New investigator: Susmita Sil, PhD

January 20, 2022

Image with caption: Susmita Sil, PhD

Susmita Sil, PhD

This profile is part of a series to highlight the researchers who will be honored at a ceremony on Feb. 24 for UNMC's 2021 Scientist Laureate, Distinguished Scientist, New Investigator and Community Service to Research Award recipients.

The New Investigator Award

The New Investigator Award is given to outstanding UNMC scientists who, in the past two years, have secured their first funding from the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense or other national sources. New Investigator Award recipients also need to demonstrate scholarly activity, such as publishing their research and/or presenting their findings at national conventions.

  • Name: Susmita Sil, PhD
  • Title: Assistant professor, UNMC Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Neuroscience 
  • Joined UNMC: June 2016 
  • Hometown:  Kolkata, West Bengal, India 

Research focus: HIV- and substance abuse-induced neurological disorders 

Why is research important in the world today? Research is the only way to develop protection/cure from diseases. Additionally, it helps to propel humanity forward while broadening our knowledge. 

My research will make a difference because:  

With different viral infections (HIV, COVID, etc.) setting in and even after containment, "neurological complications" are the most common symptoms observed in patients. Adding the component of substance abuse triggers the latent viral reservoir, as well as worsens the neurological disorders. Our research is invested in identifying novel pathogenic functions of non-coding RNAs, long considered as junk RNAs, that can be targeted to develop therapeutics for these neurological disorders. Our overall goal is to establish multipurpose RNA-based therapeutics in neurological disorders. Apart from my research goals, I aim to motivate the youngsters to take up research as their career. Some of the previous summer interns, who had no idea about their prospective future when they came into the lab, are now pursuing PhDs.

The best advice I’ve ever received is:  

"Make a difference." That’s what my dad told me always. While growing up, this was the inspiration that motivated me to think beyond canonical ways. 

Three things you may not know about me are: 

  • My parents are my biggest strength.
  • Wildlife adventurer.
  • I love watching "fairy tale" movies.

Jatin Machhi
January 26, 2022 at 10:39 AM

Congratulations Susmita!

Avishek Roy
January 21, 2022 at 8:45 AM


Amitava Chandra
January 20, 2022 at 10:26 AM

Great!!! Congratulations. Really proud of You

Dan Teet
January 20, 2022 at 8:15 AM

Congratulations Dr. Sil!