Dr. Kosaku Aoyagi
Dr. Aoyagi is a physical therapist and rehabilitation scientist. Dr. Aoyagi completed postdoctoral training at Boston University School of Medicine, where he worked with leading experts in pain research using data from one of the world’s largest cohort studies of knee osteoarthritis (OA), the Multicenter Osteoarthritis Study (MOST). Dr. Aoyagi received his Ph.D. and Master of Science in Rehabilitation Science from the University of Kansas Medical Center and the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Aoyagi’s primary research focus is central pain mechanisms in people with knee OA and chronic low back pain (CLBP). His research agenda aims to enhance treatment outcomes for pain and function by leveraging his expertise in physical therapy, clinical epidemiology, and interdisciplinary approaches.
Office: Campbell building, 312
Erik is currently pursuing his Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology with a concentration in Exercise Science. As a first-time research assistant, he is eager to expand his knowledge in chronic pain research. When he is not in the lab, he works as a supervising tire technician at Discount Tire, where he finds great fulfillment in ensuring the safety of the community. With a keen interest in physical therapy, Erik plans to apply to graduate school in 2024 to pursue a career in this field.Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Elias is an undergraduate student, majoring in Rehabilitation Sciences with a concentration in Physical Therapy. He plans to apply to graduate school for Physical Therapy in order to pursue a career in the field. Outside of the lab, he mainly enjoys family time and exercising, and is also currently pursuing a career as a personal trainer.
Roxanna is a DPT student at the University of Texas at El Paso. She received her Bachelor's of Science (BS) in Neuroscience at the University of Texas at Austin, where she also majored in French. After graduation, Roxanna worked primarily with patients with low back pain as a Physical Therapy Technician and is interested to learn more about central pain mechanisms of chronic pain. In her free time, she enjoys listening to music, going on walks, and rock climbing.
Sabrina Arias is currently a DPT student at The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology from UTEP in 2019. Sabrina has previously worked with various populations, such as individuals who have Parkinson's disease. She wants to dive more into research that will allow her to gain insight into central pain mechanisms and pain, and to apply this to help alleviate pain and provide a better treatment outcome for future patients. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, listening to music, and spending time with her family.
Kaitlyn Asato is currently a DPT student at The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). Being part of the team, she would like to bring impact, whether big or small, to patients suffering from chronic pain; learn more about central pain mechanisms; and learn how to help patients more efficiently with new interventions. She looks forward to thinking crtically and integrating clinically-based evidence into her practice. She enjoys listening to music, explroing anything new, and spending time with her friends in her spare time.
Natalia Aviles is currently a DPT student at The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Rehabilitation Sciences with a concentration in Physical Therapy from UTEP in 2021. Natalia is interested in learning more about the research process and learning how central pain mechanisms operate. In her spare time, she enjoys playing the piano, crocheting, and spending time with her loved ones.
Steven Carrasco is currently a DPT student at The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). He received her Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology from New Mexico State University in 2022. His research goals are to contribute to the field of public health and make a positive impact through research. Steven is eager to gain valuable knowledge and skills in research methodology, data analysis, and scientific communication. In his free time, he enjoys playing basketball, lifting weights, and watching movies.
Tania Castillo-Munoz is currently a DPT student at The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). She received her Bachelor of Science In Rehabilitation Science degree (concentration: Physical Therapy) from UTEP in 2022. She hopes that being part of the PRIME PT LAB will allow her to further expand her knowledge of research and improve her interprofessional and critical thinking skills.Tania wants to further understand pain and what better approach to take as a future clinician. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends as well as painting and watching movies.
Alicia Gomez is a student in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at The University of Texas at El Paso. After 24 years of teaching at the high school level, Alicia decided to pursue a second dream, to become a physical therapist. She has a MAT in secondary education from Austin College. Alicia is eager to gain research experience and apply her findings to assist future patients. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and parents and heading outdoors for a bike ride, hike or run.
