Cheyenna Espinoza

Mentor: Dr. Maureen Keller-Wood
College of Pharmacy
"Research is what drives forward medicine by discovering more efficient ways to treat patients. It pushes you to think outside the box and push yourself. I wanted to be on the front line of innovations in order to assist my future patients as a physician."


Biology, Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience



Research Interests

  • Diabetes
  • Pregnancy
  • Neuroscience

Academic Awards

  • UF Dean's List
  • UF Anderson Scholar
  • Cracker Barrel Foundation Scholarship
  • University Scholars Program 2016


  • AMSA
  • Health Outreach Quality Improvement (HOQI)
  • SF2UF Tutoring Program


  • Equal Access Clinic Network
  • Project Downtown

Hobbies and Interests

  • Singing
  • Learning about other cultures
  • Traveling abroad to volunteer

Research Description

Identifying Placental Metabolic Alternations due to Maternal Diabetes in Pregnancy
Underlying diseases are often exacerbated in pregnant women due to the rapidly changing metabolic states. Diabetes is major cause of maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality throughout the course of pregnancy. However, there exists limited research detailing how pre-existing (type 1 and type 2) and gestational diabetes alter the physiological state of the placenta. Preliminary metabolomic studies in our laboratory have identified alterations in glycolytic metabolites and amino acids in diabetic maternal and fetal placental tissues providing evidence that diabetic women have altered placental metabolism at term. The current study aims to assess the cause of altered metabolism in the placenta due to diabetes (pre-existing and gestational) by utilizing maternal and fetal placental tissue previously collected in our laboratory under UF approved IRB201500007. Specifically this project will utilize histology and PCR techniques to identify causes of metabolic alterations observed in our preliminary metabolomic studies in the placenta.