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Harvesting the Secrets of a Medicinal Herb


From his native Nepal to the lab and classrooms at Hamilton, Sharif Shrestha ’17 is pursuing his interest in drug discovery and pushing to improve the economy of a village back home. He’s a founder of a project that’s helping residents of the remote Nepalese village raise and harvest the medicinal herb Swertia.

For his biochemistry thesis he and Assistant Chemistry Professor Max Majireck are exploring natural compounds found in Swertia.

“Because there are not enough papers on this herb despite its tremendous medical potential, we are ultimately aiming to have our research published. My personal goal through this thesis is also to bridge my academic interest with my entrepreneurial endeavors,” says Shrestha, a biochemistry and economics major.

His junior year, Shrestha presented his village project at the opening plenary session of the annual Clinton Global Initiative University. He was one of only five students invited to present at the session that opened the conference attended by more than a thousand students Shrestha’s interest in drug discovery, and consequently biochemistry, began when he learned about herbal remedies growing up in Nepal.

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