Yenisel Cruz-Almeida, MSPH, Ph.D., transferred from the UF College of Medicine to the UF College of Dentistry in June, accepting a full-time appointment as an assistant professor in the UF Department of Community Dentistry and Behavioral Science.
Her primary focus is continuing her research related to understanding the mechanisms involved in age-related pain perception and modulation in humans. Using multiple interdisciplinary and translational approaches, her research examines nervous system factors contributing to the observed inter-individual differences in pain phenotypes in older adults and accompanying functional consequences including mobility impairment and cognitive decline.
Cruz-Almeida earned her bachelor’s in microbiology and cell science from UF in 2001, her master’s in epidemiology and public health with a concentration in biostatistics in 2004, and her doctorate in neuroscience in 2011, both from the University of Miami. In 2012, she completed a post-doctoral fellowship in translational pain research at UF. Following her fellowship completion, Cruz-Almeida was on faculty with the College of Dentistry as a research assistant professor until 2014, when she joined the College of Medicine as an assistant professor with the UF Institute on Aging.
Cruz-Almeida also teaches graduate courses for students in the colleges of dentistry and medicine, and serves as the director of training and career development for the UF Pain Research & Intervention Center of Excellence.