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Ms Prerna Sharma

BBSc(Hons), La Trobe University

Prerna Sharma is a Research Assistant in the Atherothrombosis and Vascular Biology laboratory at the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute. She is currently involved in therapeutically targeting thrombosis and vascular inflammation, in particular C-Reactive Protein (CRP). CRP is known to undertake a pro-inflammatory conformation in response to tissue damage, cellular stress, and apoptosis. Prerna’s research involves collaboration with Bio21 (University of Melbourne) to establish the best small molecule inhibitors of CRP through various testing of the efficacy and IC50s of these drugs, with the goal to reduce the downstream effects of CRP. Post-Covid pandemic, Prerna was directly involved in new research looking at the activation of circulating platelets in vaccine-induced thrombotic thrombocytopenia and confirm its reversal by intravenous immunoglobulin.

Previously, she was a member of the Vascular Biology and Immunopharmacology Laboratory at La Trobe University as a Class 1 Honours student involved in the research of hypertension and chronic kidney disease. During her time at La Trobe, Prerna performed uninephrectomy surgeries on mice given Deoxycorticosterone Acetate with a high salt intake (DOCA-salt model) to study the effects of T cells and interleukin-18 (IL-18) in hypertensive kidneys with tissue damage. Along with her team, Prerna helped discover the main source of IL-18 receptor in the kidneys, being localised to renal tubular epithelial cells and T cells. It was discovered that these renal T cells also showed the potential to release interferon gamma when stimulated with IL-18 ex vivo.

Achievements

  • Certified by Praxis, Australia in Introduction to Good Clinical Practice V2.0 Online course
  • Trained and certified to collect human blood via venepuncture by RMIT, Melbourne – Venepuncture short course

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