Meet the PI

Blanka Sharma, Ph.D.

Associate Professor & J. Crayton Pruitt Family Term Fellow

Department of Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Florida

Postdoctoral Fellowship, Biomedical Engineering, Cleveland Clinic

Ph.D., Biomedical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, 2005 

B.A. Sc, Chemical Engineering, University of Waterloo, 1999

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.

Honors 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