Director, Aerodigestive Research Core
Professor, Department of Surgery – Division of Cardiovascular Surgery
Dr. Emily Plowman established and directs the Aerodigestive Research Core (ARC) laboratory across its two sites at the Ohio State University and University of Florida. She is an internationally recognized expert in the field of dysphagia who has held uninterrupted funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) since commencing her academic career in 2009. Her current research at OSU and UF are supported by the National Institute of Aging (R01 AG077481-09), National Institute of Nursing Research (R01 NR020175-01A1), National Institute of Cancer (1R01 CA271223), Department of Defense (DOD HT9425-23-1-0065), and the ALS Association (clinical management award). Dr. Plowman has authored over 85 peer-reviewed scientific manuscripts, given over 600 lectures worldwide, and obtained over 30 external research grants. In addition to her own research, Dr. Plowman is passionate about mentoring the future generation of clinician scientists and her mentorship efforts were recently recognized by the National Institutes of Health with the NINDS Story Landis Award for Outstanding Mentorship by a Neuroscientist (2022) and the University of Florida Doctoral Mentor of the Year award (2021). She was inducted into the American Speech and Hearing Association as a Fellow in 2022 and was elected to be the incoming President of the international Dysphagia Research Society for 2026.
At the University of Florida, Dr. Plowman holds a faculty appointment in the Department of Surgery – Division of Cardiovascular Surgery where she conducts research investigating value-based models of perioperative across the age-span, in both congenital and adult patient populations. This research program seeks to shift current reactive postoperative care practices towards use of a proactive, multi-faceted (prevention, prediction, detection, intervention), and evidence-based model of care across the entire perioperative continuum. It specifically seeks to identify contributing risk factors of dysphagia development following cardiothoracic surgical procedures to inform best practice guidelines and the development of a novel clinical tool (electronic risk prediction calculator) to provide risk stratifications and guide triaged care pathways. This work also aims to identify bedside biomarkers of aspiration and will validate a pragmatic non-invasive bedside screening tool to facilitate early and accurate dysphagia detection and ultimately mitigate the development of adverse health outcomes. This work in cardiovascular surgery is funded by the National Institutes of Nursing Research, American Heart Association, and the Children’s Miracle Network.