Rupali Sharma, Ph.D.

Rupali Sharma, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow (CRTA)

Team Member of:

During her Ph.D. studies, Dr. Sharma worked with diabetic retinopathy (DR) patients to analyze telomere length as a prognostic marker of this disease. Along with this research, she also focused on the role of resveratrol on the expression of various candidate genes involved in DR in experimental models of diabetes induced in estrogen-deficient rats and controls. With her molecular biology and neuroscience background, Dr. Sharma has joined Dr Sadowski and her team in the hope of identifying novel prognostic markers and more effective therapies for neuroendocrine tumors. This research could potentially lead to better diagnosis and treatments for patients.

Areas of Expertise

1) In vivo rat and mouse model, 2) ELISA, 3) clinical research, 4) real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), 5) cell culture, 6) Western blotting

Contact Info

Rupali Sharma, Ph.D.
Center for Cancer Research
National Cancer Institute
Building 10-CRC, Room 3-5888
Bethesda, MD 20892-1201
Ph: 240-760-7216

In her previous position, Dr. Sharma studied gene and protein expression changes in the retina and brain using rodent models. She investigated the role of the phytoestrogen, resveratrol, on the expression of candidate genes involved in diabetic retinopathy (DR), and in a menopause model of rat. In this she looked into the pathology of the pancreas and eyes. In addition to this work, Dr. Sharma also focused on understanding the mechanisms through which the brain responds to traumatic brain injury (TBI) and high altitude (HA), both of which cause impaired brain function. In this context she examined microglia and astrocyte markers using confocal microscopy and analyzed the expression of synaptic proteins. Her long-standing experience with animal models of DR and TBI, including assessments of neuroprotection, glial responses and inflammation, has enabled her to apply these discoveries in other related fields.  

In her current position, Dr. Sharma will focus on understanding the undeveloped mechanisms of neuroendocrine tumor biology using rodent and cell line models. In these models she will examine histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi) and DNA methyltransferase inhibitors (DNMTi) for their potential as a new therapy for neuroendocrine tumors. Together with Dr Sadowski’s team, which has expertise in molecular mechanisms and signaling, Dr. Sharma will also interrogate miRNA-RNA interaction which also have the potential for other molecular questions surrounding neuroendocrine tumors. If the HDACi/DMNTi experiments are successful in rodent and cell line models, the next step will be clinical trials to determine if these novel therapeutics have the potential to improve patient heath and survival.

NIH Scientific Focus Areas:
Cancer Biology, Clinical Research, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Molecular Pharmacology, Neuroscience

Selected Key Publications

  1. Sharma R, Cramer NP, Perry B, Adahman Z, Murphy EK, Xu X, Dardzinski BJ, Galdzicki Z, Perl DP, Dickstein DL, Iacono D.
    Sci Rep. 9(1): 16406, 2019. [ Journal Article ]
  2. Sharma R, Sharma NK, Thungapathra M.
    Nutr Metab (Lond). 14: 30, 2017. [ Journal Article ]
  3. Sharma R, Gupta A, Thungapathra M, Bansal R.
    Sci Rep. 5: 18368, 2015. [ Journal Article ]
  4. Sharma NK, Sharma R, Mathur D, Sharad S, Minhas G, Bhatia K, Anand A, Ghosh SP.
    Front Aging Neurosci. 10: 134, 2018. [ Journal Article ]

Dr. Sharma received her Ph.D. degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, India. After receiving her Ph.D., she joined the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS) in Bethesda, Maryland, USA as a Postdoctoral Fellow. Her research at USUHS focused on analyzing the molecular and pathological changes in rodents receiving traumatic brain injury (TBI), using different models such as cortical compact injury and repetitive closed head injury. In addition to these studies, her research also focused on the molecular and pathological changes that occur due to chronic exposure to high altitude (HA), with or without TBI.