2019 Boston Speech Motor Control Symposium


The Boston Speech Motor Control Symposium (BSMCS) is a regional conference aimed at providing an accessible and inclusive environment for those near the Boston area to share research involving speech motor control. We also welcome people from outside the greater Boston area – join us for the one-day event, or make a plan for a summer vacation in Boston! We hope that BSMCS will be a great opportunity to bring together students, researchers, and clinicians from the numerous subfields within speech motor control to ultimately highlight new research within these areas, generate new research ideas, and foster faster clinical translation of important findings. This is a one-day conference, with a pre-conference tutorial specifically aimed at trainees (students and post-docs). The conference is sponsored by  Boston University’s Sargent College, Delsys, and the NIDCD via an R13 Conference Grant. We plan to provide ASHA CEUs for up to 0.55 CEUs (intermediate level; professional area), pending official approval.

Key Dates

January 01, 2019: Abstract and travel fellowship submission opens
March 12, 2019: Registration opens
March 20, 2019: Abstract and travel fellowship submission deadline
April 08, 2019: Authors and travel fellowship recipients notified
April 22, 2019: Early registration deadline
May 22, 2019: Late registration deadline
June 20, 2019: Pre-conference tutorial for trainees
June 21, 2019: Boston Speech Motor Control Symposium

Invited Speakers

Jessica-Huber Keynote Speaker: Jessica Huber, PhD, CCC-SLP
Professor of Speech, Language, & Hearing Sciences at Purdue University
Faculty Associate of the Center on Aging and the Life Course
Jessica Huber is the Associate Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs at Purdue University. She is also a professor of Speech, Language, and Hearing Science, with a research program focused on the conditions that change in speech and cognitive ability in older adults with and without Parkinson’s disease. As a result of this research, Dr. Huber has helped to create a device, SpeechVive, which helps to mitigate the effects of Parkinson’s Disease on the voice by bypassing a reflex pathway of the voice that becomes impaired in those with cognitive and sensory impairments. Through her research efforts, Dr. Huber has also been able to become one of the co-directors of Purdue’s Center for Study of Brain, Behavior, and NeuroRehabilitation (CEREBBRAL). CEREBBRAL is an interdisciplinary research center that integrates psychology and the speech, language, and hearing sciences to better understand the progression of neurodegenerative diseases, as well as ways to improve the quality of life in those who have them.
Niziolek_Carrie Carrie Niziolek, PhD
Assistant Professor of Communication Sciences & Disorders at University of Wisconsin-Madison
Carrie Niziolek is an Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she uses neuroimaging techniques and auditory measures to study auditory, somatosensory, and proprioceptive feedback of speech. Located in University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Brain, Language, Acoustic & Behavior (BLAB) Laboratory, Dr. Niziolek’s research focuses on investigating speech feedback processing in the brain to determine how communicative intent influences the brain’s motor plans.
Ludo Max Ludo Max, PhD, CCC-SLP
Associate Professor of Speech and Hearing Sciences at University of Washington
Adjunct Associate Professor of Bioengineering
Adjunct Associate Professor of Linguistics
Ludo Max is an Assistant Professor of Speech and Hearing Sciences at the University of Washington, as well as an Adjunct Associate Professor of Bioengineering and an Adjunct Professor of Linguistics. He is also the principal investigator of the Laboratory for Speech Physiology and Motor Control (Max Lab), where he has investigated both the sensorimotor control and underlying actions of normal speech production and the neuromotor and neurophysiological mechanisms that cause stuttering. Dr. Max’s current research focuses on speech and non-speech sensorimotor adaptation of non-stuttering subjects, as well as comparing speech and non-speech movements of stuttering adults against those without a stutter.
Joe-Perkell Joseph Perkell, PhD, DMD
Senior Research Scientist of Speech, Language, & Hearing Sciences at Boston University
Research Affiliate to the Research Laboratory of Electronics (RLE) at MIT
Joseph Perkell is a Senior Research Scientist in the Dept. of Speech, Language, and Hearing Science here at Boston University, as well as a Research Affiliate in the Research Laboratory of Electronics at MIT. His research at MIT was centered around speech kinematics, the role of hearing and auditory and somatosensory feedback on speech motor control, physiological constraints on articulatory movements and motor control strategies. Dr. Perkell’s research has also focused on the effects of cochlear implants and hearing loss on speech production and mechanisms underlying vocal hyperfunction in voice production.
Kristina-Simonyan Kristina Simonyan, MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Otolaryngology at Harvard Medical School
Director of Laryngology Research at Massachusetts Eye and Ear
Kristina Simonyan is an Associate Professor of Otolaryngology at Harvard University Medical School, as well as the Director of Laryngology at Massachusetts Eye and Ear and an Associate Neuroscientist at Massachusetts General Hospital. She is also the principal investigator of the Dystonia and Speech Motor Control Laboratory. Dr. Simonyan’s research is focused on focal dystonia, with her current research involving the discovery of neural markers for laryngeal dystonia and new treatment options for it.
Bhawna Shiwani, MS
Research Engineer at Delsys Inc.
Bhawna Shiwani is a Research Engineer at Delsys Inc. She obtained her B.E. in Electronics and Communication Engineering from National Institute of Technology, Jalandhar, India in 2012; and M.S. in Robotics Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, MA in 2017. She was previously employed by Cadence Design Systems, Noida, India where she worked as a Member of Technical Staff in Analog Design Environment team. At Delsys she collaborates with the research team to design signal processing and artificial intelligence algorithms for neural interface development.


