Steven Barlow

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Communication Neuroscience Laboratories

Steven Barlow Corwin Moore Professor

Ph.D., Speech Physiology, University of Wisconsin, 1984
M.S., Speech-Hearing Sciences, University of Wisconsin, 1980
B.S., Speech Pathology, University of Wisconsin, 1976

Steven Barlow joined the Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders in 2014 as the Corwin Moore Professor after working at the University of Kansas for more than 13 years. He served as chair of the Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders from July 2021 through December 2022.

His research is collaborative in nature and focuses on the neurobiology of somatosensory and motor systems in premature infants. Steven developed the NTrainer System, which was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2008, and uses its innovative pulsed cutaneous stimulation during critical periods of development to facilitate oral feeding skills, overall brain development and long-term behavioral and learning outcomes.

Most recently, Steven was awarded a $2.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. He will use the grant funding to lead a five-year, multi-site study that will examine 180 preterm infants born between 24-27 weeks at neonatal intensive care units at CHI Health St. Elizabeth in Lincoln, Tufts Medical Center in Boston, and Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose, California. This new study will be the first of its kind to explore the ability of the NTrainer’s stimulation to trigger positive genetic changes as related to six target genes in the infants.

A variant of Steven's NTrainer therapy approach using dynamic somatosensory fields is now being tested as an agent of brain plasticity in adults who have sustained cerebrovascular stroke. New study lines at UNL will focus on neural encoding of velocity and direction of saltatory somatosensory inputs using a new medical device developed in the Steven's lab, known as the TAC-Cell Array or ‘Galileo’. The main objectives are to improve neurodiagnostics and neurotherapeutics to improve the well-being of the affected individual across the lifespan, including improved speech and swallowing motor control, and when involved, rehabilitate sensorimotor control of distal extremities (hand, object manipulation).

Areas of Expertise:

    Neurobiology of preterm infant, feeding, gene expression
    Experience- and activity-dependent plasticity across the lifespan
    Somatosensory and motor physiology
    Medical device neurotherapeutics

Professional Highlights

Honors and Recognition
2020, iidex Invention-Innovation-Design Exposition Bronze Award2019, Laurels Recognition for Research, University of Nebraska2019, Callier Prize for Outstanding Scientific Achievement, Callier Center, University of Texas at Dallas2016, Research Faculty, Society for Pediatric Research2015, Honors Award for Distinguished Scientific Research Career and Service, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association2015, Meritorious Poster Award, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association2012, Louise Byrd Graduate Research Training Award, University of Kansas2012, Leading Light Research Award, University of Kansas2011, Founder, Neonatal Feeding Club, American Pediatric Society2009, Dolph C. Simons, Sr. Award in the Biomedical Sciences2009, Editor's and Publisher Award, Journal Neonatal Nursing2009, Fellow Award, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association2008, Best Scientific Article, Physiological Measurement2003, 4th William R. Zemlin Memorial Award for Excellence in Speech Science Research, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association2002, Excellence in Teaching Award, University of Kansas1985, James M. Keck Faculty Development Award, Creighton University
2014-present, Corwin Moore Professor, University of Nebraska-Lincoln2015-present, Associate Director, Center for Brain, Biology and Behavior, University of Nebraska-Lincoln2014-present, Director, Communication Neuroscience Laboratories, University of Nebraska-Lincoln2014-present, Professor (Affiliate), Department of Biological Systems Engineering, University of Nebraska-Lincoln2018-present, Director, Functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy Laboratory at CB3, University of Nebraska-Lincoln2021-22, Chair, Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders, University of Nebraska-Lincoln2004-13, Professor, Department of Speech-Language-Hearing: Sciences & Disorders, University of Kansas2000-04, Professor and Chair, Department of Speech-Language-Hearing: Sciences & Disorders, University of Kansas2000-13, Professor, Programs in Neuroscience, Human Biology, and Bioengineering, University of Kansas1999-2000, Professor and Chair, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Syracuse University1993-99, Professor, Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, Indiana University1990-93, Associate Professor, Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, Indiana University1987-89, Coordinator and Staff Scientist, Speech-Orofacial Physiology Lab, Boys Town National Institute, Omaha, Nebraska1987-89, Associate Professor, Department of Otolaryngology, Creighton University School of Medicine1984-87, Co-Coordinator and Research Associate, Speech-Orofacial Physiology Lab, Boys Town National Institute, Omaha, Nebraska1984-86, Assistant Professor, Department of Otolaryngology, Creighton University School of Medicine
Society for NeuroscienceAcoustical Society of AmericaAssociation for Research in OtolaryngologyNational Head Injury FoundationPediatric Academic Society (Society for Pediatric Research)American Clinical Neurophysiology SocietyAmerican Speech-Language-Hearing AssociationAcademy of Neurologic Communication Disorders and SciencesAmerican Academy of NeurologyInternational Society for Advancement of Clinical MEG