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December 5, 2022
Seminar Title: Asthma in Women: Lessons Learned from Clinical and Animal Studies
Presenter: Dr. Patricia Silveyra, Associate Professor, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, School of Public Health, Indiana University Bloomington
Dr. Patricia Silveyra is an Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at Indiana University Bloomington School of Public Health. Her research focuses on sex differences and the role of sex hormones and steroid hormone receptors in mechanisms of lung inflammation. Dr. Silveyra earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, and her PhD in Biochemistry, from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina and did her postdoctoral training at Penn State College of Medicine. In 2013, she established her independent research program as an Assistant Professor at Penn State with an NIH K12 BIRCWH (Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers on Women’s Health) award. She later received NIH K01 and R03 awards from NHLBI to study mechanisms underlying sex differences in lung inflammatory processes. Dr. Silveyra was promoted to Associate Professor in 2018, prior to joining the School of Nursing at UNC Chapel Hill, where she led the UNC Biobehavioral Laboratory for 2 years. In 2021, she joined Indiana University and received an R01 from NHLBI to study sex and gender differences in asthma. Dr. Silveyra has received numerous awards for her research, mentoring, and efforts to promote diversity in STEM. She is an advocate for underrepresented and international trainees, and she serves in various national organizations and committees, including the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS), and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM), where she is a member of the Board on Higher Education and Workforce and co-chair for New Voices in Science, Engineering and Medicine.
Talk Summary: Asthma is a lung disease caused by exaggerated lung inflammation leading to airway obstruction and compromised airflow. Despite significant advances in its diagnosis and treatment, asthma continues to be a significant health problem affecting more than 300 million patients around the world. Epidemiological studies have indicated that starting around puberty and peaking during mid-life, women have an increased prevalence of asthma compared to men, and adult women have a higher rate of asthma exacerbations than men. The causes of these disparities remain unclear; however, studies have shown that sex-specific inflammatory mechanisms regulated by hormones contribute to differences in airway reactivity in response to allergens and environmental stimuli. My laboratory uses experimental models of allergic asthma to explore the contributions of sex hormones to inflammatory mechanisms. In this talk I will give an overview of the epidemiology of asthma across the life span and show results from our studies using mouse models showing sex differences in allergic asthma phenotypes.