Blanka Sharma, Ph.D.

Blanca Sharma
Blanka Sharma, Ph.D.
Sharma Laboratory

1275 Center Drive, Biomedical Sciences Building J387, Gainesville, FL 32611

T: (352) 273-9329
F: (352) 273-9221

Associate Professor

Nanomedicine, stem cells, biomaterials, tissue engineering, and targeted drug/gene delivery


B.A. Sc, Chemical Engineering, University of Waterloo, 1999
Ph.D., Biomedical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, 2005
Postdoctoral Fellowship, Biomedical Engineering, Cleveland Clinic

Research Summary:

Dr. Sharma’s research program investigates fundamental material-cell interactions at multiple length scales to guide the development of targeted drug and cell delivery systems for applications in both regenerative medicine and cancer. At this intersection lies the dysfunctional inflammatory mechanisms that propagate tumor development as well as degenerative diseases like osteoarthritis. Dr Sharma’s research seeks to understand the role of specific immune cells and inflammatory mechanisms in tissue pathology and develop therapeutic approaches to direct inflammatory mechanisms in a site-specific manner. For a given application, her group engineers biomaterials to enable therapeutic cells or molecules to overcome specific physiological barriers so they can successfully reach their tissue target.


Honor and Awards:

  • UF Pramod P. Khargonekar Junior Faculty Award of Excellence, 2019-2020
  • J. Crayton Pruitt Family Term Fellow, Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Florida, 2020 – 2023
  • National Science Foundation CAREER Award, 2019
  • UF Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) Junior Faculty Award, 2017
  • Teaching Excellence Award, Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Florida, 2016
  • Outstanding Faculty for Service to Graduate Students, Graduate Student Council, University of Florida, 2016
  • Featured in “20 under 40” Outstanding Young Faculty by the American Society for Engineering Education (featured on cover of ASEE’s Sept issue of PRISM magazine, 2014
  • Invited Participant, National Academies Kecks Future Initiatives (NAKFI) on Collective Behavior, 2014
  • Invited Mentee, U.S. Bone and Joint Initiative Young Investigator Program, 2014
  • Featured in “Johns Hopkins Top 10 Highlights for 2013” for “New Biomaterial Advances Cartilage Repair”, 2013

Select Publications:

Google Scholar Citations Link

Sharma B, Peetla C, Adjei I, Labhasetwar V, “Selective biophysical interactions of engineered nanoparticles with cancer cell lipids improves tumor targeting and gene therapy,” Cancer Letters, 2013 Jul 1;334(2):228-36.

Sharma B, Fermanian S, Gibson M, Unterman S, Cascio B, Coburn J, Hui AY, Marcus N, Gold GE, Elisseeff JH, “Human cartilage repair with a photoreactive adhesive-hydrogel composite,” Science Translational Medicine, 2013 Jan 9;5(167):167ra6.

Sharma B, Ma W, Panyam J, Adjec I, Dimetrijevic S, Labhasetwar V, “Nanoparticle-mediated p53 Gene Delivery for Tumor Inhibition,” Drug Delivery and Translational Research, 2011 Feb; 1(1):43-52

Sharma B, Williams CG, Kim TK, Malik A, Sun DD, Leong KW, Elisseeff JH, “Designing Zonal Organization into Tissue Engineered Cartilage,” Tissue Engineering, 2007 Feb;13(2):405-14.

Sharma B, Williams CG, Khan MK, Hanson P, Elisseeff JH, “In vivo chondrogenesis of mesenchymal stem cells in a photopolymerized hydrogel,” Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, 2007 Jan;119(1):112-20.