Dr. Joyce Teixeira Da Silva, PhD, Biography

About Dr. Joyce Teixeira Da Silva (she, her, hers) Headshot - JTD

Dr. Da Silva, Assistant Professor in the Department of Neural and Pain Sciences at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry, received her BS in Biomedical Sciences at the University Nove de Julho and PhD in Neuroscience at the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil. While in her PhD program, she also finished a residency in pain management. She completed a one-year international PhD internship and postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry where she studied sex and age differences in chronic pain in humans and animal models.

Dr. Da Silva has been the recipient of various awards for her research efforts and commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), including awards from the Society for Neuroscience, the NIH-funded BUILD2 ASCEND and the NSF-funded AGEP PROMISE programs.

Research interests

Dr. Da Silva’s research program employs an innovative, multiscale, interdisciplinary approach to evaluating the role of sex and age in how chronic pain drives comorbid emotional disorders, such as anxiety and depression.

Her lab investigates brain mechanisms related to sex and age differences in chronic pain conditions in rodents and humans, as well as pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments that could potentially reverse changes induced by pain and emotional comorbidities.

The ultimate goal of her research is to yield novel insights for personalized therapy.

Commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion

As a Latina and first-generation college student, Dr. Da Silva is personally familiar with the specific challenges that people from underrepresented groups face in health-related fields and is strongly engaged in efforts aimed at dismantling barriers faced by them.

As a postdoctoral fellow, she was selected to be part of the Neuroscience Scholar Program (NSP) from the Society for Neuroscience (SfN) to promote diversity and inclusion in biomedical science. She was also selected to be a mentor in the NIH-funded BUILD 2 ASCEND program, a collaboration between UMB and Morgan State University (MSU), designed to increase diversity in the biomedical community through mentoring underrepresented MSU undergraduate students. In addition, Dr. Da Silva has served as Chair of the UMSOD’s Inclusive Excellence and Equity Committee that aims to strengthen a diverse and equitable school environment.

As an Assistant Professor, Dr. Da Silva has been actively engaged in diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts. She has been selected as the first UMB APAA PROMISE Fellow, a National Science Foundation-funded program created to increase the number of historically underrepresented minority tenure-track faculty within the University of Maryland System. As a faculty member and researcher, her goal is to continuously empower minorities in science and healthcare careers.

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