading cause of death in most neurogenic populations.