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Aarti Raja, Ph.D.

Aarti Raja
Associate Professor
Dept. of Biological Sciences
(954) 262-7975

Biographical Sketch

Aarti Raja earned her Ph.D. in Microbiology at the University of Maryland in 2000, completed her postdoctoral work at Harvard Medical School and joined the faculty at Nova Southeastern University (NSU) in 2012.  She holds the rank of Associate Professor and serves in the Department of Biological Sciences in the Halmos College of Natural Science and Oceanography.  She teaches and guides students throughout their careers at NSU.  Her areas of research include microbiology, and innovations in science education.  Aarti is recognized at NSU and externally for her support of undergraduate students which has connected her students with national and international research communities.  Aarti collaborates with researchers from across the globe via the project called Small World Initiative (SWI) which she brought to NSU. SWI is a program that was created by Yale University’s Center for teaching and allows undergraduate students to engage in research early in their careers laying the groundwork for scientific discovery. Aarti is also part of a program started at NSU called Science Alive! which connects the college community with local schools to bring hands-on science education and learning opportunities to school age children. Aarti has several years of research in the field of virology, specifically human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and its proteins. In addition to research and teaching, Aarti gained vast experience in the field of infectious diseases consulting for the pharmaceutical and financial industries.


Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA     2000-2003

Research Fellow/Academic Fellow                                                               

Department of Pathology/Department of Cancer Immunology and AIDS

Harvard Medical School/Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA

Principal Investigator - Dr. Joseph Sodroski

Postdoctoral research topic: Studied structural aspects of the HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein to aid in the use of the envelope as a target for vaccine design.

Ph.D., Microbiology: University of Maryland at College Park (UMCP), MD     2000

Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics (CBMG)


Principal Investigator - Dr. Jeffrey J. DeStefano

Doctoral research topic: Understanding the mechanism of retroviral recombination, the role of HIV nucleocapsid protein and reverse transcriptase on HIV replication.

B.S., Microbiology: UMCP, MD     1993

Industry Experience

Senior Market Research Analyst     2007-2009

Guidepoint Global

New York, NY

Conducted online physician surveys and data analyses to evaluate current medical practices, unmet needs, and emerging devices/therapies. Provided market analysis and expert opinion to clients in the financial industry

Market Research Analyst     2003-2007

Decision Resources Group

Waltham, MA

Conducted pharmaceutical market analysis, including evaluation of current medical practices, unmet needs, and emerging therapies.  Projected the commercial outlook for drugs in development

Areas of Academic Focus

HIV envelope proteins

HIV entry

Soil microbiology


Courses Taught at NSU

BIOL 1500 – Introduction to Biology I

BIOL 3400 – Microbiology

BIOL 3450 – Virology

BIOL 4950 – Internship in Biology

ENVS 3101 – Introduction to Public Health

HONR 2010 – Germs and their power over humanity

UNIV 1012L – First year seminar: Do Microorganisms define our identity?

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