Voice Lab

School of Communication Sciences and Disorders

McGill University

Dr. Li-Jessen’s laboratory integrates in vitro, in vivo and in silico (computational) approaches to study vocal fold biology and wound healing.

Voice disorders affect one in three children and adults at some point over their lifetime. Our lab focuses on the development of a computational platform that can guide surgeons and speech pathologists in the best methods to repair voices that have been lost.

In addition, we work in collaboration with engineers and surgeons to develop non-invasive assessment of vocal fold pathology and create biomaterial for vocal fold reconstruction.

Watch a 5-minute talk on Dr. Li-Jessen's Work

Biosimulation of surgical vocal fold injury

This project is to develop patient-specific computational models that will predict treatment responses of patients with vocal diseases. The models will help clinicians tailor their care for individual patients with enhanced voice outcomes. Agent-based modeling with parallel computing and 3D visualization are exploited.

Collaborators: Prof. Joseph Jaja (University of Maryland) and Prof. Luc Mongeau (McGill University)

Understanding of vocal fold cell response to mechanical stress and extracellular matrix environment

Macrophages and fibroblasts are central in wound healing from the control of infection and inflammation to repair of injury. This project is to investigate on vocal fold cell activities as a function of phonatory stress and extracellular matrix property using an in vitro bioreactor. The information will be useful in the design of biomaterial for vocal fold reconstruction.

Collaborators: Prof. Luc Mongeau (McGill University)

Development of non-invasive clinical tools of vocal fold tissue evaluation

The diagnosis of laryngeal disease is confirmed by conventional histopathology or tissue biopsy before treatment can begin. This approach entails physical removal of a small tissue specimen from patients, which can cause irreversible vocal fold scarring. We endeavor to develop fine needle aspiration tools for gene profiling and clinical multiphoton endoscope for in vivo visualizing vocal fold histology, minimizing the need of tissue biopsy.

Collaborators: Dr. Karen Kost (Montreal General Hospital), Prof. Susan Thibeault (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Prof. Luc Mongeau (McGill University) and Prof. Paul Wiseman (McGill University)

The Voice Lab is recruiting!

We are looking for smart, hard-working, and fun individuals to join our voice team. We currently have positions at doctoral and post-doctoral levels. We are looking for individuals with strong background in biomedical engineering, systems biology and/ or are proficient in computer programming with C++. For interested individuals, please send the CV, unofficial transcripts and a short description of why you're interested in our work to Dr. Nicole Li-Jessen.

Post-Doc Openings in Computational Biology and Medicine


Featured Articles

  1. Seekhao, N., Shung, C., JaJa, J., Mongeau, L., & Li-Jessen, N. Y. K. (2018). High-performance agent-based modeling applied to vocal fold inflammation and repair. Frontiers in Physiology. 9(304).
  2. Seekhao, N., JaJa, J., Mongeau, L., & Li-Jessen, N. Y. K. (2017). In situ visualization for 3D agent-based vocal fold inflammation and repair simulation. Supercomputing Frontiers and Innovations, 4(3), 68-79.
  3. Imaizumi, M., Li-Jessen, N. Y. K., Sato, Y., Yang, D. Y. & Thibeault, S. L. (2017). Retention of humaninduced pluripotent stem cells(hiPS) with injectable HA-hydrogels for vocal fold tissue engineering. Annals of Otology, Rhinology & Laryngology.126(4): 304-314.
  4. Li-Jessen, N. Y. K., Powell, M., Choi, A. J., Lee, B. J., & Thibeault, S. L. (2017). Cellular source and proinflammatory roles of high-mobility group box 1 in surgically injured rat vocal folds. Laryngoscope, 127(6), E193-e200.
  5. Latifi, N., Heris, H. K., Thomson, S., Kazemirad, S., Taher, R., Sheibani, S., Li-Jessen, N. Y. K., Hojatollah, V. & Mongeau, L. (2016). A flow perfusion bioreactor system for vocal fold tissue engineering applications. Tissue Engineering. 22(9): 823-38.
  6. Seekhao, N., Shung, C., JaJa, J., Mongeau, L. & Li-Jessen, N. Y. K. (2016). Real-time agent-based modeling simulation with in-situ visualization of complex biological systems - a case study on vocal fold inflammation and healing. IEEE Internal Workshop on High Performance Computational Biology, 463-472.
  7. Yiu, E. E. M., Chan, K. M. K., Kwong, E., Li, N. Y. K., Ma, E. P. M., Tse, F. W., Lin, Z. X., Verdolini Abbott, K., & Tsang, R. (2016). Is acupuncture efficacious for treating phonotraumatic vocal pathologies? A randomized control trial. Journal of Voice. 30(5): 611-20.​
  8. Yiu, E. E. M., Chan, K. M. K., Li, N. Y. K., Tsang, R., Verdolini Abbott, K., Kwong, E., Ma, E. P. M., Tse, F. W., & Lin, Z. X.(2016). Wound healing effect of acupuncture for treating phonotraumatic vocal pathologies: cytokine study. Laryngoscope, 126(1), E18-22.

