Mentor: Dr. Russell Bauer
College of Public Health and Health Professions
"I have always loved the idea of research. Research is the essence of science and is directly related to the advancement of medicine, my passion. Specifically, I decided to get involved with research related to Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) because I have personal experience with the injury and its lasting effects."
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
UF University Scholars Program, 2014
President's Honor Roll, 2014
Admission into UF College of Public Health and Health Professions Honors Program, 2014
- Shands Hospital - Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Unit
- Sidney Lanier School - Fitness Program
- TOPSoccer - Buddy
Hobbies and Interests
Structural vs. Psychiatric Predictors of Sleep Disturbance in Veterans With Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) has affected millions of people in both civilian and military populations. Specifically, mTBI is an extremely common injury among combat veterans. The significant majority of these veterans will also suffer from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Research has shown that PTSD and mTBI are separately correlated with persistent sleep disturbances. These disturbances are associated with detriments to overall health and quality of life. Although the symptomatic manifestation of sleep disturbances is similar in patients with PTSD and mTBI, research suggests that the neurobiological mechanisms responsible for these sleep disturbances may be different. However, the specific nature and pathophysiology of these mechanisms have yet to be determined. My proposed research project aims to shed more light on these mechanisms so that future researchers can better understand them and develop treatment options. A magnetic resonance-based imaging protocol (T1-weighted; Fast Gray Matter Acquisition T1 Inversion Recovery (FGATIR); and diffusion-weighted) will be used to locate and segment the locus coeruleus (LC) in a clinical sample of 19 veterans with comorbid mTBI and PTSD. LC volume will be calculated for each subject using a protocol for segmentation developed by the lab and authors. Relationships between LC volume, PTSD severity and subjective sleep quality will then be analyzed.