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Voice, Airway, Swallowing Translational Research

The VAST Lab

The VAST Research Lab works to improve the lives of patients by providing a greater understanding of the form, function and pathology of the head and neck associated with vocalization, breathing and swallowing. 

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Steven Gray
Dr. Gray poses with a rigid endoscope in his research space.

The V.A.S.T. Research lab was originally founded on April 18, 2006 as the Steven D. Gray, MD Memorial Research Laboratory, in tribute to Dr. Gray's tremendous career in Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery. In addition to holding the Charles B. Hetzel Presidential Endowed Chair in Otolaryngology, Dr. Gray was a former president of the American Society of Pediatric Otolaryngology, member of the University of Utah Research Committee, assistant medical director at Primary Children's Medical Center and an associate professor in the former Division of Otolaryngology at the University of Utah School of Medicine. Dr. Gray's areas of research were extensive and included laryngeal physiology, vocal cord pathophysiology, children's airway disease, vocal cord reconstruction, and occupation-related vocal disease. Dr. Gray passed away in 2002.

In 2014, the Lab was reestablished as the Voice, Airway, Swallowing Translational Research Lab (VAST Lab) under the direction of Dr. Julie Barkmeier-Kraemer, then a new addition to the University of Utah faculty from the University of Arizona. Under her tenure, the lab quickly outgrew it's space in the old school of medicine offices adjacent to University Hospital and moved to its current location in Research Park. The VAST Research Lab is the proud home of students at every level of university studies: undergraduate, masters, doctoral and post-doctoral students are all engaged in research; a unique feature that has been praised as exemplary to all labs at the University of Utah.

The lab space in Research Park was recently renovated, and a ribbon cutting ceremony under the direction of Dr. Michael Good, CEO of University of Utah Health; and Dr. Jason Hunt, Interim Chair of the Department of Otolaryngology. 

Contact Us

Julie Barkmeier-Kraemer, PhD
Professor, Department of Otolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery
Adjunct Faculty, Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders
Phone: 801-585-7143

To Contact the VAST Lab: 801-213-7317
Imaging & Neurosciences Building
729 Arapeen Drive
Salt Lake City, UT 84108