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Northwestern School of Communication

Leora Cherney

Professor; Professor, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Feinberg School of Medicine
355 East Erie Street
Chicago, IL 60611
Leora Cherney

Leora R. Cherney, PhD, CCC-SLP, BC-ANCDS, FACRM is the Scientific Chair of Think and Speak at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab (formerly the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago) and Professor of both Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Communication Sciences & Disorders at Northwestern University. She has 40 years of clinical and research experience in the area of adult neurologic communication disorders. She is the founder and director of SRAlab’s Center for Aphasia Research and Treatment which offers an Intensive Comprehensive Aphasia Program (ICAP) and weekly aphasia community groups.

Dr. Cherney’s innovative, cutting-edge research has explored factors to enhance aphasia treatment outcomes for behavioral, pharmacological, and neuromodulatory interventions. Her research includes quantitative and qualitative studies, single-subject research, and randomized clinical trials, and measures outcomes relative to both impairment and participation levels. Her continuous record as Principal Investigator on federal, private, and industry-sponsored research grants includes R01s from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. She has also received a record seven field-initiated grants from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR).

Dr. Cherney has authored over 100 journal publications and five books. She has received numerous prestigious awards including: Honors of both the Illinois and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association; Honors of the Academy of Neurologic Communication Disorders and Sciences; the ACRM and National Stroke Association Excellence in Post-Acute Stroke award; and the ACRM Women in Rehabilitation Science Award. She regularly presents at workshops and conferences nationally and internationally.


  • PhD, Speech and Language Pathology, Northwestern University
  • MA, Speech and Language Pathology, Northwestern University
  • BS, Logopaedics, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Recent Publications

  • Cherney LR, Babbitt EM, Wang X, & Pitts LL. (2021). Extended fMRI-Guided Anodal and Cathodal Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Targeting Perilesional Areas in Post-Stroke Aphasia: A Pilot Randomized Clinical Trial. Brain Sciences. 11(3):306.
  • Cherney LR, Lee JB, Kim KYA. & Van Vuuren, S. (2021) Web-Based Oral Reading for Language in Aphasia (Web ORLA): A randomized control trial. Clinical Rehabilitation, 35(7) 976–987.
  • Ashaie SA & Cherney, LR, (2021). Internal Consistency and Convergent Validity of Self-Report and By-Proxy Measures of Depression in Persons with Aphasia. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 64(6), 2047-2052.
  • Babbitt EM, Worrall L, Cherney LR. (2021) “It’s like a lifeboat”: Stakeholder perspectives of an Intensive Comprehensive Aphasia Program (ICAP). Aphasiology.
  • Boyer N, Jordan N, Cherney LR. (2021) Implementation cost analysis of an intensive comprehensive aphasia program. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. DOI: 10.1016/j.apmr.2020.09.398
  • Kinsey LE, Lee JB, Larkin EM, & Cherney LR. (2021). Texting Behaviors of Individuals with Chronic Aphasia: A Descriptive Study. American Journal of Speech Language Pathology.
  • Rose, M., Pierce, J., Scharp, V., Off, C., Babbitt, E., Griffin, J., & Cherney, L. R. (2021). Developments in the application of Intensive Comprehensive Aphasia Programs: An international survey of practice. Disability and Rehabilitation.

Recent Grants and Funding

  • NIDILRR – RTCP. Enhancing Community Living and Increasing Participation through Self Efficacy (Eclipse). Includes R2. COMmunity Outreach Model of Education and Training on Communication (COMET-C). 9/1/2021 – 8/31/2026
    Role: Co-Principal Investigator
  • NIDILRR – AART. Advanced Rehabilitation Research Training: Interventions for Neurologic Communication Disorders. 6/1/2021 – 5/31/2026.
    Role: Principal Investigator
  • NIH (NIDCD) . Defining Trajectories of Linguistic, Cognitive-Communicative and Quality of Life Outcomes in Aphasia. 4/10/2019 – 3/31/2024
    Role: (MPI) Multi-Principal Investigator.
  • Supplement. NIH (NIDCD). Digital Healthcare Interventions to Address the Secondary Health Effects Related to Social, Behavioral, and Economic Impact of COVID-19. 4/10/2020 – 3/31/2022.
    Role: (MPI) Multi-Principal Investigator.
  • NIH (NIDCD). Modulating stimulus intensity to improve clinical outcomes in aphasia treatment. 7/8/2019 – 6/30/2024.
    Role: (MPI) Multi-Principal Investigator.
  • NIDILRR Field Initiated Program.
    Timing of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) combined with speech and language therapy (SLT): An Intervention Development Study for Aphasia. 9/30/2018 – 9/29/2022. Role: Principal Investigator
  • NIDILRR Field Initiated Program
    Improving electronic written communication in persons with aphasia: A clinical trial. 10/01/2017 – 9/30/2021
    Role: Principal Investigator


  • SPCH-LNG 495-2: Aphasia II