Dr. Indu Sharma

Assistant Professor, PhD, Biological Sciences

Location: DuPont Hall, Room 308
Email:  indu.sharma@hamptonu.edu
Expertise:  Microbiology, Microbial Physiology, Microbial genomics, RNA biology, 16S sequencing, Barcoding

Education

Dr. Indu Sharma completed her Ph.D. in Biotechnology and Molecular Parasitology at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India. Her dissertation focused on the sequence analysis of the 6kb mitochondrial genome of human malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax. She also holds an M.S. in Biotechnology from Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, and a B.S. in Microbiology (Honors) from the University of Delhi​

Professional Positions Held

  • 2022 – Present: Associate Professor with Tenure
  • 2021 – 2022: Associate Professor, Hampton University
  • 2014 – 2021: Assistant Professor (Tenure Track), Hampton University
  • 2011 – 2014: Assistant Professor (Non-Tenure Track), Hampton University
  • 2009 – 2011: Genomics Coordinator, Hampton University
  • 2004 – 2009: Visiting Scientist, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MA
  • 2001 – 2003: Postdoctoral Fellow, International Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, New Delhi, India​

 Awards and Recognitions

  • 2022, 2021: Ernest Everett Just Fellowship, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA
  • 2019: Scholarship for STAMPS course, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA
  • 2017: Scholarship for Microbial Diversity Course, Helmsley Charitable Trust
  • 2004 – 2009: Visiting Fellow Award, NIAID, National Institutes of Health
  • 1996: First Rank and Gold Medal for M.S. in Biotechnology, Guru Nanak Dev University​

 Curricula Development and Teaching Assignments

Dr. Sharma has been instrumental in curriculum development at Hampton University. She secured funding from National Science Foundation to introduce extended Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences (eCURE). This program incorporated research into courses and engage students in hands-on research, from microbial species characterization to genome assembly using RNA sequencing data. She teaches a wide array of courses, including:

  • General Microbiology with Lab
  • Immunology
  • Environmental Toxicology
  • Biotechnology Explorations
  • Bioinformatics and Genomics
  • Medical Microbiology with Lab

 Current – Hampton University

Dr. Sharma’s current research is centered on the ecophysiology of marine microbes, particularly those enriched with fucoidan and laminarin as sole Carbon-source, complex polysaccharides found in marine environments. Her work with Cyclobacterium marinum, a non-model bacterium, involves using a multi-omics approach to explore how these bacteria degrade complex carbon sources, their gene expression responses, and the regulatory mechanisms involved. She is committed to fostering diversity in STEM and supporting underrepresented groups​ to pursue career advance degrees.

Research Interests

Dr. Sharma’s research interests include:

  • Marine microbiology and blue carbon degradation by specialized microbes
  • Ecophysiology of marine microbes
  • Multi-omics approaches to decipher metabolic pathways
  • Adaptive metabolic strategies of marine bacteria to changing nutrients in the environment.
  • Non-coding RNA biology

Selected Publications

  1. Sharma I, Fang J, Lewallen E, Deitsch K, McCutchan TF. Thermo-regulated non-coding RNA and rRNA processing in Plasmodium falciparum. Gene. 2023.
  2. Sharma I, Washington M, Chen See J, Suleiman R, Lamendella R. Draft Genome Sequence of Streptomyces albidoflavus 09MW18-IS, Cultivated from the Atlantic Ocean. Microbiol Resour Announc. 2022.
  3. Endo T, Takemae H, Sharma I, Furuya T. Multipurpose Drugs Active Against Both Plasmodium spp. and Microorganisms: Potential Application for New Drug Development. Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2021.
  4. Sharma I, Lee MD. Draft genome sequence of Cyclobacterium marinum strain Atlantic-IS, isolated from the Atlantic slope off the coast of Virginia, USA. Microbiol Resour Announc. 2019.
  5. Sharma I, Sullivan M, McCutchan TF. In vitro antimalarial activity of novel semisynthetic nocathiacin I antibiotics. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2015​

Professional Affiliations (Current)

  • American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
  • American Society of Microbiology (ASM)
  • Marine Biological Laboratory Society, Woods Hole, MA
  • International Society for Microbial Ecology​ (ISME)