Residence: Philadelphia
Major:  Doctoral student in computational and integrative biology

 

Like a complex wiring system, the genetic network within a cell is an interconnected web of strands communicating to ensure the proper function of an organism. At Rutgers–Camden, Sweta Sharma is slowly untangling the web to understand how all the pieces fit together.

“When we study the genetic basis of diseases, we look at certain regulatory pathways,” Sharma says. “Cancer pathways, for example, are not regulated properly.

We’re finding which genes are causing abnormal regulation so we can determine which genes should be targets for drug development to treat the diseases.”

Sharma’s work is a step toward understanding the regulation of gene expression, which can help scientists gain insights into genetic diseases like cancer. Genetic diseases are often caused by abnormalities in gene expression.