Sarika was born and raised in India. She is a nature lover since childhood and being with nature has inspired her love for science. As a kid she enjoyed dissecting plants and insects, intrigued by their anatomy and physiology. She credits nature as her best science teacher.
Fascinated with “life and logic” in high school, Sarika took on biology as her undergraduate college major, where she acquired an understanding of the human body and physiology. At the same time, she also enjoyed performing chemistry experiments and developed a love for reading science-related books.
Throughout her youth Sarika observed that infectious diseases were prevalent in India and people were constantly exposed to life-threatening illnesses. Seeing infants and children die at a young age had a serious impact on her and she vowed to turn these sad experiences into an opportunity to make people’s lives better and contribute meaningfully to society.
This led Sarika to do her post-graduate work in biotechnology, followed by a doctorate thesis in antimicrobial peptide design and HIV-vaccine design. After completing her PhD at the world-renowned International Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology in New Delhi, Sarika continued to follow her passion and advance her scientific training in the U.S. As a postdoctoral researcher at the Ohio State University she studied the pathogenic mechanism of Listeria infection.
Sarika feels she is on track to fulfilling her life-long career goal: conducting high-impact research, writing and publishing papers to understand infectious diseases and developing novel strategies to combat them. Yet she aspires to have a greater and more direct contribution towards science for the benefit of human life.
With “My Passion For Science” Sarika hopes to establish after school library programs for kids, to teach them about hands-on science at an early age and to instill in them the love for science. She believes the best and most enjoyable way to learn science is through interactive experiments.