"I applied to the University Scholars program in order to take my education to the next level while having the opportunity to learn the research process. My goals for this academic year are to remain on the Dean's list while I apply to and finish my pre-requisites for dental school."
Biological Sciences, Pain Modulation, and Biological Anthropology.
Academic and Other Awards
- Sirrine Scholarship Alliance
- Dean's List
- Vice President of the UF Surf Club
UF Mobile Outreach Clinic Camp Boggy Creek Surfers for Autism.
Hobbies and Interests
- Surfing, software coding, swimming, and gaming.
Age Differences in Analgesia
Differences in sensitivity to pain are dependent on both psychological and physiological variables that are continually modulated and can lead to an increase in pain (sensitization) or a decrease in pain (inhibiton). However, it is difficult to discriminate between enhanced sensitization and reduced inhibition is studies of humans. It has recently been demonstrated that simple variations in sequencing of step changes in thermal stimulation can result in both increased and decreased ratings of pain in the same range of temperatures. Interestingly these step changes resulted in ratings considerably higher and lower than predicted. This raises the question whether groups of persons with abnormal activity within pain transmission systems (chronic pain or older age) could generate a pattern of greater sensitizing and reduced desensitizing trends than healthy controls. Therefore, this project will test whether there are age-related differences in these increasing and decreasing trends. Experimental pain testing sessions will be conducted at the psychophysics pain research laboratory in the Dental Science Building of the Health Science Center. The laboratory is equipped with the Thermoelectric Stimulation and Response processing system (TSAR-2000). Using the TSAR, a contact heat stimulus will be administered by a Peltier-based thermode (27-mm) that is mounted so that the head protrudes 2 mm above a 4” x 12” flat plate. The TSAR includes a small inclined desk with an electronic visual analogue scale (eVAS) mounted into the surface. The slider’s position will be recorded as a percentage of its total travel on a pain scale rating of 0-100. The sample will consist of 20 healthy adults, 10 ages 18-39 and 10 ages 60-78. Gender will be balanced in both groups. The data collected will demonstrate the differences in pain sensitization and inhibition as a function of age in response to contact heat stimuli.