Mentor: Dr. Tammy Euliano
College of Medicine
"I applied to the University Scholars program because I wanted the opportunity to work more closely with my mentor and our current research project, the prediction of pre-eclampsia. This disorder puts many women, and their children, at high risk during pregnancy. During my mission trips to the Dominican Republic I was able to observe the difficulties people have in receiving medical attention, especially pregnant women. I became very intrigued by the studies Dr. Euliano was conducting at Shands. Not only has it been an awesome experience interacting with different patients, but I have been exposed to and learned many new things during my time at the hospital. The University Scholars Program will give me the chance to participate more fully and gain a true understanding of the causes and risks underlying pre-eclampsia. If a method of prediction can be developed, the health of future mothers and babies can be sustained."
Applied Physiology and Kinesiology
- Prediction of Pre-Eclampsia
American Medical Student Association
University of Florida Club Volleyball
Hobbies and Interests
Prediction of Preeclampsia
Pre-eclampsia is a set of symptoms that is experienced by pregnant women as early as 20 weeks gestation. These symptoms include high blood pressure, protein in the urine, edema in the hands, feet, and/or face, and neurological symptoms such as headaches, sensitivity to light, and even seizures. Pre-eclampsia affects 5% of pregnancies in the United States, accounting for 18% of maternal deaths. In Africa the incidence may be as high as 18% and is one of the leading causes of maternal mortality worldwide. Thus far, the exact causes of pre-eclampsia are unknown and the only treatment is premature delivery, which results in a high count of infant deaths. The Prediction of Pre-eclampsia study focuses on collecting heart rate variability via ECG data and pulse wave analysis via PPG data from pregnant women at increased risk of pre-eclampsia and from healthy controls. Women are considered “high-risk” if they have one or more of the following criteria during their current or previous pregnancy: chronic/gestational hypertension, pre-eclampsia, gestational/chronic diabetes, liver disease, obesity, and multiple fetuses. Participants will be monitored throughout their pregnancy - after 16 weeks of pregnancy until delivery. The study’s eventual goal is to design a small, inexpensive, portable device that employs smart phone technology to predict a mother’s risk of developing pre-eclampsia and approximately recommend necessary level-of-care for delivery. No cure has been found for pre-eclampsia; therefore alternative routes must be sought. If a woman’s risk of developing pre-eclampsia can be estimated, the total number of fetal and maternal deaths can be dramatically reduced, especially in the Third World.