For Your Health
For Your Health

News from the University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences

Sharma to chair roundtable discussion for AAI Committee on the Status of Women

sharmaThe American Association of Immunologists (AAI) Committee on the Status of Women has invited Jyotika Sharma, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the UND School of Medicine & Health Sciences (SMHS), to chair a roundtable discussion on “Grant Writing for Principal Investigators” at the upcoming AAI meeting to be held in May 2019.

Founded in 1913, the AAI is an association of scientists from all over the world dedicated to advancing the knowledge of immunology and its related disciplines. The organization includes nearly 8,000 members located in 71 countries and publishes the Journal of Immunology, the largest and most highly cited journal in the field. AAI boasts 27 Nobel Laureates, 50 Lasker recipients, and more than 200 recipients of the top national and international awards for science and immunology.

“I am fortunate to have gathered grant-writing, scientific publishing, and mentoring experience here at UND, and feel privileged to have this opportunity to give back to the community,” Sharma noted. “Women in science face unique challenges, and although the times are changing women are still professionally underrepresented. AAI is doing a great job bringing experienced scientists to a platform where they can share their work-life challenges, experiences, and success stories with young scientists, and I’m glad to participate in this initiative.”

A professor of biomedical sciences at the UND SMHS since 2011, Sharma has built a career out of studying host-pathogen interactions, bacterial pneumonia, sepsis, chronic granulomatous disease, and the influence of cigarette smoke on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. In seven years of her faculty appointment, she has been awarded multiple major National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants, and is also the Director of a $10 million multi-principal investigator Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (CoBRE) grant to establish a nationally/internationally recognized Center for Excellence in infectious disease research. This Center currently supports the research program of four junior investigators, and provides research infrastructure by establishing and maintaining state-of-the art facilities available to support research within and outside of UND.

Sharma’s own research is currently supported by nearly $2.3 million in grants from the NIH—including an R01, the most prestigious type of grant the NIH awards—and UND.

Appointed by AAI Council, the Committee on the Status of Women is a nine-member group responsible for generating and developing programs that assure equal treatment of all professional immunologists on the basis of merit and enhancing career opportunities that advance the involvement and recognition of women immunologists in the scientific community.