Sharon Idiga

Winner & People's Choice

Combating Sugar Cravings

Sharon Idiga is a third-year molecular medicine student in Matthew

Potthoff’s lab. She completed a BS in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology at the University of California Santa Cruz. She was born in Nigeria but grew up in California. She moved to Iowa a little over 2 years ago and she loves it! Sharon’s research focuses on how fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) suppresses sugar intake and sweet taste preference.

Her hope is that one day her research will impact the obesity and type-2 diabetes epidemic that is occurring worldwide. In particular, she hopes that the work she does as a graduate student will aid in discovering the full mechanism of FGF21 on sugar intake, and will eventually result in the use of FGF21 as a preventative drug for the treatment and prevention of obesity and type-2 diabetes.

Sharon is inspired by the diligence and perseverance of her family; her parents and siblings are her role models.

Outside of research, Sharon loves to spend time with her boyfriend and friends. She enjoys going to church (shout out to Veritas church!) and connection group. Since moving to Iowa she’s tried some “outdoorsy” things, but still enjoys staying home, cooking, baking, and relaxing.