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Our Team

Peter Belafsky, MD, PhD

p_belafskyDr. Belafsky is Professor of Otolaryngology and the Director of The Center for Voice and Swallowing. He also holds appointments in the UCD Department of Epidemiology and School of Veterinary Medicine. His primary clinical interests are the comprehensive diagnosis and management of voice, swallowing and airway disorders. He has dedicated his career to the care of individuals with devastating swallowing conditions and is currently working on exciting and new advances in the treatment of dysphagia.

Maggie Kuhn, MD

Kuhn-OtoFell_copyDr. Kuhn is Associate Professor of Otolaryngology and joined the Center for Voice and Swallowing after completion of her fellowship in Laryngology & Bronchoesophagology at UCD. She specializes in complex disorders of voice, swallowing and airway. She is actively involved in clinical research exploring reflux-mediated swallowing disorders and functional outcomes after treatment for head and neck cancer.


Lisa Evangelista, CScD, CCC-SLP, BCS-S

Dr. Evangelista is a senior speech-language pathologist and board certified specialist in swallowing and swallowing disorders. She specializes in swallowing dysfunction in head and neck cancers. Her research interests include functional outcomes in head and neck oncology. She has lectured at the regional and national levels of pulmonary health, radiation-associated swallowing impairments and ethical considerations in dysphagia management.


Tess Tavill, MS, CCC-SLP

Tess completed her clinical fellowship at the UC Davis Center for Voice & Swallowing in May and immediately joined the team full-time. A native of Sacramento, she earned a BA in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences from University of Colorado, and completed her Masters at Idaho State University. She intends to expand her expertise in the care of trauma, neurologic and head & neck cancer patients, and if very passionate about voice restoration after total laryngectomy. She holds particular expertise in Lee-Silverman Voice Therapy and endoscopic “bioFEESback”.

Nogah Nativ-Zeltzer, PhD

womanNogah Nativ-Zeltzer, Ph.D., is the Dickenson research fellow and Postdoctoral Researcher with the UC Davis Center for Voice and Swallowing. Her research interests include the prevention and treatment of swallowing disorders and aspiration pneumonia. The major goal of her research is to identify risk factors and biomarkers of aspiration pneumonia and translate these findings into novel approaches for pneumonia prevention in individuals with dysphagia.