Angela Roberts, PhD

Assistant Professor
Co-Director, Collaborative Specialization in Machine Learning in Health and Biomedical Sciences

Room 2518, EC
519 661-2111 x88942
Google Scholar
  • PhD Western University
  • MA University of Tennessee (Knoxville)
  • BA Hons University of Tennessee (Knoxville)

Graduate Program Supervision

  • Health and Rehab Sciences MSc | PhD
  • Medical Biophysics MSc | PhD

Research In Profile

Professor Angela Roberts holds a joint appointment in the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders and Department of Computer Science. She is also a speech-language pathologist. She is a founding Co-Director of Western’s Collaborative Specialization in Machine Learning in Health and Biomedical Sciences and is a Research Associate with the Canadian Centre of Activity and Aging. She was on faculty at Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois prior to moving her research program to Western University.

Her impactful research program improves cognitive aging outcomes through rigorously validating connected speech signatures that detect and monitor cognitive decline, building phenotypes and predictive models of cognitive aging trajectories (dementia to extraordinary cognitive aging), and developing dyadic interventions that address communication challenges experienced by persons with dementia and their families. Her clinical research program uses robust randomized control trial designs and telehealth service delivery systems that have a global reach. Her influence extends to health charity organizations as a research board member for Parkinson Canada and an author of internationally distributed patient and family education materials.

Professor Roberts’ work is funded by the Ontario Brain Institute, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and the National Institutes of Health (U.S.), including an early investigator award from the National Institutes of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.

Featured Publications and Projects

Chapters and Reports

  • Aveni, K. & Roberts, A. (2022). Multi-level discourse analysis in Parkinson’s disease and related disorders. In C.E. Coelho, L.R. Cherney & B.B. Shadden (Eds.). Discourse analysis in adults with and without communication disorders: A resource for clinicians and researchers (pp. 269-288). Plural Publishing.
  • Rohl, A., Gutierrez, S., Johari, K., Greenlee, J., Tjaden, K., & Roberts, A. (2022). Speech dysfunction, cognition, and Parkinson's disease. In N. S. Narayanan, & R. L. Albin (Eds.), Progress in Brain Research, 269(1), 153-173.
  • Roberts, A., Savundranayagam, M., Orange, JB. (2021). Dementia Alzheimer Type in L. Cummings (ed.). Pragmatic Language Disorders: Complex and Underserved Populations (pp. 359-380). Cham, Switzerland: Springer-Verlag.

Articles in Peer-Reviewed Journals

  • Roberts, A.C., Rademaker, W., Salley, E., Mooney, A, Morhardt, D., Fried-Oken, M., Weintraub, S., Mesulam, M., & Rogalski, E. (2022). Communication Bridge-2 (CB2): A NIH Stage 2 randomized control trial of speech-language intervention for communication impairments in individuals with mild to moderate primary progressive aphasia. Trials, 23(1), 1-24. .
  • Roberts, A., Aveni, K., Basque, S., Orange, J.B., McLaughlin, P., Ramirez, J., Troyer, A., Gutierrez, S., Chen, A., Bartha, R., Binns, M, Black, S., Casaubon, L., Dowlatshahi, D., Hassan, A., Kwan, D., Levine, B., Mandzia, J., Sahlas, D., Scott, C., Strother, S., Sunderland, S., Symons, S., Swartz, R. (2021). Predicting cognitive impairment in cerebrovascular disease using spoken discourse production. Topics in Language Disorders, January/March, 41 (1), 73-98.
  • Godkin, FE, Turner, E., Demnati, Y., Vert, A., Roberts, A., Swartz, R.H., McLaughlin, P.M., Weber, K.S., Thai, V., Beyer, K.B., Cornish, B., Abrahao, A., Black, S.E., Masellis, M., Zinman, L., Beaton, D., Binns, M.A., Chau, V., Kwan, D., Lim, A., Munoz, D.P., Strother, S.C., Sunderland, K.M., Tan, B., McIlroy, W.E., & Van Ooteghem, K. (2021). Feasibility of a continuous, multi-sensor remote health monitoring approach in persons living with neurodegenerative disease. Journal of Neurology, 1-14.
  • Roberts A., Rafferty, M., Wu, S., Guanhuong, M., Cubillos, F., Simuni, T. (2021). Patterns and predictors of referrals to allied health services for individuals with Parkinson’s Disease: A Parkinson’s Foundation (PF) Q II study. Parkinsonism and Related Disorders, 83: 115-122.
  • Roberts, A., Nguyen, P., Orange, JB, Jog, M., Nisbet, K., McRae, K. (2017). Differential impairments of upper and lower limb movements influence action verb processing in Parkinson disease. Cortex, 97: 49-59.

