Skip to main content

Jerilyn Logemann, Pioneer in Swallowing Disorders, Dies at 72

Northwestern professor helped thousands of people in her Chicago campus clinic

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Long-time Northwestern University Professor Jerilyn Ann Logemann -- an internationally recognized researcher who revolutionized the treatment of swallowing disorders (dysphagia) -- died June 19 at age 72. Her Northwestern clinic on the University's Chicago campus helped thousands of people.

The Ralph and Jean Sundin Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders in the School of Communication and professor of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery and of neurology in the Feinberg School of Medicine, Logemann began teaching at Northwestern in 1978.

“She worked tirelessly to advance our knowledge of swallowing disorders,” said School of Communication Dean Barbara J. O’Keefe. In addition to developing groundbreaking new assessments and treatments for those suffering from swallowing disorders, Logemann was a leader in her department, Northwestern and the field of speech and hearing science.

Logemann, who earned her bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in speech pathology from Northwestern, developed the modified barium swallow test -- a standard diagnostic tool today that replaced a more stressful test previously used. She was a fellow and past president of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. In addition, she twice served as Chair of the Faculty Senate.

Over her long career, Logemann did research on the management of voice disorders, normal swallowing physiology, the assessment and treatment of speech and swallowing dysfunction in head and neck cancer patients and in neurologically impaired individuals. More recently her work focused on compliance counseling for patients undergoing neck and throat surgery.

“She was a brilliant scientist, clinician and teacher,” said Northwestern Professor Viorica Marian, who chairs the communication sciences and disorders department. “She overcame tremendous challenges to live life to the fullest and ultimately move her profession forward.”

The funeral will take place Thursday, June 26, at Scott Funeral Home, 1100 Greenleaf Ave., Wilmette. Visitation begins at 10 a.m. and the service at 11 a.m. The interment will follow in Woodland Cemetery in Forest Park.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Communication Sciences and Disorders Research Group and mailed to Dr. David Lilienfeld, Treasurer, CSDRG, 13412 Pantera Road, San Diego, CA 92130-1022.

Logemann was a resident of Evanston. For more information, visit the School of Communication website.

Back to top