University of Wisconsin–Madison

Measuring laryngo-pharyngeal physiology in Dr. McCulloch’s lab

Meet the lab of Dr. Timothy McCulloch, division chief of otolaryngology.

The primary focus of Dr. Timothy McCulloch’s research is the understanding of laryngo-pharyngeal physiology in disease and health, combining multiple methods of measurement including high-resolution manometry (HRM), electromyography, and videofluorography. Dr. McCulloch’s team uses these measures, coupled with statistical modeling and artificial neural networks, to provide a detailed, multi-dimensional assessment of the structures and movements that generate pressure along the length of the pharynx (throat).

These data help redefine the models of normal and dysfunctional swallowing, increase accuracy of diagnosis, and directly measure therapeutic effects. This multidimensional analysis has the potential to improve the diagnosis and treatment of all patients suffering with difficulty swallowing (dysphagia).

Current research topics include:

  • Pairing HRM with Drug induced Sleep Endoscopy to detect upper airway obstruction during sleep in patients with obstructive sleep apnea
  • Defining novel pharyngeal pressure metrics to predict dysphagia treatment outcomes and clinical prognosis using HRM.

Dr. McCulloch has established many productive collaborations with national and international scientists and clinicians. He is also a devoted research mentor whose lab environment fosters creative thinking, multidisciplinary approaches, independence, collaboration, and productivity.