Paula Diaz-Sylvester, PhD

Research Assistant Professor

    About me

    Paula Diaz Sylvester is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynegology and the Center for Clinical Research at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine.  

    Throughout her career, Dr. Diaz Sylvester participated in numerous basic research projects including toxicology of uranium compounds, regulation of kidney function in health and disease, xeno-transplant of Langerhans islets to control type-1 diabetes and intracellular calcium signaling in skeletal muscle and heart function. More recently, she developed a strong interest in clinical/translational research related to women's health. Dr. Diaz-Sylvester joined the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Center for Clinical Research at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine where she received training in the Protection of Human Subjects, Clinical Trials and Good Clinical Practices. She is currently providing support in clinical protocol development, manuscript preparation and grant writing as well as screening and enrolling patients in a number of active clinical studies focusing on all aspects of women’s health. This wide range of research topics includes contraception, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of gynecologic and reproductive disorders, pregnancy disorders such as preterm birth, intrauterine growth restriction and preeclampsia, improvement of minimally invasive surgical procedures, development of biomarkers for early detection of gynecologic cancers and health disparities in our patient population.


    Education & training

    Undergraduate Degree
    2005-2010 Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Pharmacology, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine
    2004-2005 Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Physiology, Loyola University Chicago
    2004 Ph.D., University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Animal Physiology
    1996 B.S., University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Biological Sciences

    Academic Location

    Academic Office

    201 E Madison Street Springfield, IL 62702
    Mail Code: 9664


    Selected publications (see full list of publications in Pub Med)

    1. Zahnd WE, Hyon KS, Diaz-Sylvester P, Izadi SR, Colditz GA, Brard L. Rural-urban differences in surgical treatment, regional lymph node examination, and survival in endometrial cancer patients. Cancer Causes Control. 2017 Dec 27. doi: 10.1007/s10552-017-0998-4. [Epub ahead of print]

    2. Ayyagari V, Diaz-Sylvester PL, Hsieh TJ, Brard L. Evaluation of cytotoxicity of the Bithionol and Paclitaxel combination treatment in a panel of human ovarian carcinoma cell lines.PLoS ONE 12(9):e0185111, 2017.
    3. Ayyagari VN, Hsieh TJ, Diaz-Sylvester PL, Brard L. Evaluation of the cytotoxicity of the Bithionol - cisplatin combination in a panel of human ovarian cancer cell lines. BMC Cancer 17:49, 2017.
    4. Burnett TL, Garza-Cavazos A, Groesch K, Robbs R, Diaz-Sylvester P, Siddique SA. Location of the Deep Epigastric Vessels in the Resting and Insufflated Abdomen. Journal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology. 23:798-803, 2016.

    Clinical trials

    Obstetrics and Gynecology

    Biomarkers for Endometrial and Ovarian Cancer

    Active recruiting

    PURPOSE: This is a biological sample collection study aimed at developing an early diagnostic tool for endometrial and ovarian cancer. The investigators are studying the relationship between estrogen driven gynecological cancers, inflammation and the microbiome. Patients who have been diagnosed with endometrial cancer or undergo presurgical evaluation for suspicion of ovarian cancer who are scheduled for a hysterectomy, bilateral oophorectomy and/or salpingectomy are eligible. Control patients undergoing gynecological surgery for benign indications are also being recruited.