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Maureen A. Lefton-Greif, M.A., Ph.D.

Photo of Dr. Maureen A. Lefton-Greif, M.A., Ph.D.

Director, Johns Hopkins Feeding/Swallowing Disorders Program

Professor of Pediatrics

Specializes in: Infants (up to 1 year), Children (1-11 years), Adolescents (12-18 years)

Expertise: Dysphagia, Swallowing Disorders

Research Interests: Oropharyngeal dysphagia in infants and children, development of standardized Videofluoroscopic Swallow Study procedures and outcome measures, development of respiratory-swallow coordination, respiratory-swallow coordination in Ataxia-Telangiectasia and Neuromuscular Disorders, aspiration-induced lung disease, aerodigestive disorders in infants and children more

Contact for Research Inquiries

The Johns Hopkins Hospital
200 N. Wolfe Street
Baltimore, MD 21287 map


Dr. Maureen A. Lefton-Greif is a Professor of Pediatrics, Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.  Her areas of clinical expertise include feeding/swallowing development and disorders.  Her research focuses on standardization of fluoroscopic images from bottle-fed children with dysphagia and respiratory-swallow coordination in progressive diseases with pediatric origins.

Dr. Lefton-Greif co-authored the book dedicated to Videofluoroscopic Swallow Studies in infants and young children. She is a board certified specialist in swallowing and swallowing disorders, and serves on the editorial advisory boards of the Journal of Dysphagia, the Canadian Journal of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. She is an active member of the Dysphagia Research Society. 

As a nationally and internationally renowned clinician, Dr. Lefton-Greif has served on multidisciplinary, graduate education, and clinical practice guidelines committees. Her work has changed standards of clinical care including diagnostic, surveillance, and management protocols; improved the outcomes and survival of affected children; and resulted in clinical referrals beyond the local/regional area.  Her clinical opinions, expertise, and instruction have been requested here and abroad.


  • Director, Johns Hopkins Feeding/Swallowing Disorders Program
  • Professor of Pediatrics
  • Associate Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
  • Professor of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery



  • B.A., Brooklyn College of the City University of New York (New York) (1972)
  • M.A., Case Western Reserve University (Ohio) (1973)
  • Ph.D., Temple University (Pennsylvania) (1988)

Additional Training

  • Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology, American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA)

Research & Publications

Research Summary

Dr. Lefton-Greif’s research focuses on standardization of protocols and images from bottle-fed children with dysphagia and respiratory-swallow coordination in progressive diseases with pediatric origins.

Her publications were the first to identify the presence of oropharyngeal dysphagia in children with unexplained respiratory presentations; identify dysphagia as a significant contributor to respiratory compromise in Ataxia-Telangiectasia, which is the leading cause of death and had been previously attributed to immunologic problems; and report on a novel scale that quantifies the impact on caregivers of feeding/swallowing problems in their children.

Selected Publications

View all on Pubmed

1. Lefton-Greif MA, Crawford TO, Winkelstein JA, Loughlin GM, Koerner CB, Zahurak M, Lederman HM. Oropharyngeal dysphagia and aspiration in patients with Ataxia-Telangiectasia. J Pediatrics. 2000;136(2):225-231.

2. Crawford TO, Mandir, AS, Lefton-Greif MA, Goodman, SN, Goodman B.K, Sengul H, Lederman HM. Quantitative neurologic assessment of ataxia-telangiectasia. Neurology. 2000; 54:1505-1509.

3. Lefton-Greif MA, Carroll JL, Loughlin GM. Long-Term Follow-Up of Oropharyngeal Dysphagia in Children without Apparent Risk Factors. Pediatr Pulmonol. 2006; 41(11): 1040-1048.

4. Lefton-Greif MA, Crawford TO, McGrath-Morrow S A, Carson KA, Lederman HM. Safety and caregiver satisfaction with gastrostomy in patients with Ataxia Telangiectasia. Orphanet J Rare Diseases. 2011 May 15;6(1):23.

5. McGrath-Morrow SA, Ryan T, Riekert K, Lefton-Greif MA, Eakin M, Collaco JM. The impact of bronchopulmonary dysplasia on caregiver health related quality of life during the first 2 years of life. Pediatr Pulmonol. 2013. 48:579-586.

6. Lefton-Greif MA, Okelo SO, Wright JM, Collaco JM, McGrath-Morrow SA, Eakin MN. Impact of Children's Feeding/Swallowing Problems: Validation of a New Caregiver Instrument. Dysphagia. 2014 Aug27. December; 29(6):671-677.

7. Collaco JM, Aherrera AD, Au Yeung KJ, Lefton-Greif MA, Hoch J, Skinner ML. Interdisciplinary Pediatric Aerodigestive Care and Reduction in Health Care Costs and Burden. JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2015.141:101-105.

8. Leder SB, Siner JM, Bizzarro MJ, McGinley BM, Lefton-Greif MA. Oral Alimentation in Neonatal and Adult Populations Requiring High-Flow Oxygen via Nasal Cannula. Dysphagia Dysphagia. 2016 Apr;31(2):154-9. doi: 10.1007/s00455-015-9669-3. Epub 2015 Nov 21.

9. Skinner ML, Lee SK, Collaco JM, Lefton-Greif MA, Hoch J, Au Yeung KJ (2016) Financial and Health Impacts of Multidisciplinary Aerodigestive Care. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 154 (6):1064-1067. doi:10.1177/0194599816637830

10. Flax-Goldenberg R, Kulkani KS, Carson KA, Pinto JM, Martin-Harris B, Lefton-Greif MA. Concordance Between Aspiration Detected on Upper Gastrointestinal Series and Videofluoroscopic Swallow Study in Bottle-Fed Children. Dysphagia. 2016 Aug;31(4):505-10. doi: 10.1007/s00455-016-9705-y. Epub 2016 Apr 6.

11. Lefton-Greif MA, Perlman AL, He X, Lederman HM, Crawford TO. Assessment of Impaired Coordination between Respiration and Deglutition in Children and Young Adults with Ataxia Telangiectasia. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology. 2016 Oct;58(10):1069-75. doi: 10.1111/dmcn.13156. Epub 2016 May 23.

McGrattan K, McGhee H, DeToma A, Hill EG, Zyblewski SC, Lefton-Greif MA, Halstead L, Bradley S, Martin-Harris B. Dysphagia in Infants with Single Ventricle Anatomy Following Stage 1 Palliation: Physiologic Correlates and Response to Treatment. Congential Heart Disease. 2017 Feb 28. doi: 10.1111/chd.12456. [Epub ahead of print]

Activities & Honors


  • Certificate of Honor, College of Health Professionals Alumni Association, Temple University
  • Scientific Abstract Oral Presentation Winner, Dysphagia Society
  • National Foundation of Swallowing Disorders Award
  • 15th Award for Continuing Education, American Speech-Language Hearing Association
  • Mentor for Student Research Travel Award, American Speech-Language Hearing Association


  • Dysphagia Research Society
  • American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
  • Society for Ear, Nose and Throat Advances in Children
  • Maryland Speech-Language Hearing Association

Professional Activities

  • Editorial Advisory Board Member, An International Multidisciplinary Journal Devoted to Swallowing and Its Disorders
  • Editorial Review Board Member, Canadian Journal of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology
  • Editorial Board Member, American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology
  • Mentor - Student Research Travel Award Recipient, American Speech-Language Hearing Association (2009)
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