Pawan Sharma earned his Ph.D. (Parasite Immunology) from CDRI, Lucknow in 1980, and was a Staff Scientist at CDRI till July 1986. He was a PDF at the Research Institute Scripps Clinic, & Visiting Scientist at the Agouron Institute, both in La Jolla, CA, USA. He served at ICGEB, New Delhi as Sr. Res. Scientist & Principal Investigator, from Feb 1989 to Aug 2011. His area of research was Medical Microbiology (TB & Malaria), Molecular Immunology & Cell Biology.
Going beyond his call of duty at ICGEB, Pawan Sharma established a Tuberculosis Aerosol Challenge Facility for TB research and a first of its kind BSL-3 Containment Facility in India, accessible to any TB researcher within the country. This access to a BSL-3 facility in India and to global leaders in TB research through international TB symposia (ITBS), (which he organized from 2004 to 2010), transformed the complexion of TB research in India. Several labs subsequently started working on the virulent M. tuberculosis itself rather than its innocuous surrogate (M. smegmatis).
He has published more than 100 research papers/reviews in journals of international repute such as Immunity, PNAS-USA, J Immunol, PLoS Pathogens, JBC, JID, Infect Immun, PLoS ONE, Cell Microbiol, Microbe Infect, Tuberculosis (Edin), Imm Cell Biol, Sci Rep, IJMR, etc.
He was elected a Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, India (NASI), in 2002, and the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene (London) in 1983. He was the International Expert for the NIH’s TB Vaccine Testing & Research Materials Contract program at Colorado State University, USA, 2005-2010.
He was a Senior Consultant-Healthcare at the NER-BPMC of the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Govt of India (2011-2018) and a Visiting Res. Professor at the CVSc-Khanapara, Guwahati, (July 2018-July 2019), contributing to strengthening the biomedical research, education & training, healthcare infrastructure & patient services, and implementing HRD programmes in NER.
He was elected President of the Indian Immunology Society (IIS) for two terms (2010-2012; 2012-2014); earlier he was also elected its Vice President (2008-2010) & General Secretary (2006-2008). The IIS honoured him with the Senior Scientist Oration award at IMMUNOCON-2017.
Dr. Sharma is also a Life Member of Indian Science Congress Association, Society of Biological Chemists (SBC) India, Indian Society for Parasitology, etc.