Sarma joined Johns Hopkins University as an assistant professor of biomedical engineering, and core faculty of the Institute for Computational Medicine, in 2009. In 2016, she was promoted to associate professor. Her research combines modeling, estimation, and control of dynamical systems with neurophysiology. She has developed a novel computational tool, EZTrack, which quickly and accurately identifies the seizure focus or epileptogenic zone (EZ) from hundreds of non-invasive EEG recordings with 95% accuracy. Sarma also studies the ways in which physiological monitoring data collected from patients in critical care units can be used to identify those patients whose condition is likely to deteriorate, thereby opening a window of intervention that may save their lives.
Sarma is a recipient of the prestigious NSF CAREER Award, and in 2012 was chosen to receive the NSF Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. In 2014, she received the first annual Krishna Kumar Young Investigator Award from the North American Neuromodulation Society (NANS).