Blanka Sharma, Ph.D.

Blanca Sharma
Blanka Sharma, Ph.D.

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

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

Assistant 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 is focused on understanding the fundamental interactions between stem cells and diseased/injured tissues, and developing biomaterials to better control stem cell behavior in the body. This includes engineering of nanoparticle-based targeted drug/gene delivery systems and tissue engineering scaffolds to direct the therapeutic function of stem cells. Ultimately, our goal is to translate this research into better ways to treat traumatic injuries, cancer, and degenerative diseases.

Honor and Awards:

  • 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 chodrogenesis of mesenchymal stem cells in a photopolymerized hydrogel,” Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, 2007 Jan;119(1):112-20.