Mariana Garcia
Mariana Garcia, Ph.D.
Senior Scientist
Biomedical Engineering
Menlo Park

Dr. Garcia specializes in the interaction between materials and tissues and on the evaluation of ocular health. She has experience with quantitative and perceptual assessment of ocular health, in vitro cell and tissue assays (including proliferation, migration, attachment, and matrix production), animal models of disease, and establishment and maintenance of USDA-regulated animal colonies. Dr. Garcia has used her experience to assist clients across disciplines with a variety of problems, including medical device product litigation, development and execution of preclinical test protocol, safety assessments, and literature reviews.

Prior to joining Exponent Dr. Garcia was a graduate research assistant in the Vision Science and Bioengineering departments at UC Berkeley. Her doctoral research was an interdisciplinary effort investigating nearsightedness control by promoting regeneration of the sclera (white outer shell of the eye) through injectable degradable polymers. Dr. Garcia also has experience with various microscopy techniques and with the establishment and maintenance of primary cell culture lines.

Dr. Garcia served as a graduate student instructor for the optometry course Visual Perception & Sensitivity. She has a B.S. in Bioengineering from the Pennsylvania State University and a Ph.D. in Vision Science from the University of California, Berkeley.

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Vision Science, University of California, Berkeley, 2014
  • B.S., Bioengineering, Pennsylvania State University, 2007
  • Whitaker Research Fellow at the Cell and Tissue Engineering Laboratories, Queen Mary University of London, London, England, 2007–2008

    Best Poster Award, International Myopia Conference, 2013

    William F. Ezell Fellowship, 2011 and 2012

    Minnie F. Turner Memorial Fund for Impaired Vision Research Award, 2011 and 2012

    Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award, University of California, Berkeley, 2010

    National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, 2008–2011

    Whitaker International Scholar Award, 2007–2008

    Overseas Research Studentship Award, Queen Mary University of London, 2007

LANGUAGES

  • Brazilian Portuguese

Publications

Garcia, M. B., Jha, A. K., Healy, K. E., & Wildsoet, C. F. (2017). A Bioengineering Approach to Myopia Control Tested in a Guinea Pig Model. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, 58(3), 1875-1886.

Garcia, MB. Myopia control in guinea pigs. PhD Dissertation, University of California, Berkeley, Aug 2014.

Ostrin LA, Garcia MB, Choh V, Wildsoet CF. Pharmacologically stimulated pupil and accommodative changes in guinea pigs. Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science 2014 Aug 5; 55(8):5456-65.

Lewis JA, Garcia MB, Rani L, Wildsoet CF. