Tarasha Sharma diversified her skills in organic chemistry as a researcher, and in leadership as a student engagement ambassador. Over her 8-month co-op term, she worked on a collaborative project between the Aquatic and Crop Resource Development (ACRD) and the Human Health Therapeutics (HHT) research centres. Tarasha helped the Biomass Characterization and Valorization team in synthesizing vaccine adjuvants that could potentially boost vaccine efficacy.
"I was grateful to work on impactful projects alongside passionate and leading scientists, while also having a lot of fun!" Tarasha says.
Day-to-day, she was doing purifications, characterizing compounds, running synthesis experiments and writing scientific reports in support of future research. In addition to lab work, she networked with colleagues, joined team meetings and scientific discussions, and attended an international conference.
Her mentor, research council officer Dr. Usha Hemraz, says, "Tarasha made significant contributions to the project. With a natural talent for scientific investigation and an inquiring mind, she displayed excellent working habits, integrated feedback into her research and was always eager to learn new things."
To strengthen her leadership skills, Tarasha volunteered as a student engagement ambassador. She was given the opportunity to plan virtual hangouts, a games lunch and a student showcase. During the showcase, NRC students from across Canada were encouraged to step outside their roles by presenting the projects they worked on over the summer. Peer connections are one of the many ways our organization supports students during their co-op experience.
Tarasha will continue her biopharmaceutical science program at the University of Ottawa, and she will keep empowering others by connecting with and encouraging young people to become leaders.