Eleyn Fangonilo

Mentor: Dr. Stephen Coombes
College of Health and Human Performance
"I got involved with research because I've always wanted to help improve the lives of others. I'm currently pursuing a career as a physical therapist where I would be able to rehabilitate patients and improve their gross motor skills so they can continue doing what they love despite a physical impairment. However, I decided to even further expand my knowledge of motor skills by getting involved in research and learning about how the brain, nerves, muscle cells work together to produce different movements in the body. Through research, I have gained a better understanding of the different variables behind pain and movement and how treatment can help overcome these obstacles."


Applied Physiology and Kinesiology


Disabilities in Society

Research Interests

  • Rehabilitation
  • Neuroscience
  • Motor learning

Academic Awards

  • Florida President's List, alpha Kappa Delta Phi 2015
  • Dean's List 2015
  • University Scholars Program 2016


  • Alpha Kappa Delta Phi Sorority
  • Filipino Student Association


  • UF Health Rehab Center for Kids
  • Shands at UF
  • Balance 180 Gymnastics

Hobbies and Interests

  • Exercising
  • Traveling
  • Scrapbooking
  • Trying new foods

Research Description

Effects of Pain on the Control of Movement
People with temporomandibular disorder (TMD) often experience severe pain and discomfort when they move their jaw. Currently, we do not know the cause for TMD which also makes it difficult to treat so patients must endure the pain when they yawn, speak, or even eat. Our goal through this study is to determine whether or not pain affects the way we control movement and treat individuals based on the information gained. To accomplish this, we ask individuals experiencing pain due to TMD and healthy individuals without pain to produce force in a bite down task. Then, we analyze the force production and look for differences in variability or error. If there is no difference observed, we look into other data we collect including brain activity and various questionnaires. By doing this, we can find more effective ways to overcome pain in motor rehabilitation.