New Director of the Biobehavioral Lab (BBL)

Associate professor and Beerstecher-Blackwell Distinguished Term Scholar Patricia Silveyra, PhD, MSc, was appointed director of the UNC School of Nursing (SON) Biobehavioral Laboratory (BBL) on September 1, 2018.

The Biobehavioral Laboratory (BBL) was initiated in 1989 as part of the Research Support Center and the UNC School of Nursing. Since inception, the BBL has expanded in its mission to enhance knowledge and skills in biobehavioral science, physiological measurement, and instrumentation, with emphasis on non-invasive monitoring and portable instrumentation. The BBL houses a number of instruments for the monitoring of physiologic parameters such as electrical brain activity, cardiac output, oxygenation, body composition, and heart rate responses. The facility also supports on-site sleep research and other measurements of interest to faculty and students. This includes a wet lab and a nutritional research and behavioral observation suite equipped with 6 in-wall cameras and a monitoring room.

Silveyra named SON BBL director

 Associate professor and Beerstecher-Blackwell Distinguished Term Scholar Patricia Silveyra, PhD, MSc, was appointed director of the UNC School of Nursing (SON) Biobehavioral Laboratory (BBL) on September 1, 2018.

 Silveyra joined UNC from Penn State University, where she started her career as a basic and translational science researcher studying sex differences and the roles of sex hormones in mechanisms of lung inflammation induced by air pollution exposure and lung disease. She maintains an active research program funded by K01 and R03 awards from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI-NIH).

Silveyra received her Master’s degree in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology and her PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at Penn State College of Medicine. Silveyra brings additional experience in “omics”, epigenetics, and applied bioinformatics to the BBL and the SON.

 "I am thrilled to join the BBL and to continue my research program on lung inflammation and environmental health at UNC. Serving the BBL as director will allow me to establish connections with many investigators, faculty, and students who currently conduct innovative and collaborative research at UNC School of Nursing. My goal is to improve upon our existing strengths to provide even better and more efficient core services and educational opportunities to our SON investigators and across campus”, Dr. Silveyra said.

 Established to study the interface of biological and psychosocial factors that underlie individual responses to acute and chronic illness, the BBL emphasizes non-invasive monitoring and the use of portable instrumentation. The facility includes a wet lab, an observation suite with six in-wall cameras and a state-of-the-art sleep laboratory. The BBL also houses a number of instruments for monitoring physiologic parameters such as electrical brain activity, cardiac output, oxygenation, body composition and heart rate responses.

 Dr. Silveyra and her team are committed to enhancing knowledge and skills in biobehavioral science, physiological measurement and instrumentation. In addition to supporting student and faculty research efforts, the lab’s two staff members — Brant Nix and Dr. Chongben Zhang — offer several training programs throughout the year on research procedures such as blood and salivary hormone assays and cardiovascular stress measurement.

 “We are delighted to have Dr. Silveyra join us as leader of the BBL,” said Dr. Ruth Anderson, Associate Dean for Research and Kenan Distinguished professor at UNC SON. “She brings important new expertise to the SON that will help our nursing researchers to ask innovative research questions that require merging omics and biobehavioral research. This is the beginning of an exciting new era in research at the UNC School of Nursing.”

The BBL is located on the ground floor of Carrington Hall, Rooms 10 and 03. Faculty and graduate students are encouraged to visit. For more information on how to request equipment or a research consultation with BBL faculty, feel free to call us at 919.966.7598 or email us at .

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