Meet Amit Sharma of the Buck Institute. The Indian national is a postdoctoral research fellow in Pankaj Kapahi’s lab which focuses on the influence of diet on lifespan and health span extension, as well as the involvement of DNA damage pathways. Amit was on campus this week to participate in his very first CSHL meeting: Mechanisms of Aging.
What are your research interests? What are you working on?
I am deeply interested in the molecular regulatory pathways involved in cellular senescence and aging, and to leverage these in developing therapies for aging and associated disorders.
How did you decide to make this the focus of your research?
I have always found the process or phenomenon of aging fascinating.
How did your scientific journey begin?
I am originally from India where I earned my PhD. Throughout my career, I have been inspired by several individuals, teachers, and mentors but I credit my dad for setting me on this path. He was the first person to nurture my curiosity and introduce me to scientific methods.
Was there something specific about Mechanisms of Aging meeting that drew you to attend?
I believe the aging meeting at CSHL to be the field’s most important for two reasons: 1) The prestigious array of established scientists speaking at this meeting and discussing their yet-to-be-published, cutting-edge research; and 2) The opportunity to present my research to and get feedback from my peers.
What is your key takeaway from the meeting?
The biggest takeaway for me is that there is an increasing interest in cellular senescence both in understanding basic biology and potential therapy.
What did you pick up or learn from the meeting that you plan to apply to your work?
Every talk was very interesting; however, a few talks regarding the role of long interspersed nuclear elements (LINE) in triggering inflammation and its role in aging was very exciting. The insight I gained from these talks might be useful for my project. In addition to that, I may have a potential collaboration.
If someone curious in attending a future iteration of this meeting asked you for feedback or advice on it, what would you tell him/her?
I would highly recommend this meeting. Keep an eye on the deadline, apply early, and, if possible, present your research. The feedback I got from the attendees were very positive and useful.
How many CSHL meetings have you attended?
I have known about CSHL Meetings & Courses but this is the first time I am attending a CSHL meeting and would love to attend, if possible, every year from now on.
What do you like most about your time at CSHL?
The CSHL campus is beautiful, and the support staff is very helpful and friendly. The level of excitement, sense of cooperation and optimism amongst fellow scientists were the most inspiring this year.
Thank you to Amit for being this week's featured visitor. To meet other featured scientists - and discover the wide range of science that takes part in a CSHL meeting or course - go here.