Jerilyn "Jeri" Logemann, a professor in Northwestern University's Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders who also taught in NU's Feinberg School of Medicine, was recognized internationally for her work on swallowing disorders known as dysphagia.
"She will be remembered for her work on swallowing and pioneering research on swallowing disorders, which is now one of the major things that speech language pathologists do," said Viorica Marian, who chairs the department where Ms. Logemann worked.
Ms. Logemann, 72, died of complications from a viral infection Thursday, June 19, in her Evanston home, according to her cousin, Ruth Fruland. She lived in Wilmette before moving to Evanston eight or nine years ago.
Ms. Logemann's work included developing a modified barium swallow test, sometimes called the "cookie swallow" test, which greatly reduced the amount of barium patients had to take to assess swallowing functions.
"Jeri saw the need for a simple test for swallowing problems," said Barbara Pauloski, who assisted Ms. Logemann with her research.
"The 'cookie swallowing' test is a mini-swallowing diagnostic test," Pauloski said. "It's considered the gold standard for testing swallowing problems."
Ms. Logemann lived in Riverside until she was about 4 and then moved with her family to Downers Grove, according to Fruland. Her involvement with Northwestern began when she was a student at what was then Downers Grove High School and enrolled in the university's cherub summer program. She focused on theater arts.
At Northwestern, she started out as a student interested in theater, and as part of that pursuit took a course in voice disorders.
"I'm sure that was kind of a gateway to speech language pathology," said Pauloski, an associate research professor who worked with Ms. Logemann for 27 years.
After getting a bachelor's degree in speech pathology in 1963, Ms. Logemann continued at Northwestern, getting a master's in the field in 1964 and a Ph.D. in 1968. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the school and in 1970 became a research associate in neurology and otolaryngology at Feinberg.
Her involvement with Northwestern's Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders included 14 years as chairman.
She also served two terms as president of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association .
In an email, the association's current president, Elizabeth McCrea noted Ms. Logemann's dedication to patients, students and the profession of speech-language pathology.
"Her contributions to our field and to the diagnosis and treatment of voice and swallowing disorders in particular are truly monumental," McCrea wrote.
Marian called Ms. Logemann a brilliant scientist, clinician and teacher whose work in training others in the field including lecturing around the world.
Her textbook, "Evaluation and Treatment of Swallowing Disorders," is the standard for the profession, according to Marian.
Marian said that work has the potential to affect nearly everyone.
"At one point in our lives, especially near the end-of-life stages, for all of us swallowing will become a very important part of our function. Anything any clinician or physician does to diagnose swallowing problems and to develop interventions for swallowing relies on the work she has done as a dysphagia pioneer," Marian said.
Pauloski said as director of Northwestern's Voice, Speech, Language Service and Swallowing Center, Ms. Logemann was a shining example of putting research into practice with patients.
She had recently become interested in looking at ways to heighten the sensation of food in the mouth for patients with Alzheimer's disease and other dementia.
She was working on sour flavors and carbonation, Pauloski said. "She loved the work, loved students, loved fresh ideas and she loved seeing patients."
There are no immediate survivors.
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