Vaibhav Jaideep, a DPT student, is dedicated to expanding his knowledge and understanding of central pain mechanisms. His profound passion for unraveling the complexities of this field fuels his aspiration to make significant contributions to ongoing research. Beyond the lab, Vaibhav is an enthusiastic powerlifter and coach. He has a keen interest in pain science which drives his dedication to apply this knowledge to guide athletes through effective rehabilitation. Vaibhav earned his B.S. in Exercise Science from UT Arlington. He looks forward to making valuable contributions as a part of the team.
Janely Lugo Martinez
Janely is a DPT student at the University of Texas at El Paso. Her interest in pain research stems from her personal battle with chronic pain. This has inspired her to pursue an understanding of the multifactorial mechanisms that generate our pain experience. She wants to be a part of the development and application of non-invasive interventions that can change peoples individualized perception of pain.
Gage is an El Paso native and a DPT student at The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). She received her Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Rehabilitation Sciences with a concentration in Physical Therapy from UTEP in 2021. Gage is interested in research regarding pain mechanisms and looks forward to expanding her knowledge in clinical research as well as making an impact in her career. A fun fact about Gage is that she grew up doing competitive gymnastics and cheered for UTEP all four years of her undergraduate degree.
Sarah is a DPT student at The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). She received her Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Kinesiology with a concentration in Clinical Exercise from UTEP in 2022. Sarah is interested in learning more about innovative chronic pain treatment methods and some of the multifactorial components of central pain mechanisms. In her free time, she enjoys music production, painting, weight training, and playing volleyball.
Eric is a DPT student at The University of Texas at El Paso. He received his Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Neuroscience from the university in 2021. He worked in a neuroscience and psychology laboratory prior to starting the DPT program. Eric’s research goals are to gain a further understanding of the neural systems behind pain and how they are influenced
Layla is currently a DPT student at The University of Texas at El Paso. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2016. Layla is interested in learning more about chronic pain and how the central nervous system can affect it. In her free time, she enjoys taking her dog to the park and painting.
Alexa is currently a DPT student at The University of Texas at El Paso. She received her Bachelor of Science in Rehabilitation Sciences with a concentration in Physical Therapy in 2021. She was a member of the UTEP Dance Team for four years. Alexa is excited to dive into the world of research and learn more about pain. In her free time, she enjoys dancing and baking.
Astrid is an undergraduate student pursuing a bachelor's degree in Rehabilitation Sciences. As an undergraduate, she aims to gain valuable experience for her future profession, which is one of the reasons she joined the PRIME PT Lab. She realizes the importance of chronic pain research and has been obtaining hands-on training in state-of-the-art research methodology of central pain mechanisms. During her free time, she enjoys learning new languages, practicing aerial silks, and finding new coffee shops.
Jesus is an undergraduate student majoring in Rehabilitation Sciences, with a focus on Physical Therapy. He understands the significance of chronic pain research and aims to contribute to PRIME PT research that seeks to alleviate the chronic pain experienced by many. He is acquiring practical training in cutting-edge research methodologies related to central pain mechanisms. Outside of his professional and academic life, Jesus enjoys spending time with family and friends, dancing, and acquiring new skills and knowledge
Lauren is an undergraduate student majoring in Rehabilitation Sciences, with a concentration in Physical Therapy. She aspires to go to Physical Therapy school after graduating. Chronic pain research is something that she finds important and enjoyable. In her free time, she enjoys going to concerts and spending time with loved ones.
Nicolas is an undergraduate student majoring in Rehabilitation Sciences, with a concentration in Physical Therapy. He plans to go to graduate school for Physical Therapy in El Paso in 2025. Nicolas joined the lab after becoming intrigued by how stimulation of the Vagus nerve may be able to remedy pain. Through working in this research lab, he hopes to learn first-hand about central pain mechanisms and to explore research that aims to reduce the chronic pain that affects so many people. He enjoys the logistics and analytical side of the lab as well as making connections with participants at the clinic. Outside of the lab, he enjoys spending time with family, playing with his dog Blue, and powerlifting.
PRIME PT Lab Alumni