I am a clinical researcher at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine's Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation working at the Christine E. Lynn Rehabilitation Center for the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis. My postdoctoral fellowship is being conducted under the supervision of Dr. David R Gater, MD, PhD, MS. The primary study I am working on is a registered clinical trial, funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), 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 use metabolism research to learn why persons with spinal cord injury (SCI) become profoundly fat, and use knowledge of this topic to guide treatments to improve the cardiometabolic health in this population. My dissertation was a three part project focusing on postexericse and postprandial fat metabolism in persons with SCI. The first project determined the effect of SCI on fat oxidation after circuit resistance exercise. The second determined the effect of pre-meal exercise mode and intensity on postprandial metabolism in adult men with paraplegia (NCT03545867). The final project (still underway due to COVID-19) is a registered clinical trial, funded by the Craig H. Neilsen foundation, titled "Postprandial Lipid Tracer and Exercise in Spinal Cord Injury (NCT03691532)." This is the first study to use ingested stable isotope lipid tracer ([U-13C]palmitate) in persons with SCI.
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.