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Agastya Sharma
Agastya Sharma skiing

Agastya Sharma

Graduate Student

After growing up in Framingham, MA, Agastya earned his bachelor’s degree in microbiology along with a certificate in computer science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. While at UW, he worked with Laura Knoll in understanding host-pathogen interactions that occur during Toxoplasma gondii infection. Specifically, he explored the activity of signaling pathways that are influential in the transition between the acute and chronic stages of the infection caused by this food-borne parasite.


In the Valdivia Lab, he studies how Akkermansia muciniphila acquires and metabolizes intestinal mucin. This microbe has been gaining interest lately because of its beneficial effects on human health, though its exact lifestyle in the gut is unexplored. Agastya’s work focuses on finding key genes and pathways this microbe uses to harvest #mucins in the gut by using a combination of genetic and biochemical experiments. This work will be instrumental in guiding the development of Akkermansia muciniphila into a next-generation probiotic.

Agastya is also the creator of All Things Bacteriology—a newsletter dedicated to spreading the word on some of the newest and most exciting innovations in microbiology. When he's not in the lab, he enjoys hiking, being, going on road trips, and cooking.

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