The Rosa Casco Solano-Lopez Research professorship for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry is one of the endowed professorships within the Department of Psychiatry. Established by Dr. Carlos Solano-Lopez (Residency ‘90), the professorship serves as a memorial to his mother, who worked as a secretary in Paraguay before becoming a caring mother to three children.
Dr. Solano-Lopez struggled with a speech impairment when he was younger. “When I was growing up, I had a problem speaking; I stuttered. There was no treatment that my parents were aware of and I struggled with this issue for many years,” says Dr. Solano-Lopez. The professorship aims to enable the University of Michigan’s Department of Psychiatry to recruit world-class researchers that specialize in stuttering.
Carlos Solano-Lopez earned his medical degree at the Universidad Nacional de Asunción in 1984. After completing an internship at Asunción, he came to the University of Michigan’s Department of Psychiatry for residency training. Dr. Solano-Lopez worked at the Battle Creek VA (Veterans Administration) Hospital and retired earlier this year.
Although Solano-Lopez’s speech impairment rarely bothers him now, his past experience gives him an important understanding of the impact that stuttering and other disorders can have on children and adolescents.
“If a person has a speech impairment, it goes to the heart of being able to relate to other people,” he says. “There is a speech pathology service (at U-M) but I wanted to do something more in-depth to focus on the children who have the most severe forms of speech impairment and to treat the psychiatric sequelae. I want to see what better treatment modalities can be developed. I went through the Michigan psychiatric service and I know how good they are. I felt this would be the perfect place to set this up.”
“My goal is to have our research illuminate what we could do to develop effective treatments for people who stutter,” says Dr. Chang. “Our ultimate goal would be to develop novel treatments that can be applied very early on in childhood to prevent children from having a lifelong speech disorder that can have significant psychosocial consequences.” Soo Eun Chang, Ph.D., an associate professor at U-M, currently holds the Solano-Lopez professorship. Dr. Chang is the Principal Investigator and Director of the Speech Neurophysiology Lab.
The Department of Psychiatry is very grateful to the donors who make the endowed professorships in the department possible. These professorships are crucial for our recruiting and retaining the highest-quality faculty -- the best minds, the most-creative researchers, and the most-engaged teachers. Building a base of faculty talent enriches the academic environment, which, in turn, attracts the brightest students.