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Miss Aikta Sharma MBioSci

Postgraduate Research Student in Skeletal Biology

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Miss Aikta Sharma is a Postgraduate Research Student in Skeletal Biology within Biological Sciences.

Aikta graduated in 2017 with a First Class Honours (MBioSci) in Biomedical Sciences, with her previous research projects conducted within the theme of Developmental Biology. She pursued this interest after completion of her undergraduate degree, and began her PhD in Developmental Biology in September 2017. Her project focuses on understanding the role of pro-angiogenic factors on bone matrix formation using spectroscopic and multiphoton imaging techniques.

Academic Qualifications

2017-present: PhD Research Student in Biological Sciences. University of Southampton, UK.

2013-2017: Master in Biomedical Sciences. University of Southampton, UK.

Research interests

Aikta’s research focuses on examining the role of osteoblast-derived vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) on osteoblast activity and matrix production ahead of bone formation. To do this, she is utilising sensitive molecular nanophotonic based techniques such as Raman spectroscopy with second harmonic and multiphoton fluorescence microscopy.

In cases of degenerative skeletal diseases such as osteoporosis, decreased levels of circulating VEGF are associated with pathological changes to the bone matrix. This makes the bone more brittle and therefore more susceptible to fracture. Understanding how the loss of VEGF impacts osteoblast function, and their ability to produce the bone matrix, therefore remains clinically relevant.

This project aims to identify spectral and molecular markers associated with the VEGF effects on osteoblast function. As the vasculature and bone matrix are spatially intimate, the relationship between the endothelial cells osteoblast-derived bone matrix will also be examined using these methods.


Supervisors: Dr Claire Clarkin (Biological Science), Professor Sumeet Mahajan (Chemistry), Professor Richard Oreffo (Medicine)
PhD Research: Utilising Raman spectroscopy to detect pro-angiogenic osteoblast signatures.
Funding: DOT Medical Implant Solutions and University of Southampton Biological Sciences.

Research group

Developmental Biology

Affiliate research groups

Institute for Life Sciences, Centre for Human Development, Stem Cells and Regeneration, Chemical Biology, Diagnostics and Therapeutics

University of Southampton

  • President of Biological Science Postgraduate Society
  • Postgraduate Research Student Rep for Biological Science
  • Postgraduate Champion for CORE

Membership of External Organisations

  • Bone Research Society
  • European Calcified Tissue Society
  • British Society for Matrix Biology
  • Biochemical Society
  • International Society for Clinical Spectroscopy


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BIOL1011 Systems Physiology

Miss Aikta Sharma
School of Biological Sciences
Faculty of Environmental and Life Sciences
Life Sciences Building 85
University of Southampton
Highfield Campus
SO17 1BJ

Room Number: 85/3041

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