Dr. Sil named Vada Kinman Oldfield Scholar

Susmita Sil, PhD

Susmita Sil, PhD

Susmita Sil, PhD, assistant professor in the UNMC Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Neuroscience, was named the 2022 Vada Kinman Oldfield Scholar at a virtual award presentation April 21. The annual award recognizes promising new ideas in Alzheimer’s research.. Howard Gendelman, MD, chair of the department, called Dr. Sil one of UNMC’s best and brightest young scientists.

"Dr. Sil’s research trajectory and scientific development blazes a path toward not simply understanding the brain’s reaction to injuries but a means to correct it — and fundamentally, at the intersection between viral brain and Alzheimer’s diseases," Dr. Gendelman said.

Dr. Sil’s studies aim to find a potential treatment for memory loss and neurodegeneration in a transgenic model of Alzheimer’s disease. She will be using a novel drug, which is currently in a Phase 2 clinical trial for treating cardiovascular diseases, to assess its potential therapeutic effects on cognitive deficits in Alzheimer’s. Additionally, she will be exploring biomarkers of the disease. For the past 11 years, Dr. Sil has engaged in evidence-based studies involving Alzheimer's disease, as well as HIV-1 and substance use disorder mediated Alzheimer’s-like pathology. She has received multiple academic and professional honors and served as invited chair and judge for international conferences. Her other awards include an R25 pilot grant from John Hopkins, a pilot grant from Nebraska Center of Substance Abuse Research, Chronic HIV and Aging in NeuroAIDS (CHAIN) pilot grant from National Institute of Mental Health, and, as principal investigator, an R21 grant from National Institutes of Health. 

"Available therapeutics in Alzheimer’s can only slow the progression of memory loss, but a complete eradication is the glaring factor that still needs attention," Dr. Sil said. "Knowing of the Kinman-Oldfield Family Foundation’s vision of a cure for, and the eradication of, Alzheimer’s disease, I feel encouraged and motivated. We are re-purposing promising drugs that we believe have potential to improve cognitive abilities. This study is a key first step that will support our long-term goal of helping patients who have started to experience memory loss." 

In addition to Dr. Sil’s award, the following students received the Ronald Reagan Scholarship, which supports student research:

  • Seth Springer
  • Meghan Ramirez
  • Louise Dow
  • Zachary Van Roy
  • Luis Estrella
  • Roland Nashanthea


  1. Arpita Chatterjee says:

    congratulations Susmita!

  2. jawed Siddiqui says:


  3. Nikhil singh Bhadauria says:

    Congratulations, well deserve.

  4. Dr. Sheritta Strong says:


  5. Pinaki Mondal says:

    Congratulations, Susmita!!!

  6. Moumita Sil says:

    Congratulations girl! Soar higher.

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