Yenisel Cruz-Almeida, Ph.D.
Department of Aging & Geriatric Research
Institute on Aging
Cognitive Aging & Memory Clinical Translational Research Program (CAM-CTRP)
College of Medicine
University of Florida
2004 Mowry Road
Gainesville, FL 32611
2001 BS, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL (Microbiology & Cell Science)
2004 MSPH, University of Miami, Miami, FL (Epidemiology & Biostatistics)
2011 PhD, University of Miami, Miami, FL (Neuroscience)
2012 Post-Doctoral Fellow, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL (Translational Pain Research)
Department of Aging and Geriatric Research
Department of Neuroscience, Department of Community Dentistry & Behavioral Science
Dr. Cruz-Almeida is currently funded by a K01 Career Development Award through the National Institute on Aging (NIA). She is a recipient of the UF Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) Patient-Oriented Pilot Awards for postdoctoral trainees (2012) and for junior faculty (2014-2016). In 2014, she was selected and received funding as a University of Florida Institute on Aging Pepper Junior Scholar and a Cognitive Aging and Memory Clinical Translational Research Program Junior Scholar.
In addition, she is currently a co-investigator on various projects examining neural mechanisms underlying pain and mobility impairments in older adults.
Funded NIA grant: Neuroimaging Age-Related Changes in Pain Modulation.
Chronic pain represents the most prevalent and expensive public health condition in the United States, affecting 100 million people in the United States with annual costs to society estimated at $635 billion dollars. This exceeds the combined costs of cancer, AIDS and heart disease. Importantly, while chronic pain affects individuals of all ages, races, and genders, it disproportionately impacts members of some population groups. For example, evidence suggests that chronic pain is more prevalent and disabling in older adults, but its neurobiological underpinnings have not been elucidated.
As a clinical neuroscientist, my research interests are related to understanding the mechanisms involved in age-related pain perception and modulation in humans. Using multiple interdisciplinary and translational approaches, my research examines nervous system factors contributing to the observed inter-individual differences in pain phenotypes in older adults and its functional consequences including cognitive and mobility impairments.