Mentor: Dr. Todd Manini
College of Medicine
"As an undergraduate student studying science at a leading research institution, it did not take long for me to become exposed to the vast research opportunities the University of Florida has for its students and faculty. During my first semester at UF, I was introduced to various research fields and projects through the UF HHMI Science for Life program and honors course. This course sparked my initial interest in research, and led me to pursue further involvement. Over the past 3 years at UF I have had the unique opportunity to work on different research projects, ranging from basic science research in Urology to clinical research in Aging. I am extremely grateful to have had these opportunities to grow as a scientist and an independent thinker, learn about different laboratory techniques and data analysis methods, and work with superb research teams. My research experience has allowed me to become increasingly more passionate about the sciences, inside and outside of the classroom, and to become more aware of the impact research has on society. I am very excited to work with the geriatric community, to be involved with the Chores XL study and to work with Dr. Manini's team, and to see how my research will help improve the quality of care for older adults. "
- Geriatrics and Aging
University Scholars Program Award (2014)
Anderson Scholar with High Distinction
Summer Medical and Dental Education Program Scholar
Invensys Children of Employee Scholarship Programme
- Equal Access Clinic Site Officer and Volunteer
- Global Medical Training Volunteer
- Biochemistry Supplemental Instruction
Hobbies and Interests
The aging population is statistically one of the fastest growing groups in the United States; however, older adults are at an increasingly high risk for developing mobile and cognitive disabilities which can significantly affect quality of life. The Compendium of Physical Activities, a resource containing estimates of metabolic equivalents (MET) for various daily tasks, falls short in measuring the metabolic demands of daily tasks in elderly populations. These estimates of MET are used to guide health care providers in recommending fitness exercises for geriatric patients, revealing the significance of having accurate and applicable values across all age groups to ensure high quality patient care. Therefore, this project aims to test the hypothesis that aging is associated with a difference in the metabolic cost of doing exercise and completing daily tasks. This project seeks to determine age-related differences in the metabolic cost and ratings of perceived exertion while performing a variety of daily activities. In carrying out these aims, we will assess pulmonary gas exchange in a sample of young and old adults using a portable indirect calorimeter worn while performing 20 daily tasks. The data will be examined as a MET value- O2 uptake as a function of 3.5 ml/kg/min, as a metabolic economy- a function of work rate, and as a relative metabolic cost- a function of resting and peak oxygen consumption. Additionally, participants will rate their perceived exertion during the tasks and a battery of psychological surveys will be used to understand the underpinning of perceived exertion. This project will expand the basic understanding of metabolic cost for daily activities in geriatric populations, and will help improve the assessment of physical activity, which is considered to be the primary method of preventing disability in a rapidly growing aging population.