Ana Maria Porras, Ph.D.

Ana Maria Porras, Ph.D.
Tissue-Microbe Interactions Lab

1064 Center Drive, NEB 351, PO Box 116131, Gainesville, FL 32611

T: 352-846-3457

Assistant Professor

Biomaterials & tissue engineering to study host-microbe interactions and inclusive science communication


B.S., Biomedical Engineering, University of Texas at Austin, 2011
M.S., Biomedical Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2013
Ph.D., Biomedical Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2016

Research Summary:

Dr. Porras leads the Tissue-Microbe Interactions lab, specialized in engineering in vitro models of disease to study human-microbe interactions. She is particularly interested in understanding how microbes interact with human extracellular matrix to drive disease in the contexts of the microbiome, global health, and infectious disease. Dr. Porras is also a science artist and an expert on inclusive multilingual science communication.

Honors and Awards:

  • Early Career Award for Public Engagement with Science by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), 2024
  • UF International Center Global Fellow, 2021
  • Cornell Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow, 2019 – 2022
  • AAAS IF/THEN Ambassador, 2019 – 2021
  • Postdoc Achievement Award for Excellence in Community Engagement, Cornell University, 2018
  • American Heart Association Predoctoral Fellow, 2015-2016
  • Patricia Heard Outstanding Student Educator Award, University of Texas at Austin, 2011

Selected Publications:
Google Scholar Citations Link

Porras AM, Brito IL. The Internationalization of Gut Microbiome Research. Current Opinion in Microbiology, Accepted, 2019

Porras AM, Westlund JA, Evans AD, Masters KS. “Creation of Disease-Inspired Biomaterial Environments to Mimic Pathological Events in Early Calcific Aortic Valve Disease.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 115(3):E363-E371, 2018.

Porras AM*, Engeland N*, Marchbanks E, McCormack A, Bouten C, Yacoub MH, Latif N, Masters KS. “Robust Generation of Quiescent Porcine Valvular Interstitial Cell Cultures.” JAHA: Journal of the American Heart Association, 6(3):e005401, 2017. *Denotes equal contribution by authors

Porras AM, McCoy CM, Masters KS. “Calcific Aortic Valve Disease: A Battle of the Sexes.” Circulation Research, 120(4):604-606, 2017. Invited editorial.

Porras AM*, Hutson HN*, Berger AJ, Masters KS. “Engineering Approaches to Study Fibrosis in 3-D in Vitro Systems.” Current Opinions in Biotechnology, 40:24-30, 2016. *Denotes equal contribution by authors.

Porras AM, Shanmuganayagam D, Meudt JJ, Kreuger CG, Rahko PS, Reed JD, Masters KS. “Development of Aortic Valve Disease in Familial Hypercholesterolemic Swine: Implications for Elucidating Disease Etiology.” JAHA: Journal of the American Heart Association, 4(10):e002254, 2015.

Porras AM, Masters KS. “Wave Mice: a New Tool in the Quest to Characterize Aortic Valvular Disease Etiologies.” Journal of Thoracic Disease, 7(9):E332-334, 2015. Invited editorial.

Porras AM, Shanmuganayagam D, Meudt JJ, Krueger CG, Reed JD, Masters KS. “Gene Expression Profiling of Valvular Interstitial Cells in Rapacz Familial Hypercholesterolemic Swine.” Genomics Data, 1(2):261-263, 2014.

Rodriguez KJ, Piechura LM, Porras AM, Masters KS. “Manipulation of Valve Composition to Elucidate the Role of Collagen in Aortic Valve Calcification.” BMC Cardiovascular Disorders, 14(29), 2014. Submitted

Márquez MC, Porras AM. How to Effectively Make Science Communication Inclusive in a Multicultural Society. In Preparation

Porras AM, Shi Q, Montenegro G, Solomons N, Brito IL. Geographic Differences in Gut Microbiome Composition Affect Susceptibility to Enteric Infection.