• Dr. Frank Puga is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Acute, Chronic and Continuing Care at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). Dr. Puga received his Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin where he received training in behavioral neuroscience. Under the mentorship of Dr. Francisco Gonzalez-Lima, Dr. Puga investigated functional networks of information processing and sensory gating using animal models and Pavlovian learning paradigms. This work provided the foundation for his interest in biobehavioral research methods to understand contextual factors that impact stress and learned behavior. To advance his expertise, Dr. Puga completed a post-doctoral fellowship as part of an NIH T32 training grant (T32 MH65728-05) in behavioral neuroendocrinology. His post-docotral training focused on neuroendocrine processess underlying stress and learned behavior in animal models. Dr. Puga's current work at UAB focuses on aging and mental health. He is nationally known for his work in depression and anxiety among dementnia caregivers.
  • Selected Publications

    Academic Article

    Year Title Altmetric
    2020 Daily context for abusive and neglectful behavior in family caregiving for dementiaGerontologist.  60:483-493. 2020
    2019 Transitioning into the caregiver role following a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease or related dementia: A scoping reviewInternational Journal of Nursing Studies.  96:119-131. 2019
    2018 Advancing care for family caregivers of persons with dementia through caregiver and community partnershipsResearch Involvement and Engagement.  4. 2018
    2017 Beyond the Horizon: International Learning Experiences, Community Engagement, and Mental Health in GuatemalaIssues in Mental Health Nursing.  38:455-457. 2017
    2016 The citizen scientist: Community-academic partnerships through Translational Advisory BoardsPatient Education and Counseling.  99:2087-2090. 2016
    2015 Standards of Best Practice: Simulation Standard VIII: Simulation-Enhanced Interprofessional Education (Sim-IPE)Clinical Simulation in Nursing.  11:293-297. 2015
    2014 AONE and AONE Foundation Honor 2014 Award RecipientsNurse Leader.  12:21-23. 2014
    2014 Chronic social stress in puberty alters appetitive male sexual behavior and neural metabolic activity 2014
    2012 Improving the odds through the Collaboration Success WizardTranslational Behavioral Medicine.  2:480-486. 2012
    2009 Risk assessment and avoidance in juvenile golden hamsters exposed to repeated stress 2009
    2007 Functional networks underlying latent inhibition learning in the mouse brainNeuroImage.  38:171-183. 2007

    Research Overview

  • Dr. Puga's general research interests focus on the aging process and mental health outcomes. His lab uses multi-time scale designs to investigate day-to-dat and long-term influences on daily and chronic depression and anxiety symptom experience among populations disproportionately at risk for aging- and stress-related diseases, including dementia caregivers. The goals of Dr. Puga's lab are a) to examine inter- and intra-individual variations in stress vulnerability and mental health trajectories, b) to identify dynamic interactions between social, behavioral, genetic, and physiological factors that impact mental health, and c) to test cognitive and behavioral interventions to improve mental health outcomes throughout the life course. A significant focus of Dr. Puga's research is on diverse populations underrepresented in aging reserach, including Hispanics and African Americans.
  • Education And Training

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology, University of Texas System : Austin 2009
  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Trinity University 2004
  • Full Name

  • Frank Puga