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Esther Kim, PhD, MS, BSc

Associate Professor

Rehabilitation Medicine

Communication Sciences and Disorders

About Me

PhD – Speech, Language & Hearing Sciences – University of Arizona – 2006
MS – Speech-Language Pathology – University of Arizona – 2000
BSc – Psychology – University of Alberta – 1998


Research Affiliate - Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital

Neuroscience and Mental Health Institute

Alberta Cognitive Neuroscience

Alberta College of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists (ACSLPA)

American Speech-Language Hearing Association

Academy of Neurologic Communication Sciences and Disorders (ANCDS)

Academy of Aphasia

Background Information
After receiving her BSc (Psychology) from the University of Alberta, Dr. Kim completed graduate and post-graduate training at the University of Arizona. She has worked in several settings with adult neurogenic clients, including skilled nursing facilities, home health and the Aphasia Research Project at the University of Arizona. She joined the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders in December 2009.

Professional Interests
Dr. Kim's research focuses on investigating cognitive factors contributing to language processing (particularly written language processing) and treatments to remediate acquired language disorders. She also investigates treatment-induced neuroplasticity in adults with acquired neurological communication disorders. She is a Research Affiliate of the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital, and a member of the Centre for Neuroscience and Alberta Cognitive Neuroscience.

Dr. Kim is also actively involved in aphasia awareness and advocacy in the community. She is co-founder of the Alberta Aphasia Camp, in partnership with March of Dimes Canada.


The ultimate goal of our research lab is to improve the quality of life for individuals affected by acquired language disorders. Research in the lab includes studies designed to investigate cognitive mechanisms underlying language processing, developing evidence-based treatments, examining methods for increasing neural plasticity and promoting quality of life through Life Participation Approach for Aphasia (LPAA) based interventions. 

We use a combination of behavioural and clinical methods to examine cognitive (e.g., attention, working memory) and linguistic (e.g., semantic, orthographic, phonologic) processing in adults with acquired and progressive language disorders, and healthy aging populations. We also use non-invasive brain stimulation techniques - specifically transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) - in conjunction with behavioural speech-language treatment to investigate neural plasticity in aphasia.

Current Research

  • Voice Adaptive Training for Adults with Aphasia (VoiceAdapt Trial)
  • Community-Based Programming for People with Aphasia
  • Enhancing neural plasticity in aphasia 

Dr. Kim is currently recruiting individuals with aphasia as well as healthy controls (age 40+) for these research studies. Please contact her via telephone (780-248-1542) or email ( for more information.