• Dr. Núñez-Gaunaurd is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at Florida International University (FIU), in Miami FL. Her PhD dissertation examined the influence of obesity on motor function and physical activity participation among middle school children. Since, she has accumulated over 15 years of experience in conducting school and community-based physical therapy, obesity, and physical activity related research. Dr. Núñez-Gaunaurd also served as the project manager on behalf of the Miami-Dade County Public Schools District for its CDC’s Community-Transformation Grant (2012-2014).

    More recently (2021-2022), she completed the NHLBI’s Obesity Health Disparity (OHD-PRIDE) – fellowship and was the PI for a Small Research Program (SRP) grant examining physical activity co-participation in racially/ethnically diverse adults with autism, an understudied population at risk for long-term health disparities. Her current research interests and goals prioritizes health equity among underserved populations with a focus on racial/ethnic disparities in physical function, mobility, physical activity, personal and environmental factors, and its influence on quality of life (QoL). More specifically, she seeks to further validate and streamline remote functional outcome assessments, for further accessibility and utility and potentially treat through telehealth any adult with autism who has access to a computer and/or smart phone.

    Dr. Núñez-Gaunaurd, is also a Co-Investigator for the collaborative (FIU-UM) research study funded by the Foundation for Physical Therapy Research titled “Access and Utilization of Rehabilitation Health Services Among Emerging Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder.” This research grant will be the first study to examine rehabilitation healthcare service needs, access, and utilization among a national cohort of emerging adults with autism. Her team’s hope is that the results of their study will lay the groundwork for future intervention studies, with a long-term goal of meeting the rehabilitation needs and improving quality and access to rehabilitation health services for this rapidly growing population.

research interests

  • Physical Therapy
    Physical Activity
    Autism in Adulthood
    Health Disparities
    Wearable Activity Trackers
    Health and Wellness

selected scholarly works & creative activities

full name

  • Annabel Nunez-Gaunaurd