Visit Google Scholar for a comprehensive list of publications.

Current Grants and Research Projects

  • Roberts, A. and Rogalski, E. (Co-PIs). 2022-2023. Communication Bridge: A person-centred internet intervention for individuals with Primary Progressive Aphasia. National Institute of Aging (NIH) R56AG055425. $2,184,111.  Parent grant National Institute of Aging R01AG055425 (2017-2023) $924,106.
  • Roberts, A. (U19 Co-I; Western site Co-lead). U19 PI(s) E. Rogalski, C. Geula, M. Mesulam (Northwestern University) 2022-2027. SUPERAging: Study to Uncover Pathways to Exceptional Cognitive Resilience in Aging. [U19 sub-project: Vascular and Behavioural Determinants of SuperAging – PI: Roberts, A.]. National Institute of Aging (NIH) U19AG073253. $20,000,000
  • Roberts, A. (Co-I; Swartz, R. PI). 2021-2023. AcT-Cog: Online cognitive assessment in Alteplase compared to Tenecteplase (AcT trial). Canadian Institutes of Health Research. $186, 469
  • Roberts, A. (Co-I and HANDDS-ONT study lead; PIs Swartz, R., Masellis, M., Munoz, D.). Ontario Neurodegenerative Disease Research Initiative: Healthy Aging and Neurodegenerative Diseases Study Ontario. 2019-2023. $5,000,000
  •  Roberts, A. (PI). 2019-2023. Phase 2 Development of a Spoken Language Biomarker of Cognitive Impairment in Parkinson’s Disease. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIH). $168,915
  • Roberts, A. (PI in partnership with technology partner Sonica, Inc.) 2018-2020. A multimodal, continuous, and real time wearable sensor technology for measuring social interaction in individuals with Alzheimer’s dementia. National Institute of Aging SBIR award R43AG0608. $1,979,000
  • Roberts, A. (Co-I; P. Souza PI). 2019-2023. Alzheimer’s disease administrative supplement to Characterizing Variability in Hearing Aid Outcomes. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIH) 3R01 DC012289. $323,000

Graduate Student Opportunities

Potential Projects:

  • Developing/validating connected speech and language biomarkers of cognitive impairment.
  • Evaluation of treatment efficacy in a clinical trial of speech-language therapies for persons with primary progressive aphasia using traditional and technology-facilitates treatment outcomes focused on communication participation and caregiver burden.
  • Development and validation of novel treatment outcome measures and clinical trial endpoints in dementia and neurodegenerative brain diseases.
  • Mechanistic studies examining the cognitive and neural substrates underpinning spoken language production and comprehension.
  • Developing and evaluating digital health solutions and interventions for older adults, persons with dementia, and persons with neurodegenerative brain diseases.
  • Analysis and algorithm development in speech and life-space mobility data derived from acoustic and wearable sensor methods.
  • Use of behavioural and sensor-derived data to develop cross-disciplinary endophenotypes that penetrate diagnostic boundaries in aging and in neurodegenerative brain diseases.
  • Developing predictive markers of cognitive aging trajectories across the aging spectrum (neurodegeneration to exceptional cognitive aging).

Please send an email to professor Roberts, at, if you are interested in learning more.

Additional Information

Academic Appointments and Research Affiliations

  • Research Associate, Canadian Centre for Activity and Aging
  • Scientist and Executive Committee, Ontario Neurodegenerative Disease Research Initiative
  • Adjunct Research Faculty, Northwestern University/Communication Sciences and Disorders
  • Research Affiliate, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine/Mesulam Centre

Professional Activities

  • Progressive Neurological Disorders Writing Group Chair, Academy of Neurogenic Communication Disorders
  • Editorial Board, Journal of Speech, Language, Hearing Research
  • Registered Speech-Language Pathologist (General Certificate), College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists of Ontario