Registration opening day: 12 March 2019
Early registration deadline: 22 April 2019
Late registration deadline: 22 May 2019

Click here to fill out the registration form. Questions regarding registration should be directed to the BSMCS organizing committee (bsmcs@bu.edu).

Note: Upon completing the form, you will be directed to the payment page to complete your registration.

Call for Abstracts

Abstract submission opening day: 01 January 2019
Abstract submission deadline: 20 March 2019

Please submit your abstracts here, and select your preference for giving a contributed talk or poster. Selected authors will be notified on April 8th, 2019. Questions regarding abstract submissions should be directed to the BSMCS organizing committee (bsmcs@bu.edu).

Note: Maximum poster size should be 36″ (width) x 42″ (height). Push-pins will be available on site.

Travel Fellowships

The Boston Speech Motor Control Symposium will be awarding travel fellowships to undergraduate students, graduate students, doctoral candidates, and post doctoral trainees. Interested applicants may apply for a travel fellowship using this form. Fellowship recipients will receive free registration and free housing. Questions regarding travel fellowships should be directed to the BSMCS organizing committee (bsmcs@bu.edu).

Travel fellowship submission opening day: 01 January 2019
Travel fellowship submission deadline: 20 March 2019

Note: Those applying for a travel fellowship should not register or pay for housing until they have heard back from the BSMCS organizing committee; selected applicants will be notified on April 8th, 2019.

Registration Information

Registration will be capped at 100 attendees due to the size of the venue. Tentative deadlines and associated rates are shown below, but are subject to change if we reach capacity at an earlier time.

Registration Rates until April 22, 2019:
Students (undergraduate and graduate): 10 USD
Non-students: 40 USD

Registration Rates between April 23 – May 22, 2019:
Students (undergraduate and graduate): 30 USD
Non-students: 60 USD

Registration will open by March 20, 2019. 

All refunds will be processed three weeks prior to the symposium date and will subtract a 20% of the registration cost for administration fee.

BSMCS Inclusion Policy

The Boston Speech Motor Control Symposium strives to be an inclusive event for all, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, or physical ability. If at any time you have any immediate or urgent concerns about safety, please contact Boston University Police at 617-353-2121 or Boston University Sexual Assault Response & Prevention Center (SARP) at 617-353-3575.If you have any comments or concerns throughout the symposium, please contact us at bsmcs@bu.edu.

Agenda Snapshot

  • Thursday, June 20 Pre-conference tutorial for trainees (students and post-docs)
    • Trainee meet-and-greet (3:30 – 4:00pm)
    • Trainee Tutorial (4:00 – 6:00pm): “Introduction to the DIVA model”, Frank Guenther
  • Friday, June 21: Boston Speech Motor Control Symposium
    • Morning Oral Session (9:00 – 11:50am): Contributed and Invited Talks
    • Lunch Break (12:00 – 1:30pm): On your own (see Venue and Area Information for local restaurant options)
    • Afternoon Oral Session (1:40 – 4:30pm): Delsys Keynote Lecture; Contributed and Invited Talks
    • Afternoon Poster Session (4:30 – 6:00pm): Reception and poster session

Venue and Area Information

Rajen Kilachand Center for Integrated Life Sciences & EngineeringImage courtesy of Boston University

The 2019 Boston Speech Motor Control Symposium will be held at the Rajen Kilachand Center for Integrated Life Sciences & Engineering located on the Boston University Charles River Campus.


The official address of the venue is:

Rajen Kilachand Center for Integrated Life Sciences & Engineering
610 Commonwealth Avenue,
Boston, MA 02215


The Rajen Kilachand Center for Integrated Life Sciences & Engineering is accessible via Storrow Drive, I-90, and public transportation. Many fast-food and sit-down restaurants are available nearby within a <10min walk.

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    Commuting to Boston University

    BSMCS locations are all easily accessible from the Green Line B, C, and D trains via Kenmore station. Several Boston University parking lots as well as street parking options are available for those choosing to drive.





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    Area Overview








    On-campus air-conditioned apartments at 10 Buick St. will be available through BU housing June 21st and June 22nd for those 17 and older. Boston University Housing requires guests to be 22 in order to book a room; please contact BSMCS 2019 coordinators if you have any questions or concerns. For more information on pricing and booking please use this link:  http://stay.bu.edu/bsmcs2019.bnb

    Organization and Contact

    Program & Organizing Committee:

    • Cara Stepp
    • Jason Bohland
    • Frank Guenther
    • Christopher Moore
    • Melanie Matthies
    • Jennifer Vojtech
    • Defne Abur
    • Elaine Kearney
    • Saul Frankford

    Questions? Feel free to contact us at bsmcs@bu.edu with any inquiries.