Kavya Sharman, PhD
Data Scientist, VC Associate, Pun Enthusiast
The common denominator of biomedical research, and life in general, is complexity. Everything we encounter has an inherently complex, multidimensional organizational arrangement, from the evolution of our history to the interplay between molecules in cellular pathways. My goal is to try and make sense of that complexity.
I received a BA in neuroscience degree from Vanderbilt University in 2016, worked at Vanderbilt’s Department of Biomedical Informatics for some time and then went on to work for MONQ, a startup in Nashville. I returned to Vanderbilt in 2018 as a PhD student in the Chemical and Physical Biology Program.
As a computational student in Dr. Richard Caprioli’s lab, I developed computational techniques for linking complementary imaging modalities including imaging mass spectrometry and multiplexed immunofluorescence to understand the molecular basis of Staphylococcus aureus infection.
Over the course of my work, I’ve contributed to 9 journal articles and 1 book chapter, given 5 oral presentations in professional conferences, and presented 8 posters. I recently was awarded one of the inaugural Vanderbilt Graduate Council Anchor Awards for my efforts building a student community for computational students during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Through my varied experiences in industry, academia, healthcare, and informatics, I have focused on developing cross-disciplinary linkages. As an undergraduate, I worked with students and faculty to organize seminars and research match fairs to engage hundreds of students in scientific research. I co-developed a “Systems Thinking in Biomedicine” seminar to foster scientific dialogue across disciplines. Most recently, I co-founded S Phase Bio Fund, a student-lead investment fund dedicated to educating and investing in emerging biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies.
As a postdoctoral scholar in Jeff Spraggins’s lab at Vanderbilt, I developed Python-based computational workflows and user-friendly data visualization platforms to integrate and analyze multimodal imaging data. At the same time, I joined Chai Ventures as a part-time VC associate, working with the Founding Partner and team to develop investor materials for the data room including deal memos, pitch decks, and quantitative fund models. I also meet with founders and LPs to identify investment and growth opportunities for the Fund, which is largely focused on business founded by women across industries.
Ultimately, I am excited to explore ways in which we can leverage the power of computation to drive unforeseen hypotheses and push the envelope of biomedical research.
I believe the success of a venture is directly related to the quality of the team.
I have had the pleasure of working with many teams over the last ten years, forming meaningful relationships and leading to exciting results.
Mark Frisse, MD, MS, MBA
PROFESSOR EMERITUS, DEPARTMENT OF BIOMEDICAL INFORMATICS, VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER
"Remarkable woman who mastered a number of complex tasks while working with me. Her work required strong interpersonal skills, a calm demeanor, empathy, creativity, and intelligence. Kavya is a gifted professional.”
Elizabeth Bowman, PhD
ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, GRADUATE PROGRAMS IN BIOMEDICAL SCIENCES, VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY
"Kavya is a rare student who is mature beyond her years, knowing exactly what she wants out of her training, her career, and her life. She has big ideas for her community and regularly catches me off-guard with her level of thoughtfulness and seriousness in her ideas."
Ariel Helms Thames
MD/PHD STUDENT, SIM CO-FOUNDER, NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY
"Creative, committed, and a finisher with an artful eye for quality. The perfect partner for embarking on an innovative endeavor that hasn't been done before.”
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TAKING THE EASY WAY OUT... NOT ALWAYS A BAD THING
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VC Associate (part-time) at
Developed investor materials for the data room (deal memos, pitch decks, quantitative fund models) and met with founders and LPs to identify investment and growth opportunities for the Fund, which is largely focused on female-founded businesses across varied industries
2021 - 2022
Co-Founder, Managing Director at
S Phase Bio Fund
Established a new student-led investment fund to educate graduate students on investing in emerging biotechnology
Research Analyst at Seminal
Conducted research across topics such as artificial intelligence, labor markets, and the molecular basis of learning, contributed research and data for articles, created stand-alone research briefs on independent topics.
2017 - 2018
Scientist at MONQ
Led a team of scientists and engineers to conduct neuro-olfactory research, created and implemented a new inventory and production management system, wrote scientific articles, and established an internship program.
Business Development Coordinator at Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Established collaborative business partnerships within Vanderbilt and the Nashville community, assisted in course development, proposed a novel program to build the pipeline between academic research and technology transfer.
2014 - 2016
Scientific Immersion & Mentorship
Built a successful program to match undergraduate students to research labs, launched faculty-led seminar series, and implemented a student-focused research conference.
Postdoctoral Researcher | Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
Doctor of Philosophy | Program in Chemical and Physical Biology, Vanderbilt University
Bachelor of Arts | Vanderbilt University
High School | Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences, & the Arts
- Fundamentals of Management
- Financial Accounting
- Entrepreneurship: The Business Planning Process
- Venture Capital Short Course Workshop
- Entrepreneurial Sales Workshop