"Ever since I became a part of clinical research, I had the desire to conduct my own research project. I wanted the all-round research experience, to start with a research question and to end with a publication of the findings. I am very passionate about my research area and wanted to contribute something special. University Scholars program provided me the opportunity to do just that. It is also a great learning opportunity that provided me insight into conducting research. I gained more knowledge in the subject area as well as improved many of my personal qualities like problem solving skills, creativity, responsibility and patience. This academic year my goals are to finish conducting my research project and doing a publication on that. I also expect to finish my degree requirement and graduate with a Bachelor's degree of science."
My primary research interest is in pain. It cut across every field of health care and also plays a huge role in people’s quality of life. It has already found that different ethnicities and gender perceive pain very differently. I believe this field must be expanded and used for clinical applications. My academic interest is to become a medical doctor and specialize in the field of either Cardiology or Oncology.
Academic and Other Awards
- Herbert and Edith Peterson Scholar (2011-2012)
- Peter J. Sones Scholar (2009-2010)
- UF Honors Program (2009)
- Florida Bright Futures
- First Year Florida Peer Leader
- Research Assistant at the Sensory Testing Lab
- Director of Communications in Campus Diplomats
- New Student Orientation Leader
- International Center liason for Volunteer for International Student Affairs
Shands Hospital Volunteer
Hobbies and Interests
- Reading, working outdoors, gardening, baking, and music.
Effects of Caffeine on Pain Experience and Post-Operative Analgesia
Caffeine is one of the most commonly used psychoactive drugs in the world. In preclinical studies, caffeine has been shown to decrease pain and increase analgesia by its presumed action on non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and certain analgesics (By et al., 2011). Concomitant caffeine use can reduce by 40% the amount of analgesics necessary to achieve adequate pain relief in humans. In fact, caffeine is utilized to enhance treatments for chronic headaches, postpartum pain (Laska et al., 1984), and cancer pain (Aiello-Laws et al., 2009).Caffeine also has been used in pharmacological studies as a “probe drug” to study the CYP450 enzyme system, drug metabolism and medication efficacy (Frye et al., 2004).Variability in caffeine plasma concentrations may directly affect analgesia. This study is designed to examine the association between caffeine plasma concentrations and an individual’s perception of pre-operative experimental pain. Research is conducted in UF Sensory Testing Lab under IRB-approved protocols involving surgical populations (oral surgery, emergency, and thoracotomy). All subjects undergo pre-operative, post-operative and follow-up assessments along with completing psychosocial questionnaires at baseline as well as recordings of pain and symptoms. Blood draws taken pre-operatively and post-operatively will be used to determine caffeine and opioid concentrations. This proposed study will utilize phenotypic data along with pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic data to measure the association between caffeine, baseline experimental pain, post-operative pain and self-reported analgesia. Information gathered from post-operative and follow-up will also provide a better idea of opioid efficacy and its relationship between caffeine consumption, pain, analgesia and metabolic pattern. This study may lend important insight into whether caffeine can improve or worsen someone’s experience of pain after surgery and the effectiveness of opioids with caffeine across different surgical populations. Findings from this study might have relevant clinical pain management implications to help patients improve their surgical recovery and ultimately their quality of life.