Dr. Sherven Sharma -  USP Alumni Network

Name: Sherven Sharma
Country: USA
Programme: Bachelor of Science

Why did you choose your field of study? Science has been my passion since I was a child and I have been blessed to have had outstanding family, teachers and mentors who cared and provided me with support and encouragement to complete a Bachelor of Science degree from USP.
Briefly reflect on your student life at USP  The time spent at USP were some of the best in my life. I enjoyed the freedom and the interaction with a diverse group of students from the regional South Pacific Island nations that brought a rich variety of perspectives on issues facing us in those days.  
Greatest achievement[s] as a student I developed an appreciation and understanding of the diverse cultures represented at USP that helped me hone in on my communication skills.
Career Highlights since Graduation I completed a Ph.D degree in Microbiology from Keck School of Medicine at University of Southern California. After completing a Post-Doctorate training in Tumor Immunology from UCLA I joined as a faculty member in the Department of Medicine at UCLA and as a scientist at the Veterans Affairs in Los Angeles.  I have more than a 150 peer reviewed publications in Scientific Journals in my field of research. My research involves dissecting the mechanistic underpinnings that promote immune suppression in the tumor microenvironment and developing novel strategies to circumvent them for effective immune-based therapies for cancer.

Latest article "GITR agonist enhances vaccination responses in lung cancer" has been published on Taylor & Francis Online and is available read more
Who/what do you credit your success to? What inspires you?  I credit my success to my parents, teachers, mentors, family and friends who provided me with the support, encouragement and strength to carry on.  I am inspired by the ability to use scientific knowledge to improve the health of individuals.
How do you think USP helped you in your career?  USP provided me with the infrastructure and an excellent learning environment that helped me develop into who I am today. USP brought my dreams within reach so I would say it served as a catalyst to set my career in motion for all my later academic and scientific achievements.
Describe any challenges you face to reach where you are today and how you overcame those challenges?  As a Biomedical Scientist, I compete for federal funds to support my research. In order to sustain my research activities I am always on my top performance in terms of technology, collaborations and having good work ethic to achieve my goals. I am not shy to put the extra hours and hard work to do what is my passion.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years (career and/or personal goals)? My current work entails developing better therapeutic vaccines for cancer. I would like to continue working in this area to deliver the best forms of therapy for those suffering from cancer.  
What advice would you give to current and future students of USP?  You should chase your dreams because they can come true. Never give up and be involved in volunteer service as it helps elevate those that are in need.
Please share top three tips that you think are most important for our current students or recent graduates that will help them when starting out on their career paths.  Donít make assumptions, pay attention to detail and keep an open mind to make effective decisions.  Look at the evidence provided and verify the information before reaching conclusions. Donít be in a rush to get there because it will happen one day. Include the perspectives of others to build strong teams that will be able to deliver and increase productivity.
What has your involvement been with the University since you graduated? I occasionally contribute to the USP newsletter.
Any other information you would like to share. Donít forget Fijian traditional plants from the past that worked as remedies for ailments as they can still work today. Continue to eat dalo as studies have shown that it is chemo preventive for breast cancer.  Eat vudi as it protects against colon cancer.  Have a few bowls of good Fijian yaqona as it is chemo preventive for lung cancer.

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