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Current MD-PhD Student - Maria Ansar

Maria Ansar

Name: Maria Ansar

Year in Program: MY2

Undergrad University: The University of Maryland - College Park

Mentor: TBD

Graduate Program: TBD


    Research Interests

  • Pulmonary inflammatory responses, disease pathogenesis, mucociliary clearance, and lung pathobiology.
  • Specific focus on Respiratory syncytial virus and anti-oxidant mimetics

    Honors & Awards

  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Fellowship - 2011-2012
  • Cellular Biology and Molecular Genetics Departmental Honors
  • Recipient of High Honors - 2010-2012
  • Dr. P. Arne. Hanson Memorial Award - 2012
  • Office of Multi Ethnic's Students Excellence Award - 2012
  • University of Maryland Honors Program - 2008-2012
  • Phi Lambda Upsilon - 2012
  • John J. Leidy Scholarship - 2009-2011


  • Ansar, M.; Bhowmick, T.; Papademetriou, I.; Serrano, D.; Muro, S. Biological Functionalization of Drug Delivery Carriers to Bypass Size Restrictions of Receptor-Mediated Endocytosis Independently from Receptor Targeting, ACS Nano, 2013 (submitted for acceptance)


  • 2013 International Translational Nanomedicine Conference- Poster Presentation: Biological Functionalization of Drug Delivery Carriers to Bypass Size Restrictions of Receptor-Mediated Endocytosis, M. Ansar1, T. Bhowmick1, I. Papademetriou2, D. Serrano3, and S. Muro1,2.

  • 1Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research, University of Maryland, College Park, MD.
    2FischellDepartment of Bioengineering, University of Maryland, College Park, MD.
    3Department of Cell Biology & Molecular Genetics and Biological Sciences Graduate Program, University of Maryland, College Park, MD.

  • 2011 Bioscience Research and Technology Review Day- Poster Presentation: Sphingomyelinase Facilitates Endocytosis of Micrometer-Size Objects, Such as Drug Carriers. M. Ansar1, D. Serrano2,3, and S. Muro2,3.

    1Cellular Biology and Molecular Genetics
    2Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research and
    3Fischell Department of Bioengineering - U. Maryland College Park, MD

    Hobbies or just something about yourself in general:

  • I enjoy racketball, painting and traveling.

Career Development

The career development of an MD-PhD student is critically important and extends out well past the date of graduation with the dual degrees. The UTMB MD-PhD Program carefully guides and nurtures students throughout the Program. Early in the Program, critical issues are mentor selection and choice of a graduate program. MD-PhD students meet regularly with a faculty advisor, a student "big sibling" and members of the advisory committee. Opportunities to be exposed to research opportunities are provided through Program activities as well as the scientific activities on campus. Most students do their initial laboratory rotation during the summer before starting medical school. Additional laboratory rotations can be completed during the summer before the first and second years of medical school and after the second year of medical school. Once students are established in their labs, they are guided through their research by a mentor and dissertation committee.

For MD-PhD students, selection of the dissertation committee is essential and our Program requires students to include a member who is an MD scientist who can provide guidance on career progress and residency selections. As thesis defense approaches, students design their optimal clinical experiences with members of the MD-PhD committee to maximize chances to obtain the types of residency training that will be most compatible with further development as a physician scientist. The Program runs career guidance seminars to alert students to many of the important issues, pitfalls and milestones that they will need to navigate in the future. These include the pros and cons of short-track residencies, the need for additional postdoctoral training, and how to select and negotiate a first faculty appointment. The UTMB MD-PhD graduate is thus well positioned to make the most out of the advantages that MD-PhD careers offer.