Invited Book Chapters

  1. Orbelo, D. M., Li, N. Y. K. & Verdolini, K. (2014). Lessac Madson resonant voice therapy in the treatment of secondary muscle tension dysphonia. In J. C. Stemple & E. R. Hapner (Ed.), Voice therapy: Clinical Studies (4th ed.). San Diego: Plural Publishing.
  2. Li, N. Y. K. & Verdolini, K. (2013).  Contemporary voice research: a USA perspective vocal fold injuries and their management. In E. Yiu (Eds.), Multilingual aspects of voice disorders. (pp. 115-132). Clevedon Hall: Multilingual Matters.

Conference Presentations

  1. Coburn, P. T. & Li-Jessen, N. Y. K. (2018, November). The influence of human vocal fold fibroblasts on macrophages in a glycol-chitosan hydrogel in vitro co-culture system. Paper presented at the 11th East Asian Conference on Phonosurgery, Busan, Republic of Korea.
  2. Li-Jessen, N. Y. K. (2018, November). How does computational modeling improve our clinical practice in laryngology? Invited lecture presented at the 11th East Asian Conference on Phonosurgery, Busan, Republic of Korea.
  3. Li-Jessen, N. Y. K. (2018, November). Computational medicine in voice research. Invited lecture presented at the 176th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America and 2018 Acoustics Week in Canada, Victoria, Canada
  4. Li-Jessen, N. Y. K., Villers-Sidani, E. & Misic, B. (2018, September). Personalizing brain and communication health with McGill University. Podium presentation at the World Economic Forum - Annual Meeting of the New Champions, Tianjin, China
  5. Li-Jessen, N. Y. K. (2018, September). Ask about: voice rehabilitation. Podium presentation at the World Economic Forum - Annual Meeting of the New Champions, Tianjin, China.
View more publications

Lab Members

Alumni members

  • Huijie Wang - Research Associate 2017-2018

  • Samson Yuen - Research Assistant 2017-2018, Undergraduate Research Assistant 2015-2017

  • Aman Garg - Master Graduate Student 2016-2018

  • James Cui - Undergraduate Research Assistant 2016-2018

  • Evan Kennedy - Graduate Research Assistant 2016, 2018

  • Chelsea Ridgway - Undergraduate Research Assistant 2018

  • Joseph Szymborski - QLS Rotation Student 2018 Fall

  • Aziz Rehman - Summer Research Assistant 2018

  • Aziz Rehman - Summer Research Assistant 2018

  • Meghan Hollet - Summer Research Assistant 2018

  • Sandra Cortes - Undergraduate Reseach Intern 2017

  • Jesse Chevrier - Undergraduate Research Assistant 2017

  • Laurel Walfish - Undergraduate Research Assistant 2017

  • Marise Samaan - Undergraduate Research Assistant 2015-2016

  • Harry Tao - Undergraduate Research Intern 2016

  • Kimberly Trickey - Summer Research Assistant 2015

Contact Us

Voice Lab

McIntyre Medical Sciences Building

3655 Promenade Sir William Osler
Montreal Quebec
H3G 1Y6
Directions on Google Maps

Rm 805


School Of Communication Sciences and Disorders

2001 McGill College , 8th floor
Montreal, Quebec
H3A 1G1
Directions on Google Maps

Rm 815