Department of Otolaryngology

Leah Helou, PhD, CCC-SLP

Leah Helou, PhD, CCC-SLP is a voice-specialized speech-language pathologist at the University of Pittsburgh Voice Center.   She entered the field as an amateur singer with vocal fold nodules, and earned her Bachelor of Science in Communication Science & Disorders from East Carolina University. Since obtaining her master’s degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences at the George Washington University, she has followed two clinical passions: treatment of “functional” voice disorders (e.g., muscle tension dysphonia), and voice and communication training for people who identify as transgender.  In 2011, Dr. Helou founded the Transgender Voice & Communication Training Program at the UPMC Voice Center.  Dr. Helou completed her doctoral studies at the University of Pittsburgh. Her broad areas of research interest involve “mind-voice” pathways, vocal motor control, and how psychological states and traits impact the voice and vocal behaviors.  In addition to her role as a clinician, Dr. Helou is a postdoctoral scholar at the Systems Neuroscience Institute, where she investigates the neuroanatomical circuitry underlying volitional control of breathing muscles in the context of vocalization.