Mentor: Dr. Roger Fillingim
College of Dentistry
"As I shadowed dentists as a freshman in college, I came to realize that pain was an ever present issue in the clinics. Furthermore, each individual reacted to, and coped with, pain differently. It was easy to see that a more formal understanding of both acute and chronic pain could help me become a better health care provider in the future. As a result, I got involved with the Pain Research and Intervention Center of Excellence at the University of Florida in January of 2013. I valued the holistic approach from which they viewed their research. Biological, cognitive, and sociocultural factors contributing to chronic pain are all being studied thoroughly."
Disabilities in Society
University Scholars Program
UF Presidential Service Award
ASTRA Scholarship for Dedicated Volunteers
Eugene Chester Terzenbach Memorial Scholarship
Florida Bright Futures
Global Medical Brigades
Hobbies and Interests
The Effect of Glucose Administration and Intermittent Fasting on the Efficacy of a Cognitive Intervention for Pain
It has been found that appropriate glucose supplementation promotes learning and memory. Also, possibly by similar mechanisms, intermittent fasting increases neuroplasticity. On the other hand, chronic pain causes plastic changes to the brain, and reversing these negative consequences is of interest to treatment providers. A newly funded study is being performed to explore whether food restriction and/or glucose administration strategies in conjunction with an effective guided imagery intervention result in neurophysiological change and functional improvements compared to the imagery intervention alone. The objective of my University Scholars project is to determine how these changes in nutritional intake patterns, in conjunction with the imagery intervention, will affect blood glucose and cortisol levels, and in turn reduce pain.