Photo of smiling female faculty member, Dr. Naima Sharaf, Assistant Professor of Biology at Stanford University.
Bio-X Affiliated Faculty

Dr. Naima Sharaf got her undergraduate degree in Chemistry at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She carried out her Ph.D. studies at the University of Pittsburgh in the lab of Dr. Angela Gronenborn where she used fluorine solution NMR to understand inhibitor-induced conformational changes with HIV-1 reverse transcriptase. To expand her structural biology skill set, she undertook postdoctoral training at Caltech in the lab of Dr. Doug Rees where she characterized the structure and function of the Neisseria meningitides methionine ABC transport system using x-ray crystallography and single-particle cryo-EM. This research sparked Dr. Sharaf's current interest in lipoproteins, particularly their roles in bacterial physiology and potential in vaccine design. Research in the Sharaf Lab bridges biochemistry, biology, microbiology, and immunology to translate lipoprotein research into therapeutics.

Proteins embedded in the cell envelope of bacteria perform multiple important functions, including signaling, nutrient acquisition, and export of virulence factors. Understanding the structure and functions of these proteins is critical for the development of new anti-bacterial therapies. Currently, the Sharaf lab focuses on both ABC transporters and lipoproteins of Gram-negative bacteria. The ultimate goal of the research to translate basic lipoprotein research into novel therapuetics.