Dr. Gaurav Sharma, a member of the scientific and professional cadre of senior executives, is the Chief Scientist of the 711th Human Performance Wing, Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. He is the primary science and technology advisor to the Wing commander. In this position, he provides technical vision and strategy for the Wing’s science and technology plans, and coordinates with other Department of Defense organizations, academic institutions, and industrial partners.

Dr. Sharma began his career with the Air Force in 2020, serving as the Senior Scientist for Cognitive Neuroscience. In this role, he supported the Director and the Chief Scientist in technical reviews and assessment of programs and new study areas, and interacted with other Air Force and government agencies in matters relating to cognitive science, including artificial intelligence, cognitive psychology, computational modeling and simulation, decision science, education and training, human performance and learning, and human-machine teaming.

Prior to his work with the Air Force, Dr. Sharma was at Battelle Memorial Institute where he co-created and led the NeuroLife program to develop groundbreaking neural bridging technologies that helped a paralyzed individual regain control of his hand using an implanted Brain Computer Interface. He then led the expansion of the program, building the team and growing the business portfolio from an internally-funded research effort to a strategic business offering generating significant external investments. He was also the Principal Investigator on Defense Advanced Research Project’s next-generation non-surgical Neurotechnologies (N3) program where he led a multidisciplinary team to develop novel, minutely invasive, injectable BCIs to improve Airmen performance. His work has been widely covered in the media and published in high-impact journals including Nature, Nature Medicine and Cell. He has more than 10 patents granted and filed, and has won three R&D 100 Awards, BCI Best Technology Award and Battelle’s President’s Achievement Award.

2002 Bachelor of Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, National Institute of Technology, Surathkal, India
2004 Master of Science, Mechanical Engineering, Rutgers University, N.J.
2007 Doctor of Philosophy, Mechanical Engineering, Northeastern University, Boston

1. 2007–2011, Postdoctoral Fellow, Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, La Jolla, Calif.
2. 2011–2019, Member of Technical Staff, Battelle Memorial Institute, Columbus, Ohio
3. November 2019–March 2020, Executive Vice President and Head of Applied Research, Optios, San Diego, Calif.
4. April 2020–April 2022, Senior Scientist for Cognitive Neuroscience, 711th Human Performance Wing, Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio
5. August 2021–April 2022, Acting Chief Scientist, 711th Human Performance Wing, AFRL, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
6. April 2022–present, Chief Scientist, 711th Human Performance Wing, AFRL, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio

2018 Best Paper Award, Association of Academic Physiatrists Annual Meeting
2017 Finalist, ACRM Rehab Tech Competition, NeuroLife Stroke Rehabilitation Platform
2016 Winner, R&D 100 Awards (Three awards: Best Technology, Editor’s choice, Social Responsibility)
2016 The 2016 Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Awards
2016 Winner, 1st position, Annual Brain Computer Interface (BCI) award, BCI Society
2016 President’s Technical Achievement Award, Battelle
2015 Best Abstract Award, International Neuromodulation Society Annual Meeting
2014 Outstanding Performance Award, Battelle Memorial Institute
2012 Outstanding Research Award, Nanotoxicology, Society of Toxicology Annual Meeting
2010 Fishman Fund Outstanding Postdoc Award, Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute
2008 California Breast Cancer Research Program Postdoctoral Fellowship
2007 National Research Council Research Associateship Award
2006 Outstanding Research Assistant Award, Northeastern University

May 2020–present, Member of Governing Council, Nano-Bio Materials Consortium, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio
August 2021–present, Member of Steering Group, OSD Human Systems Community of Interest

(Current as of April 2022)