Jessica M. Pisegna, PhD, MS CCC-SLP, BCS-S, MEd
Assistant Professor
Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine
Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery

PhD, Boston University
MS, Boston University
MEd, Long Island University Brooklyn
BA, Hamilton College

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Dr. Jessica M. Pisegna, PhD, MS-CCC-CLP, BCS-S, MEd received her doctoral degree in 2016 from Boston University: Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. She is an Associate Professor of Otolaryngology Head-Neck Surgery at Boston University and is a clinical Speech Pathologist at Boston Medical Center where she is also the Director of the Voice and Swallowing Center and Section Chief of the Speech Pathology services. Her doctoral work propelled her to researching adult voice and swallowing disorders, which has been a passion of hers. In the world of medical speech language pathology, she particularly enjoys the detective-like skills required to figure out why someone may have trouble voicing, swallowing, or breathing. She specializes in rehabilitating adults with swallowing disorders caused from stroke, head/neck cancer, trauma, and other diseases or disabilities. Her clinical work and research goals aim to improve diagnosis of swallowing disorders to improve diagnosis and recovery time.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility

Dr. Pisegna is committed to articulating and celebrating Boston University’s and Boston Medical Center’s commitment to the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) of all faculty, staff, students, and trainees, in the pursuit of excellence. Advancing DEIB is central to the institutions’ past, present, and future as it reflects our core values and is essential to promoting equitable patient care and health, research innovation, public trust, respect for each other, and the recruitment, advancement, retention, and vitality of diverse faculty, staff, students, and trainees.

The dimensions of diversity she is committed to include but are not limited to: members of underrepresented, underserved, or structurally disadvantaged groups, e.g., ethnicity/race, sex, LGBTQ+, disabilities, religion, immigrants, and first-generation college students. For example, clinically, she strives to improve the health of historically structurally marginalized individuals, such as individuals with a history of incarceration, immigrants, and individuals suffering intimate partner violence. In another example, she mentors and sponsors diverse faculty, staff, students, and trainees. Her administrative work also analyzes data to improve her clinic’s retention of diverse patients, to improve inequities in health metrics for her inpatient service, and to develop systems to improve access to healthcare to diverse patients.

Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.

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  1. Buckley DP, Borders JC, Pisegna JM. Muscle Tension Dysphagia: An Expanded Investigation of Clinical Presentations and Swallowing Kinematics. Am J Speech Lang Pathol. 2024 Apr 04; 1-9.View Related Profiles. PMID: 38573246
  2. Kariveda RR, Tran A, Velu PS, Jabbour N, Pisegna JM, Tracy LF. Impact of Patient Factors on Attendance at Remote Telehealth Swallow Therapy. Dysphagia. 2024 Jan 25.View Related Profiles. PMID: 38273158
  3. Jabbour N, Agarwal P, Pisegna JM, Mathur N, Zuckerman M, Caten H, Tracy LF. Socioeconomic Impact on Swallow Therapy Attendance. Dysphagia. 2024 Jan 18.View Related Profiles. PMID: 38238573
  4. Zuckerman M, Wang S, Kaneoka A, Coster WJ, Leonard R, Langmore SE, Pisegna JM. Conceptualizing Adult Dysphagia in the United States Within the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF). Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2024 May; 105(5):1008-1018.View Related Profiles. PMID: 38072229
  5. Kitila M, Borders JC, Krisciunas GP, McNally E, Pisegna JM. Confidence, Accuracy, and Reliability of Penetration-Aspiration Scale Ratings on Flexible Endoscopic Evaluations of Swallowing by Speech Pathologists. Dysphagia. 2024 Jun; 39(3):504-513.View Related Profiles. PMID: 37980635
  6. Li A, Ganann MG, Pisegna JM. Does doffing the FEES Box generate a significant cloud of particles after aerosol-generating procedures? A proof-of-concept study. Int J Speech Lang Pathol. 2023 Nov 08; 1-12. PMID: 37941422
  7. Jijakli A, Borders JC, Gottlieb A, Ramirez E, Leonard R, Langmore SE, Murray J, Pisegna JM. Absent epiglottic inversion as seen on flexible endoscopic evaluations of swallowing (FEES) is associated with a gestalt reduction in swallowing mechanics. Am J Otolaryngol. 2023; 44(2):103757.View Related Profiles. PMID: 36753976
  8. Kumar S, Marchina S, Langmore S, Massaro J, Palmisano J, Wang N, Searls DE, Lioutas V, Pisegna J, Wagner C, Shinde A, Schlaug G. Fostering eating after stroke (FEASt) trial for improving post-stroke dysphagia with non-invasive brain stimulation. Sci Rep. 2022 Jun 10; 12(1):9607.View Related Profiles. PMID: 35689084; PMCID: PMC9187742; DOI: 10.1038/s41598-022-14390-9;
  9. Sambhu M, Goh T, Golan H, Pisegna J, Noordzij JP. Evaluating the use of baclofen as adjunct treatment for muscle tension dysphonia. Am J Otolaryngol. 2022 Mar-Apr; 43(2):103309.View Related Profiles. PMID: 34896937
  10. Starmer HM, Arrese L, Langmore S, Ma Y, Murray J, Patterson J, Pisegna J, Roe J, Tabor-Gray L, Hutcheson K. Adaptation and Validation of the Dynamic Imaging Grade of Swallowing Toxicity for Flexible Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing: DIGEST-FEES. J Speech Lang Hear Res. 2021 06 04; 64(6):1802-1810.View Related Profiles. PMID: 34033498
Showing 10 of 37 results. Show More

This graph shows the total number of publications by year, by first, middle/unknown, or last author.

Bar chart showing 37 publications over 11 distinct years, with a maximum of 7 publications in 2020


2021-2022 Boston University School of Medicine: Women's Leadership Program
2018-2019 Boston University School of Medicine: Early Career Faculty Development Award
2017-2017 European Society of Swallowing Disorders: Best Oral Presentation for First Time Presenter
2014-2015 Boston University: BU SAR PhD Scholarship
2006-2007 New York City Teaching Fellows: AmeriCorps Education Award

Before I started my doctoral work, I used to sit outside of my mentor Dr. Susan Langmore's "Advanced Dysphagia" course and listen through the door while she instructed the class. I so badly wanted to know what she knew and do what she did in the world of speech pathology. She had a way about her that was approachable, yet her knowledge and skills were profound and endless, consistent with her far-reaching reputation and international status. Once I enrolled in her class, she allowed me to shadow her and take on many side projects. She mentored my thesis work and supervised my Clinical Fellowship Year. She supervised my doctoral work that investigated evaluation of adult swallowing disorders. I would not have been accepted into my PhD program or have been able to graduate without her sponsorship and tutelage.

I aim to provide the same type of mentorship to the students, fellows and residents I work with. Through my Boston University School of Medicine appointment, I take on medical students and I love to teach them physiology of voice and swallowing. As an almunae and faculty at Boston University's Sargent College, I regularly take on master's level students who are learning about medical Speech Pathology. I have also developed the first Clinical Fellowship Program for the Speech Language Pathology department at Boston Medical Center, where master's level SLP graduates complete a 12-month program that is required to earn their licensure. My goal is to teach critical thinking. As Albert Einstein said, "education is not the learning of facts, rather it's the training of the mind to think."

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