Prestigious postdoctoral fellowship for structural biology and infection research in Umeå

Congratulations to Himanshu Sharma, a postdoctoral researcher in the Barandun Lab at MIMS & the Department of Molecular Biology, Umeå University on receiving a prestigious Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) Individual Fellowship.

2021.03.03 | Annabel Darby

Himanshu Sharma in the Umeå cryo-EM facility. Photo by Kai Ehrenbolger

Note: this article originally appeared on the MIMS.umu.se website. 

Himanshu Sharma, a postdoctoral researcher in Jonas Barandun’s lab at MIMS and the Department of Molecular Biology, Umeå University, has been awarded the prestigious Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) Individual Fellowship, giving him the opportunity to carry out the proposed research project with the financial support of 191 000 € over two years.

Himanshu carried out his PhD at the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, where his main interests were understanding bacterial ribosome biogenesis. During this journey, he was amazed by the emerging field of cryo-electron microscopy and its immense potential to investigate the structural and functional dynamics of macromolecular machines. 

When joining the Barandun group, he found a unique combination to pursue this interest in cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) through exciting model systems in infection and evolutionary biology, i.e. microsporidia. Commenting on his scholarship, Himanhu said:

I am exhilarated to have received this research funding. This fellowship gives me an opportunity to investigate the intriguing infection mechanism of microsporidia through cutting-edge methods in structural biology.

"Microsporidia are a class of obligate parasites that employ unique methods to infect almost all organisms, including bees, fish, farmed animals and humans. Apart from being an enormous environmental and healthcare challenge, these organisms also exhibit a range of evolutionarily distinctive cellular processes. To understand these interesting but understudied pathogens, I am going to combine my existing knowledge in RNA biology with cryo-EM to understand the critical events in the microsporidia lifecycle. Through these advancements, I aim to develop an understanding of potential drug targets to curb the growing menace of microsporidia infections." Himanshu commented. 

Title of the research project: Ms Infection - Mechanistic basis of host infection and intracellular development in microsporidia

About the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Individual Fellowship
Individual Fellowships of the MSCA are given to experienced postdocs allowing them to work on their own project while still receiving training and supervision to further develop their careers. The supported projects focus on climate change, health, migration as well as cancer, smart cities, or ecological features, respectively. 
Read more about the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions:
https://ec.europa.eu/research/mariecurieactions/node_en

Find out more about the Barandun lab:
https://barandunlab.org/

Contact person:
Himanshu Sharma
Postdoctoral fellow at Department of Molecular Biology/MIMS
Unit: Group Jonas Barandun
6K och 6L, Sjukhusområdet
Umeå universitet, 901 87 Umeå
himanshu.sharma@umu.se

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