Hometown: Clearwater, FL
Year I became a Gator: 2018
Department: Clinical and Health Psychology
Mentor: Adam Woods, PhD
Research focus: My research focuses on counteracting cognitive declines in aging using non-invasive brain stimulation paired with cognitive training. I aim to use multimodal neuroimaging and neuropsychological testing to characterize mechanisms of cognitive improvement in older adults.
What drives me: I am driven by a thirst to answer novel research and clinical questions in neuroscience via advances in technology.
What I like most about the BREATHE Training Program: The BREATHE training program has facilitated new personal and professional connections through structured programs and events. It has also afforded me the opportunity to meet with experts in respiratory neuromuscular systems from around the country.
Awards & achievements since being on the T32: I was awarded the Paterakis Graduate Scholarship through the Venizelion Scholarship Program of the Pancretan Association of America. The scholarship program is named in honor of the great Cretan statesman Eleftherios Venizelos. It aids worthy young men and women of Cretan descent in pursuit of education, learning and research through merit and financial need. Since its inception in 1936, the program has awarded more than 850 scholarships valued at over one-half million dollars to deserving students. I take great pride in my Cretan heritage and have assumed leadership roles in both my local chapter and the national youth organization for 10 consecutive years. I believe participation in the Pancretan Association of America is essential to maintain an active role in honoring my heritage and history.
What I like about Gainesville: Gainesville is a quiet, fun, affordable city! The influence of the university and its rich history are intertwined throughout the town. It has a strong graduate school presence and is filled with young professionals. It also has a great brewery scene.
Why I chose BREATHE at the University of Florida: Currently, I coordinate a phase II clinical trial, the Enhancing Cognition in Older Adults with Intermittent Hypoxia and Cognitive Training (EXCITE) Study, which pairs cognitive training with intermittent hypoxia in older adults to target neuroplasticity. The BREATHE T32 provides opportunities for me to collaborate with researchers and clinicians across disciplines and expand my knowledge in respiratory neuromuscular systems.
What makes the BREATHE Training Program unique? The BREATHE Training Program allows for unique experiences for “cross-training” in respiratory neuromuscular systems and interventions targeting neuroplasticity across several clinical disorders.
What I do for fun: I love to play sports (basketball, soccer, football), explore the outdoors on bike rides or hikes, and go to breweries with friends. I enjoy cooking, reading, and going to the beach.