Pedro Antonio Valdés Hernández, Ph.D., joined the UF College of Dentistry in October 2020 as a research assistant professor in the Department of Community Dentistry and Behavioral Science. He is a member of the UF Pain Research and Intervention Center of Excellence in the Cruz-Almeida Laboratory, where he was previously a postdoctoral fellow engaged in pain perception and modulation research from 2018 to 2020.
His current research focus is working with magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, and pain protocol development and implementation. He is also supervising research staff and students, assisting with regulatory compliance, and working further on his research.
Born in Cuba, Valdés Hernández earned his bachelor’s degree in nuclear physics in 2001 from the Superior Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology in Havana, and his doctoral degree in physics from the University of Havana in 2016.
Valdés Hernández’s area of expertise is in neuroimaging with an understanding of the underlying mechanisms and the physics of brain image formation. His work spins around the modeling and statistical analysis of databases of MRI and electroencephalogram, or EEG, images and their comparison among normal and pathological populations.
He received funding from the National Institutes of Health to elucidate the mechanisms underlying pain perception and modulation, which are impaired in older adults, with a goal of understanding the interaction between experimental and clinical pain, and aging. He is also investigating the effect of oxytocin, a possible pain-alleviating and socio-emotional intervention, on aging and pain.