Good Science,
Great Innovations

Advancing One Health Precision Medicine for Aerodigestive Health.

University Spin-off Company​

Lever Scientific is a university spin-off company focused on solving aerodigestive health issues in humans and animals by developing and commercializing innovative technologies and strategies for research and clinical use.

University spin-off companies transform technological inventions developed through university research with the aim of commercialization. While most University inventions typically remain unexploited, those that transition into start-up companies with the inventor(s) have a higher probability of success.

Innovations based on evidence-based research that validates need and objectivity. Dr. Lever’s Innovations are based on years of laboratory and clinical research for validation.

Our Purpose

Lever Scientific applies a ONE HEALTH approach to promote aerodigestive health.

We are focused on solving aerodigestive problems in humans and companion animals using eco-friendly, sustainable strategies.

Dr. Teresa Lever

Lever Scientific is a university spin-off founded by Teresa Lever, PhD, a clinician-scientist who started as a medical speech-language pathologist and is now an Associate Professor in the Departments of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery (School of Medicine) and Biomedical Sciences (College of Veterinary Medicine) at the University of Missouri.

Over the past decade, Dr. Lever’s research (Teresa Lever‬ – ‪Google Scholar‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬) has generated an impressive portfolio of patents and other intellectual property focused on innovative diagnostic tools and treatment strategies for the aerodigestive tract of humans and animals, which the Lever Scientific Team is working to commercialize.

Dr. Lever spent the first half of her career as a medical speech-language pathologist specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders affecting the aerodigestive tract — the shared “space” within the respiratory and digestive systems essential for swallowing, breathing, and speaking.

Frustrated by the numerous knowledge gaps in her field, Dr. Lever left clinical practice in 2002 to obtain a research doctoral degree and subsequent post-doctoral fellowship training in neuroscience. In 2010, she joined the University of Missouri (MU) faculty and is currently an Associate Professor in the Departments of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery (School of Medicine) and Biomedical Sciences (College of Veterinary Medicine).

Dr. Lever oversees a bustling laboratory where she mentors numerous students (high school, undergraduate, and graduate/professional), resident physicians, and veterinary residents. Her research is highly collaborative within MU (e.g., engineering, food science, biomedical science, etc.), across the US (e.g., Duke University, Harvard University, University of Chicago, University of California – San Diego, etc.), and beyond (e.g., Canada, France, Germany, etc.). Her research to date has been largely funded by federal (e.g., NIH, USDA), foundation (e.g., Coulter Foundation, Muscular Dystrophy Association), and internal (e.g., Mizzou Advantage, School of Medicine bridge funding, etc.) grants.

Over the past decade, Dr. Lever’s research (Teresa Lever‬ – ‪Google Scholar‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬) has generated an impressive portfolio of patents and other intellectual property focused on innovative diagnostic tools and treatment strategies for the aerodigestive tract of humans and animals, which the Lever Scientific Team is working to commercialize.

Our Innovations

Lever Scientific is in the process of licensing other aerodigestive technologies developed by Teresa Lever, PhD and her collaborators at the University of Missouri.

FluoroKennel

FluoroKennel is a patented and smartly designed kennel that provides a natural alternative to lateral recumbency and restraint techniques during fluoroscopic imaging. Free standing, free feeding, less handling, and less anxiety sets FluoroKennel apart from other fluoroscopic assessment methods for aerodigestive/swallowing disorders in companion animals.

The Aerodigestive Tract Vulnerabilities

The aerodigestive tract includes organs and tissues shared by the respiratory tract and the upper part of the digestive tract (e.g., lips, mouth, tongue, throat, vocal folds, and windpipe) that are essential for swallowing, breathing, and speaking. For reasons that remain largely unknown, this tract is particularly vulnerable to:

Neurological conditions

  • Stroke
  • ALS
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Progressive Supranuclear Palsy
  • Alzheimer’s Disease

Childhood genetic disorders

  • Prader-Willi Syndrome
  • Batten Disease
  • Fragile X Syndrome
  • Down Syndrome
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Pompe Disease

Head and neck cancer

  • Tumors in and around the throat, larynx, nose, sinuses, and mouth
  • Associated treatment interventions e.g., surgical removal, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy
Importantly, companion animals (e.g., dogs, cats, horses, etc.) can also develop many of these same or similar health conditions as people and are therefore likewise vulnerable to aerodigestive health problems.

Aerodigestive Health Problems

For humans and animals alike, disrupted aerodigestive health can lead to life-threatening dysphagia as well as quality-of-life-degrading dyspnea and dysarthria.

  • Dysphagia: Swallowing impairment leading to malnutrition, dehydration, and/or aspiration pneumonia
  • Dyspnea: Struggle to breath
  • Dysarthria: Impaired vocal communication


Lever Scientific’s mission is to bring innovative technologies to market to improve aerodigestive health for humans and animals.

The Current Clinical Problem

Innovation targeting clinical outcomes (focused on diagnosis and treatments)

Diagnosis of this aerodigestive (AeroD) triad is largely based on clinician subjectivity and patient/caregiver report of symptoms due to the lack of objective diagnostic tools. Moreover, treatment is largely symptom-based rather than preventative or curative because the underlying cause of AeroD disorders in humans and companion animals remains poorly understood for each medical condition.

There is a major clinical need for innovative, objective, and standardized AeroD diagnostic tools and targeted treatments which span human and veterinary medicine.

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The Lever Scientific Approach

Lever Scientific’s foundation has been built upon innovation in aerodigestive medicine.

Innovation

  • Medical Devices
  • Diagnostic Tools
  • Targeted Treatments
  • Minimal to non-invasive approaches
  • Methods and Workflows

Lever Scientific is solving gaps in aerodigestive health issues through objectivity.

Objectivity

  • Computer-based tools
  • Functional biomarkers
  • Earlier disease detection
  • Monitoring disease progression
  • Quantifying response to treatment

Lever Scientific is solving problems in aerodigestive medicine through standardization

Standardization

  • Methods
  • Protocols
  • Reproducible results
  • Clinical and research settings
  • Data Management

Services We Offer

We are committed to driving Aerodigestive research further by collaborating with cutting-edge Partners, leveraging Data Management & Analytics, and delivering Consulting & Training.

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