I am a researcher contributing to the mission and community of The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, a Center of Excellence at University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine.
In 2010, during my Bachelor (BS) training in San Diego with Dr. Todd A. Astorino, I was introduced to The Miami Project and set the goal of working here. In 2014, during my Master (MS) training in Los Angeles with Dr. Christine J. Dy, I was named a Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholar and awarded funding to conduct a summer research fellowship at The Miami Project. In 2015, I started my Doctoral (PhD) training at the University of Miami with Dr. Kevin A. Jacobs and Dr. Mark S. Nash. In 2017, during Dr. James LJ Bilzon's sabbatical, we launched the first of my dissertation studies (NCT03545867). In 2018, we were awarded a Craig H. Neilsen foundation grant to fund my primary dissertation project titled "Postprandial Lipid Tracer and Exercise in Spinal Cord Injury (NCT03691532)." Currently, I am a postdoctoral fellow for the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation working at the "Christine E. Lynn Rehabilitation Center for The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis" on a project titled "Spinal Cord Injury Exercise and Nutrition Conceptual Engagement (NCT03495986)."
My broad research interests pertain to the role of the central nervous system in regulating energy metabolism. Specifically, I aim to understand disorders of fat storage, utilization, and transmuting that are common in spinal cord injury (SCI). An understanding of disordered fat metabolism in this population can help guide treatments to improve the cardiometabolic health of persons with SCI, and can also be used to shed light on the role that neurological control plays in fat metabolism writ large.
Outside of academia I am a keen purveyor of adaptive outdoor recreation, a scuba diver and "adaptive dive buddy", and Co-Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee for Therapeutic Scuba Institute, Inc.