MEET THE TEAM
Dr. Patricia Silveyra - Principal Investigator
Dr. Silveyra is an Associate Professor and Anthony D. Pantaleoni Eminent Scholar at Indiana University (IU) School of Public Health Bloomington. She is also the Chair of the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health and an Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine at the IU School of Medicine.
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, in Argentina, where she grew up. She moved to the United States as a postdoctoral fellow in 2008 after being selected for an Ambassadorial Scholarship by The Rotary Foundation. She joined the faculty at Penn State College of Medicine as Assistant Professor in 2013 and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2018. She later moved to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she led the Biobehavioral Laboratory at the School of Nursing from 2018-2020, and she joined the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at Indiana University School of Public Health in 2021. Dr. Silveyra has received numerous awards for her research, mentoring of students, and efforts to promote diversity in STEM. She is an advocate for underrepresented minority and international trainees, and she serves in various national organizations and committees.
Our research team
Current lab members
Dr. Carolyn "Dami" Ekpruke
I am a human physiologist with experience in respiratory system research and physiology education. I am interested in understanding the role of sex chromosomes and gonadal hormones in respiratory diseases and the health impact of Occupational & Environmental pollution. My deep passion is to identify pathways that would serve as targets for developing sex-specific therapeutics that will help reduce/eliminate the sex disparities in asthma and other lung diseases to provide better management. I like to cook and spend quality time with my family in my free time.
Dr. Shikha Sharma
I am a Toxicologist with an interest in public health. My research focuses on identifying the various exposure sources of endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and determining the role of the lungs in the modulation of endocrine disruption processes. Presently, I am examining the presence of phthalates in electronic nicotine delivery system devices (ENDS) and their potential for inducing lung diseases. My research focuses on both regulatory and clinical perspectives in order to help update regulatory policies about the exposure and risk assessment of EDCs.
Dr. Omar Borges-Sosa
I am an international medical doctor from Yucatan, Mexico. I have worked as a sub-investigator in the clinical oncology field, where I developed a deep fascination with learning and understanding the physiopathology of cancer. As part of the team at the Silveyra Lab, I look forward to gaining knowledge on cell and molecular research in lung disease, providing me with a broader awareness of this topic for my future practice. In my free time, I enjoy exercising, playing baseball and board games, and reading about science, among other things.
I am a recent IUB graduate with a Bachelor’s in Human Biology and Human Health and Disease concentration. I am eager to expand and improve my research and laboratory knowledge while applying to Master’s programs. My research interests include neuroscience (e.g., human behavior and psychological disorders), sex and gender studies, and environmental change/ethics. When not in the lab, I enjoy cooking/baking, psychological thrillers, language learning, traveling, and photography.
I am a 3rd year Ph.D. candidate interested in the mechanisms behind sex differences in lung cancer initiation and progression. In our lab, we use the “Four Core Genotypes” mouse model to investigate our questions. I have joined IU Bloomington to do my Master’s in Environmental Science and have a B.Sc. degree in Chemistry. I like music, history, old movies, playing beach volleyball and Settlers of Catan with my friends.
I am currently a graduate student pursuing a Ph.D. in Environmental Health. My research work investigates the mechanisms underlying sex differences in the inflammatory response induced by ambient ozone exposure in the lung epithelium, using in-vitro models. I have an MS in Environmental Health from IU and I have worked as a lab manager for the Silveyra lab for a year. When not in the lab, I enjoy knitting, reading, and playing games with friends.
I am currently a junior studying Biology at IUB with a concentration in Pre-dental studies. On campus, I am involved in Pre-dental organizations, Asian cultural clubs, I volunteer at a wildlife facility, and I work as a nail technician part-time. As part of the team at the Silveyra lab, I gave in to the rush in researching areas including cognitive science and environmental ethics. I am also interested in the principles of alternative medicine and how it contributes to oral health and overall wellness. Outside of academia, my hobbies include exercising, craft-making, cooking, and watching K-dramas.
I am a junior on the Pre-Dental track majoring in Biology and minoring in Chemistry, Psychology, and Health Studies. When not being consumed by schoolwork, I enjoy playing soccer, cooking, listening to music, learning new skills, and playing a lot of sudoku! The Silveyra Lab is of particular interest to me because it combines my passions for the environment and health. It will also allow me to challenge myself and be involved in research in a way I never have before.
I am currently a Junior at IU majoring in Biology with a concentration in Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics and minoring in Social Science in Medicine on a Pre-Med track. I enjoy volunteering at the Bloomington Hospice House and working with these patients. I also enjoy being an ambassador for a bone marrow and stem cell registry called Gift of Life. I became interested in the research of the Silveyra lab and hope to continue to pursue the knowledge of the mechanisms of lung disease. Outside of school and work, I enjoy spending time with my family, traveling and playing soccer.
I am currently a junior majoring in Neuroscience with a minor in Chemistry. Over the past year, I have had the opportunity to study aberrant changes in DNA methylation – changes that may in fact be the cause of the sex differences in the effects of lung disease (specifically from vaping). In the future, I hope to attend medical school and further my interest in liver disease – a debilitating illness that I am passionate about fighting. In my free time, I’m always down to enjoy a good adventure – spending time with family and friends, exercising, reading, and working on cars are just a few of the things I love to do.
I am a sophomore at Indiana University, majoring in epidemiology and Spanish. After graduating, I hope to pursue a masters in epidemiology. I am involved in RideOn Cycling, a Little 500 team at IU, as well as WIUX, our student radio. I am excited at the opportunity to be involved in research and meet new people!
Summer high school intern
I am a rising senior at Bloomington High School South, interested in learning as much as possible about biological/life science-related research. I believe that the work the Silveyra lab is doing, particularly on the effect of e-cigarette exposures and air pollution emissions on respiratory tissues, is not only interesting but deeply important for the health of younger generations. Outside of the lab, I enjoy playing piano, having tennis matches with friends, watching TV, and going on long hikes in the woods.
I am an undergraduate student going on to my Senior year at IUB this fall with a Major in Biology and a Minor in Psychology. As a member of the Silveyra lab sponsored by the SURE-tox program, I research the effects of vaping exposures in lung cells at the Silveyra Lab. My intrigue in Toxicology stems from my aspiration for Medicine. I seek to apply my learnings and understanding of the building blocks of research and analysis to my future career as a Physician. When I am not looking at cells, I am reading a book, baking, or taking an early morning jog (in my dreams).
I am an International Medical Graduate applying for residency with aspirations to pursue a career in Pulmonology and Critical Care. Currently, I’m working on a project that aims to identify sex differences in E-cigarette use, an increasingly popular and highly addictive product among the youth. I have a strong passion for food and cooking and I love exploring new (and old) music bands, both local and foreign.