Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Ricardo Silva Rose Hills

Investigating the role of how S1PR3 promotes the release of CGRP

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that causes skin cells to grow at an abnormal rate. This disease leads the skin to develop red bumpy patches covered with white scales. Itchiness, burns, and stings are common discomforts associated with the disease. Psoriasis affects 8 million Americans and 125 million people worldwide.
Currently, antihistamine does not treat psoriasis. Our lab has been exploring non-histamine dependent pathways of itch. Recent work in the Bautista Lab (Hill et al., 2018) identified Sphingosine 1-Phosphate Receptor 3 (S1PR3) as a key signaling molecule that promotes itch-evoked scratching behaviors in mice. However, it is still unknown if S1PR3 activation promotes the release of inflammatory mediators that trigger itch and inflammation. Calcitonin Gene Related Peptide (CGRP) is one inflammatory mediator elevated in Psoriatic skin that recruits and activates immune cells. My research will seek to identify the role of how S1PR3 promotes the release of CGRP from itch neurons and drives inflammation in the skin. This research will provide new insight into the mechanisms that may trigger the inflammatory response of psoriatic skin.

Message To Sponsor

I would like to give my sincerest thanks to my donor for giving me the opportunity that nourished my growth as a scientist. Before this summer, I did not really think of myself as a scientist. There were many instances in lab settings where I felt as if my understanding of science was minimal compared to everyone else in the room. Being able to pursue my own project helped me uncover my own capabilities as a scientist. I was able to create my own procedures, study different methods, and tailor to problems along the way that got me closer to answering my scientific question. It became natural to have conversations with mentors about my progress and how I plan to move forward. Those conversations were ones that I didnt imagine myself having before this summer. I gain confidence in my own work and now feel comfortable bringing something to the table when I am in the lab. I am now considering different careers that involve research thanks to this experience.
Profile image of Ricardo Silva
Major: Cell & Developmental Biology
Mentor: Diana Bautista
Sponsor: Rose Hills Independent
Back to Listings
Back to Donor Reports