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Rosa da Silva
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Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, Associate Chair (Undergraduate Studies)
LSB 540
(905) 525-9140 ext. 26314

My primary research interests focus on the cellular and molecular mechanisms that regulate various systemic processes within model organisms. Not only is this important to best understand the function of animal physiology, but it also sheds light on analogous regulatory mechanisms that can be translated to human systems. Much of this research has included work on insect model organisms to better understand digestive, cardiac, neural, immune and reproductive processes. In particular, I have identified various regulating proteins and signaling cascades that control cellular machinery and are vital to maximize overall systemic physiology. It is my passion for asking "how" and "why" things happen that I pass on to my students every day. My pedagogical approaches are framed around training students to be leaders in translating interdisciplinary scientific applications to the real world. I have collaboratively established undergraduate research-focused projects (The Stink Bug Project, BioBlend Project, Horizontal Curriculum Integration Project), applied undergraduate laboratory and research facilities (ALLURE lab, Undergraduate Cell Biology Lab, Living Systems Lab) and have engaged students in translating the science they learn beyond the walls of the classroom through the use of social media and emerging technologies including Blended Learning. All of my wet-lab and pedagogical research projects are highly collaborative with teams of students. As a Distinguished MacPherson Institute Leadership in Teaching and Learning (LTL) Fellow, I look forward to continuing to collaborate with other faculty across McMaster University and beyond on additional projects that can ultimately improve the education that students attain in our classrooms.

Cell and Developmental Biology; Genetics & Molecular Biology

  • Defferrari MS, da Silva R, Orchard I & CR Carlini. (2014) Jack bean (Canavalia ensiformis) urease induces eicosanoid-modulated hemocyte aggregation in the Chagas' disease vector Rhodnius prolixus. Toxicon. 82:18-25.
  • Pustylnik S, Fiorino C, Nabavi N, Zappitelli T, da Silva R & RE Harrison. (2013) EB1 levels are elevated in ascorbic acid (AA)-stimulated osteoblasts and mediate cell-cell adhesion induced osteoblast differentiation. J Biol Chem. 288(30):22096-110.
  • Bhatt G, da Silva R, Nachman R & I Orchard. In Press. The molecular characterization of the kinin transcript and the physiological effects of kinins in the blood-gorging insect Rhodnius prolixus. Peptides. DOI:,
  • Lee D, Taufique H, da Silva R & AB Lange. (2012) An unusual myosuppressin from the blood-feeding bug Rhodnius prolixus. J Exp Biol. 215(Pt 12):2088-95.
  • da Silva R, da Silva SR & AB Lange. (2012) The regulation of cardiac activity by nitric oxide (NO) in the Vietnamese stick insect, Baculum extradentatum. Cell Signal. 24(6):1344-50.
  • da Silva R & AB Lange. (2011) Evidence of a central pattern generator regulating spermathecal muscle activity in Locusta migratoria and its coordination with oviposition. J Exp Biol. 214: 757-763.
  • da Silva S, da Silva R & AB Lange. (2011) Effects of crustacean cardioactive peptide on the hearts of two Orthopteran insects, and the demonstration of a Frank-Starling-like effect. Gen Comp Endocrinol. 171(2):218-24.
  • Orchard I, Lee do H, da Silva R, Lange AB. (2011) The proctolin gene and biological effects of proctolin in the blood-feeding bug, Rhodnius prolixus. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2:59.
  • Lange AB, Calvin A & R da Silva R. (2009) Neuropeptides modulate the heart of the stick insect Baculum extradentatum. Ann NY Acad Sci. 1163:448-50.
  • da Silva R & AB Lange. (2008) Tyramine as a possible neurotransmitter/neuromodulator at the spermatheca of the African migratory locust, Locusta migratoria. J Insect Physiol. 54(8):1306-13.
  • Lange AB & R da Silva. (2007) Neural and hormonal control of muscular activity of the spermatheca in the locust, Locusta migratoria. Peptides. 28(1):174-84.
  • Lange, AB & R da Silva. (2007) Peptidergic innervation of the excurrent ostia of two Orthopteroid insects. Pestycydy. (3-4):11-16.
  • da Silva R & AB Lange. (2006) The association of crustacean cardioactive peptide with the spermatheca of the African migratory locust, Locusta migratoria. J Insect Physiol. 52(4):399-409.

Books: da Silva, R. (2008) The Ten Most Uncontrollable Functions of the Body. Scholastic Canada. ISBN#: 9781554483310

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McMaster University - Faculty of Science | Biology