Cara Donohue, Ph.D., CCC-SLP


Dr. Cara Donohue is a speech-language pathologist and post-doctoral research fellow under the mentorship of Dr. Emily Plowman. She first became interested in the field of speech-language pathology when she broke her jaw and had it wired shut in high school, teaching her the significant impact communication and swallowing has on one’s quality of life. Clinically, Cara has worked in a variety of adult settings including inpatient and outpatient rehab, acute care, home care and hospice, and a multidisciplinary amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) clinic.

Cara is originally from Minneapolis, MN. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Minnesota with a B.A. in speech-language hearing sciences in 2013 and with an M.A. in speech-language pathology in 2015. After completing her clinical fellowship year at the University of Minnesota Cleft Craniofacial clinic, Cara decided to pursue her Ph.D. aspiring to help bridge the gap between clinicians and researchers by conducting clinically meaningful research. Cara completed her Ph.D. in the Communication Sciences and Disorders Department at the University of Pittsburgh under the mentorship of Dr. Jim Coyle in the Spring of 2021.

Dr. Donohue’s current research interest include instrumental methods of swallow screening and signal processing, respiratory interventions to improve cough and swallowing in patients with neurological/respiratory diseases, ultrasound as a dysphagia screening and biofeedback tool, and principles of exercise training in dysphagia rehabilitation.  In her free time, she enjoys running road and trail races, doing anything outdoors, and spending time with her two retired racing greyhounds, family, and friends.