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Ana Maria Porras - University of Florida. Gainesville, FL, US

Ana Maria Porras

Assistant Professor | University of Florida

Gainesville, FL, UNITED STATES

Using her background in tissue engineering and infectious disease, Ana Porras creates models of disease to study human-microbe interactions.


Ana Maria Porras is a bilingual biomedical engineer, researcher, and advocate for inclusive STEM. She leads the Tissue-Microbe Interactions Lab at the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering, where her team engineers in vitro disease models to study human-microbe interactions in the context of the microbiome, infectious disease, and global health. They also develop multilingual and artistic strategies to engage communities locally and globally. As a co-founder of the Latinx in BME community, she champions the inclusion of women and Latinx individuals in STEM. Ana is an IF/THEN AAAS Ambassador and has been honored with a statue at the Smithsonian Institution. With her passion for collaboration and creating a more inclusive world, she continues to shape the future of biomedical engineering.

Areas of Expertise (10)

Inclusion in STEM

Science Art

Tissue Engineering

Heart Valve Disease


Gut Microbiome

Infectious Disease


Bilingual Communication

Global Learning

Media Appearances (3)

Ana María Porras: the Colombian scientist who leaves her mark on the world of science

Snail News  online


Since she was a child, Ana María Porras knew that her path in life would be science: she studied Biomedical Engineering and obtained her doctorate in that area of ​​study; she works at the University of Florida and she always instills a love and passion for that field in her students. In Snail News Now , Dr. Porras talked about her beginnings, what her work has been like in the American academy as a Latina, and the tribute she received from " If Then She Can Exhibit " in one of her favorite museums: Smithsonian .

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Ana María Porras, the Colombian biomedical engineer who inspires young scientists

W Radio  radio


Scientist Ana María Porras , a Colombian biomedical engineer , spoke to La W about her presentation at the Smithsonian . It is about a scene in Washington where 120 statues of women who inspire others in science are exhibited. "It is an exhibition of 120 statues, the idea is to show that there are many types of women who can work and perform in all kinds of areas," said Porras.

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How Many Microbes are in Our Bodies? Biomedical Engineer Ana Maria Porras Shares

GoldieBlox  tv


It's Wednesday so that means we're back with a new campisode! This week's 'Quick Q' campisode features Ana Maria Porras, a Biomedical Engineer. Ana Maria answers questions about microbes, studying the human body and why she started crocheting microbes for fun. Ana Maria also gives advice to those young girls that are interested in learning more about STEAM and all it has to offer!

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Articles (3)

Inflammatory Bowel Disease-Associated Gut Commensals Degrade Components of the Extracellular Matrix

ASM Journals

Ana Maria Porras, et. al


Extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling has emerged as a key feature of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and ECM fragments have been proposed as markers of clinical disease severity. Recent studies report increased protease activity in the gut microbiota of IBD patients. Nonetheless, the relationship between gut microbiota and ECM remodeling has remained unexplored.

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Engaging Scientific Diasporas in STEAM Education: The Case of Science Clubs Colombia


Bryann E. Avendano-Uribe, et. al


Currently, there is limited insight on the role that scientific diasporas can play in STEAM education in Latin America. Here, we present the Science Clubs Colombia (Clubes de Ciencia Colombia-SCC) program, a pioneering STEAM capacity-building initiative led by volunteer scientists to engage youth and children from underserved communities in science.

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Geographic differences in gut microbiota composition impact susceptibility to enteric infection

Cell Reports

Ana Maria Porras, et. al


Large-scale studies of human gut microbiomes have revealed broad differences in composition across geographically distinct populations. Yet, studies examining impacts of microbiome composition on various health outcomes typically focus on single populations, posing the question of whether compositional differences between populations translate into differences in susceptibility.

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