“Our aim was to investigate the interplay between allergies and chronic pain in this poorly understood condition.” —Sayira Silverio
By Sayira Silverio ’20
Biology (community and global health concentration)
I first started working in Professor Devavani Chatterjea’s lab the summer after my first year, through the Young Researchers Program. Following the program, I expressed interest in continuing to work with the lab, so for the past year I learned various new techniques and began attending weekly lab meetings to see what other experiments were being conducted.
Last spring, I also took a Research in Immunology course, where we focused our discussions on published literature relevant to laboratory projects. I learned how to read scientific journals critically, work collaboratively, and carry out my own independent projects by putting the scientific method into practice. The course prepared me well for my research over the summer.
The experiments we conducted last summer were related to vulvodynia, a chronic vulvar pain condition that presents itself without any visible evidence of inflammation. The condition affects many women of childbearing age, and women who have it face challenges that include the inability to engage in pain-free sexual intercourse or simple activities such as walking, bike riding, running, and even standing.
Current scientific literature suggests a strong correlation between women with seasonal allergies and vulvodynia. Our aim was to investigate the interplay between allergies and chronic pain in this poorly understood condition. Since the cause of vulvodynia remains unknown, it is important for us to gain a deeper understanding of the pathways associated with this disorder, so that the root cause may be identified and more successful therapeutic targets may be developed.
December 15 2018Back to top