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Jeffrey Palmer, M.D. – Professor Emeritus

Dr. Jeffrey Palmer is a professor emeritus of the Johns Hopkins Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. A member of the faculty since 1983, Dr. Palmer reached the rank of professor in 2002. From 2004 to 2014, he served as the Lawrence Cardinal Shehan Chair of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and the physiatrist-in-chief of The Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Dr. Palmer has retired from medical practice. He remains active in research and teaching.

Expertise: amputee rehabilitation, back disorders, cerebrovascular diseases, degenerative disc disease, dysphagia evaluation, geriatric rehabilitation, neurologic rehabilitation, orthopaedic rehabilitation, spinal cord dysfunction, spinal cord injury, spinal disorders and swallowing disorders.

Research interests: swallowing, mastication, swallowing disorders, neurorehabilitation, stroke, head and neck cancer, neuromuscular disease, and biomechanics.

Career and Honors

After initial piano studies at the Juilliard School, Dr. Palmer obtained his undergraduate and medical degrees from New York University, and completed a residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of Washington in Seattle.

During his career at Johns Hopkins, Dr. Palmer also served as a professor of functional anatomy and evolution and of otolaryngology–head and neck surgery.

The first editor-in-chief of Current Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Reports, Dr. Palmer also served on the editorial advisory boards of Dysphagia and the Japanese Journal of Comprehensive Rehabilitation Sciences. He is a past president of the Dysphagia Research Society and held leadership roles in the Association of Academic Physiatrists.

He has received numerous honors in the United States and abroad:

  • Dodds-Donner Lectureship, Dysphagia Research Society, 2017
  • Distinguished Academician Award, Association of Academic Physiatrists, 2016
  • Distinguished Professor, Fujita Health University, 2016
  • Honorary member, Japanese Association of Rehabilitation Medicine, 2014
  • The B. Stanley Cohen Lectureship, Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland, 2010
  • Listed in Who’s Who in America, by Marquis Who’s Who, 2010
  • Fellow, American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine, 2008
  • Honorary member, Japanese Society for Dysphagia Rehabilitation, 2001

Professor Emeritus Jeffrey Palmer, M.D.

Dr. Palmer served as the director of the Johns Hopkins Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, as well as in many other roles. His is now a professor emeritus with the department. His clinical interests include dysphagia (difficulty swallowing), neurological disorders, stroke, and spinal cord injuries and disorders.


Dr. Palmer is internationally known for his research on swallowing and swallowing disorders, which was supported by the National Institutes of Health for more than 20 years. At Johns Hopkins, Dr. Palmer directed the Swallowing and Oral Function Laboratory. His research focused on neural control of mastication and swallowing, and dynamic imaging of swallowing with videofluoroscopy and high-resolution CT.

Dr. Palmer has trained more than 25 postdoctoral research fellows, many of whom serve as faculty members at universities around the world.

Selected Publications

Brodsky MB, Huang M, Shanholtz C, Mendez-Tellez PA, Palmer JB, Colantuoni E, Needham DM. Recovery of Dysphagia Symptoms after Oral Endotracheal Intubation in ARDS Survivors: A 5- Year Longitudinal Study. Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2016 Dec 16, in press. PMID: 27983872

Inokuchi H, González-Fernández M, Matsuo K, Brodsky MB, Yoda M, Taniguchi H, Okazaki H, Hiraoka T, Palmer JB. Electromyography of Swallowing with Fine Wire Intramuscular Electrodes in Healthy Human: Amplitude Difference of Selected Hyoid Muscles. Dysphagia. 2016 Feb; 31(1):33-40. doi: 10.1007/s00455-015-9655-9. PMID: 26487062

Matsuo K, Palmer JB. Video fluoroscopic techniques for the study of Oral Food Processing. Curr Opin Food Sci. 2016; 9:1-10, 2016. PubMed PMID: 27213138.

Kagaya H, Yokoyama M, Saitoh E, Kanamori D, Susa C, German RZ, Palmer JB. Isolated pharyngeal swallow exists during normal human feeding. Tohoku J Exp Med. 2015; 236(1):39-43. doi: 10.1620/tjem.236.39. PMID: 25947116

Inamoto Y, Saitoh E, Okada S, Kagaya H, Shibata S, Baba M, Onogi K, Hashimoto S, Katada K, Wattanapan P, Palmer JB. Anatomy of the larynx and pharynx: effects of age, gender and height revealed by multidetector computed tomography. J Oral Rehabil. 2015 Sep; 42(9):670-7. doi: 10.1111/joor.12298. PMID: 25892610

Matsuo K, Palmer JB. Coordination of oro-pharyngeal food transport during chewing and respiratory phase. Physiol Behav. 2015 Apr 1; 142:52-6. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2015.01.035. PMID: 25645606

Needham DM, Korupolu R, Zanni JM, Pradhan P, Conlantuoni E, Palmer JB, Brower RG, Fan E. Early physical medicine and rehabilitation for patients with acute respiratory failure: a quality improvement project. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2010; 91(4):536-42, 2010; DOI:10.1016/j.apmr.2010.01.002.

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