Elizabeth Dennison

Elizabeth Dennison
Mentor: Dr. Catherine Price
College of Public Health and Health Professions
"Dr. Price’s work with the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Florida encompasses my current interest in neuropsychology as well as my career goal of becoming a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA). In collaboration with Dr. Price and her colleagues, I have designed a research project that will provide novel insight into the role of the brain’s anatomy in the administration of anesthesia in general surgery. This work represents my passion for anesthesia as well as my background in public health, which emphasizes the importance of research as the foundation for advancement in the medical field."


Health Science



Research Interests

  • Neuropsychology & Neuroanatomy
  • Anesthesia Sensitivity
  • Postoperative Cognitive Decline (POCD)

Academic Awards

  • University Scholars Program
  • Gator Club of Volusia County


  • National Academy of Neuropsychology
  • PHHP Honors Program
  • Zeta Tau Alpha


  • Shands Core Lab
  • Shands Cancer Rehabilitation
  • Primetime Tutoring

Hobbies and Interests

  • Exercising
  • Surfing

Research Description

Neuroanatomical Considerations for Anesthesia Sensitivity

Through an opportunity to work with a NIH funded investigation studying neuroimaging predictors of post operative cognitive decline after total knee replacement surgery (PI: Catherine Price), I will investigate the following aims: Aim 1) To examine the significance of frontal versus parietal lobe thickness on anesthesia responsiveness, as measured via the Bispectral Index Monitor (BIS), from baseline to 7 minutes post-anesthesia induction. I hypothesize that frontal lobe thickness will explain a significant portion of variance in BIS response from baseline to post-induction. Specifically, greater change will occur with reduced frontal rather than parietal lobe thickness. Aim 2) To examine the relationship patterns between pre-operative thalamic and caudate volumes on anesthesia response. Both structures are associated with alertness and attention, however the thalamic structure is intimately involved in sensory gating and filtering mechanisms. I hypothesize that thalamic, not caudate volume, will associate anesthesia responsiveness from baseline to 7 minutes post-anesthesia induction. Answering these questions can generate knowledge beneficial to public health regarding effective anesthesia management, which has the potential to reduce peri- and post-operative complications.