About Yenisel Cruz-Almeida
Dr. Cruz-Almeida was born in La Habana, Cuba. She completed a B.Sc. degree in Microbiology & Cell Science from the University of Florida, followed by a Master’s degree in Epidemiology & Public Health with a concentration in Biostatistics, and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience at the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis from the University of Miami MILLER School of Medicine. Yenisel is currently a tenured Associate Professor in the Department of Community Dentistry and Behavioral Sciences, as well as affiliate faculty in the Departments of Epidemiology and Neuroscience. Dr Cruz-Almeida serves as the Associate Director of the UF Pain Research & Intervention Center of Excellence. She is the Course Director of GMS 6711 (Neurobiology of Pain), DEN 6251 (Science and Clinical Management of Dental Pain), and GMS 6895 (Clinical Translational Sciences Journal Club).
Chronic pain represents the most prevalent and expensive public health condition in the United States, affecting 100 million people in the country with annual costs to society estimated at $635 billion. This exceeds the combined costs of cancer, AIDS, and heart disease. As a clinical translational neuroscientist, my research interests are related to understanding pain perception and modulation in humans across the lifespan. Using multiple interdisciplinary and translational approaches including psychophysics, neuroimaging, and epigenetics, my research examines nervous system factors contributing to the observed inter-individual differences in pain phenotypes and its functional consequences including cognitive and mobility outcomes.