Joseph Riley III, PhD
My formal training was in Clinical and Health Psychology at the University of Florida which was followed by a clinical internship in the Geriatric Unit of the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Gainesville. This was followed by a Fellowship in Behavioral Dentistry through the Claude D. Pepper Center for Research on Oral Health in Aging at the University of Florida. I am currently a professor in the Department of Community Dentistry and Behavioral Science, in the College of Dentistry at the University of Florida and Director of the Pain Clinical Research Unit.
Over the past several years, I have refined several experimental pain protocols that engage endogenous pain modulation systems. Recent I have been awarded an NIH grant (R01) that is testing the hypothesis that diminished pain inhibitory capacity contributes to increased incidence of pain and disability in older adults. Our data is showing that these sophisticated psychophysical methods reflecting net inhibitory or facilitatory effects are sensitive to changes across the lifespan, and will provide a comprehensive picture of changes in pain processing associated with aging. In collaboration with several other UF researchers, I am collecting selected pain and stress biomarkers (β-endorphin, cortisol, and other hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal and immune markers) to identify peripheral markers that we expect to be associated with variability in pain modulation. The data show a longer and more intense pro-inflammatory response from older adults with no age difference for anti-inflammatory cytokines.