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Silvia Ramos, MD, PhD
Dr. Ramos was born and raised in Brazil. She entered medical school in 1983 at the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP) and was early on drawn to the basic sciences. After completing a two-year internship at UNICAMP, Silvia applied and was accepted into one of the few residency programs in Brazil that would allow residents to pursue research, at the Medical School of Ribeirão Preto – University of São Paulo (USP). After completing her residence training in Internal Medicine and Clinical Immunology, she took her board exam and became a board certified rheumatologist. As a clinician, she realized that a lot was still to be uncovered in terms of the basic mechanisms that lead to development of diseases -- thus it drove her to basic immunology and the completion of her PhD work.
In 1999, Dr. Ramos joined Dr. Perry J. Blackshear’s laboratory as a postdoctoral fellow training at NIEHS-NIH and began a new phase of her scientific career. Her project was to investigate a presumed immune defect promoted by ZFP36L2, Zinc Finger Protein 36-like 2 protein, the least known member of the TTP family, by characterizing the phenotype of a knock-out mouse. However, the results of critical experiments led her to a new and very different direction and to her current interests in RNA metabolism and female reproductive biology. While in the Blackshear lab, she discovered that a genetic engineered mouse carrying a mutant protein due to disruption of exon 1 resulted in female infertility. In 2007, to pursue translating her science into meaningful human research, Dr. Ramos accepted a position as a clinical researcher at UNC in the Department Obstetrics and Gynecology with the double challenge of running the clinical embryology laboratory doing assisted reproductive technologies and setting up her own research laboratory. For her pioneering work, Dr. Ramos has received a FARE award from the NIH, a travel award from the Endocrine Society and a Hulka Innovators Award from UNC-Chapel Hill.
It was under the direction of Dr. William Marzluff (Distinguished Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics), that she successfully obtained her first NIH grant; a KO8 award (a career development research grant). As her overall goal is to pursue a scientific career investigating the molecular basis underlying the effect of ZFP36L2 in female infertility, Dr. Ramos permanently joined Dr. Marzluff’s laboratory as a research assistant professor and in turn is now a member of the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. We welcome her to the Department and look forward to learning more of her research and contributions to her field.