Pankaj Sharma, Ph.D., is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Pediatric Translational Research Branch at the NIAMS. His research focuses on identifying genetic variations and determining molecular mechanisms associated with human diseases.
The goal of Dr. Sharma's research is to elucidate the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of spondyloarthritis (SpA) in search of effective therapies. This clinically heterogeneous group of disorders affects an estimated 1% of the population worldwide. Evidence suggests that genetic factors are significant determinants of these disorders, with HLA-B27 as the strongest MHC-1 locus associated with SpA. To further investigate disease-causing genetic mutations, most of which occur in exons, Dr. Sharma is utilizing exome sequencing and functional analysis to identify possible disease-causing mechanisms in patients.