Collage of Stanford Biosicences students using pipettes for research

Student Profile: Arun Sharma

Arun Sharma
  • Hometown: Huntsville, Ala.
  • Undergraduate: BS, Duke University
  • PhD Program: Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine
  • Thesis Lab: Dr. Joseph Wu and Dr. Sean Wu

Please describe your research area and interest.

I am interested in the mechanisms behind cardio vascular development and disease. Specifically, I am using induced pluripotent stem cells to model cardio vascular disorders in vitro.

Why did you decide to attend Stanford?

Stanford has some of the best scientists in the world when it comes to stem cell biology and cardio vascular biology. In addition, I wanted to take advantage of Stanford's unique environment of biomedical entrepreneurship.

What do you like best about graduate school at Stanford?

I love the resources that are available to me here at Stanford. This school has a number of departments that are among the best in the world in their respective fields, ranging from medicine to engineering to business. This makes interdisciplinary collaboration in the context of my own project extremely gratifying and quite straightforward. For example, my laboratory recently collaborated with an engineering lab in order to develop an assay for measuring contractile force output on individual cardiac cells. Faculty members here are very receptive to interdisciplinary collaboration, and I feel like this is something that is quite unique to Stanford.

Who are your sources of support at Stanford?

My major sources of support here at Stanford have been my fellow Biosciences students. While research can be incredibly gratifying, everyone also has down days when experiments don't work. At times like those, it can be good to step away for a bit and refresh yourself by spending time with people who care about you and can relate to your experiences.

What activities are you involved in outside of research?

I enjoy scientific mentorship and teaching others about the topics that I am passionate about. Ever since my undergraduate years, I have served and continue to serve as a teaching assistant for undergraduate and graduate courses in stem cell biology, developmental biology, and molecular biology. I am also a program assistant for the Stanford Summer Research Program. Outside of science, I enjoy the great outdoors and am an avid snowboarder. I'm also a huge college sports fan, probably in large part due to being raised in the South!

How do you bring diversity to Stanford Biosciences?

I believe that my background as a foreign-born, Indian American raised in Alabama makes me a unique addition to Stanford Biosciences and to the community as whole. I am very proud of my Indian roots and adopted Southern heritage because they have both contributed equally to making me who I am today.

What is your dream job/long-term career goals?

In the future, I hope to be a principal investigator at a university, such as Stanford, where I can conduct cutting-edge research in stem cell biology and/or cardiovascular biology. I also hope to continue teaching undergraduates and mentor the next generation of young scientists.

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