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  • Assistant Professor, Center for Immunology and Inflammation, Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research

About the investigator

Dr. Sharma has a broad background in multiple biological disciplines including microbiology, molecular biology, and immunology, with specific training in immune cell development and function in normal and infectious/inflammatory disease conditions. During her PhD, she identified small peptides using phage-displayed peptide libraries which can potentially be used for therapy and diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB) which resulted in a US patent. In her postdoctoral research training at the National Institute on Aging, NIH, she studied the role of betacatenin and T cell factor (TCF)-1, the two players in canonical Wnt-signaling pathway, in regulating the T cell and invariant Natural Killer T (iNKT) cell development and function. In 2013, Dr. Sharma joined the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research as a research scientist, where she has studied the role of various immune cells and their signaling pathways, in particular involvement of extracellular cold-inducible RNAbinding protein (eCIRP), in animal models of sepsis and ischemia-reperfusion. In 2017, she was promoted to assistant professor at the Center for Immunology and Inflammation. More recently, she has studied the molecular mechanisms of how eCIRP causes inflammation and injury. Dr. Sharma has published over 25 articles in various peer-reviewed journals relating to various aspects of immune cell development and function, including high impact journals such as Nature Immunology and Oncogene. She is passionate about teaching and training, and has mentored/co-mentered summer students, post-baccalaureate fellows and surgery residents

Research focus

Dr. Sharma's research focuses on studying the role of various immune cells and their signaling pathways, in particular involvement of extracellular cold-inducible RNA-binding protein (eCIRP), in animal models of sepsis and ischemia-reperfusion. More recently, she has studied the molecular mechanisms of how eCIRP causes inflammation and injury. Currently, she is studying eCIRP's role in Alzheimer’s disease-associated neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration.


National Institute on Aging, NIH, MD
Degree: Postdoctoral
Field of study: T Cell Immunology

Bose Institute, India
Degree: Ph.D.
Field of study: Microbiology & Immunology

Honors and awards

  • 2001 Research Fellowship from Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)
  • 2004 Research Fellowship from Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), India
  • 2005 Best Poster Award; International Conference on “Functional Genomics for Novel Vaccine and Drug Design against Mycobacterial Infection (VDMI)”; jointly organized by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), India and University of Bergen, Norway
  • 2007 Visiting Fellowship for postdoctoral research, National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • 2014 AAI Trainee Abstract Award, Annual AAI Meeting in Pittsburgh, PA
  • 2014 Travel Award by Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies for Chicago Symposium
  • 2018 Barbara Zucker Early Faculty Career Award
  • 2019 Collaborative Women in Science Award, Advancing Women in Science and Medicine at Northwell


  1. Zhou M, Aziz M, Ochani M, Yang WL, Sharma A, Wang P. The protective role of human ghrelin in sepsis: Restoration of CD4 T cell proliferation. PLoS One. 2018;13(7):e0201139. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0201139. eCollection 2018. PubMed PMID: 30052667; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6063405.
  2. Bolognese AC, Yang WL, Hansen LW, Sharma A, Nicastro JM, Coppa GF, Wang P. Activation of Invariant Natural Killer T Cells Redirects the Inflammatory Response in Neonatal Sepsis. Front Immunol. 2018;9:833. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2018.00833. eCollection 2018. PubMed PMID: 29720984; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5922987.
  3. Matsuo S, Sharma A, Wang P, Yang WL. PYR-41, A Ubiquitin-Activating Enzyme E1 Inhibitor, Attenuates Lung Injury in Sepsis. Shock. 2018 Apr;49(4):442-450. doi: 10.1097/SHK.0000000000000931. PubMed PMID: 28661933; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5745315.
  4. Bolognese AC, Sharma A, Yang WL, Nicastro J, Coppa GF, Wang P. Cold-inducible RNA-binding protein activates splenic T cells during sepsis in a TLR4-dependent manner. Cell Mol Immunol. 2018 Jan;15(1):38-47. doi: 10.1038/cmi.2016.43. Epub 2016 Aug 29. PubMed PMID: 27569563; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5827170.
  5. Sharma A, Yang WL, Ochani M, Wang P. Mitigation of sepsis-induced inflammatory responses and organ injury through targeting Wnt/β-catenin signaling. Sci Rep. 2017 Aug 23;7(1):9235. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-08711-6. PubMed PMID: 28835626; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5569053.
  1. Gottimukkala KP, Jangid R, Patta I, Sultana DA, Sharma A, Misra-Sen J, Galande S. Regulation of SATB1 during thymocyte development by TCR signaling. Mol Immunol. 2016 Sep;77:34-43. doi: 10.1016/j.molimm.2016.07.005. Epub 2016 Jul 25. PubMed PMID: 27454343; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6612261.
  2. Yang WL, Sharma A, Wang Z, Li Z, Fan J, Wang P. Cold-inducible RNA-binding protein causes endothelial dysfunction via activation of Nlrp3 inflammasome. Sci Rep. 2016 May 24;6:26571. doi: 10.1038/srep26571. PubMed PMID: 27217302; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4877585.
  3. Sharma A, Yang WL, Matsuo S, Wang P. Differential alterations of tissue T-cell subsets after sepsis. Immunol Lett. 2015 Nov;168(1):41-50. doi: 10.1016/j.imlet.2015.09.005. Epub 2015 Sep 8. PubMed PMID: 26362089; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4636913.
  4. Yang WL, Sharma A, Zhang F, Matsuo S, Wang Z, Wang H, Wang P. Milk fat globule epidermal growth factor-factor 8-derived peptide attenuates organ injury and improves survival in sepsis. Crit Care. 2015 Oct 28;19:375. doi: 10.1186/s13054-015-1094-3. PubMed PMID: 26507263; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4624601.
  5. Berga-Bolaños R, Sharma A, Steinke FC, Pyaram K, Kim YH, Sultana DA, Fang JX, Chang CH, Xue HH, Heller NM, Sen JM. β-Catenin is required for the differentiation of iNKT2 and iNKT17 cells that augment IL-25-dependent lung inflammation. BMC Immunol. 2015 Oct 19;16:62. doi: 10.1186/s12865-015-0121-0. PubMed PMID: 26482437; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4615569.
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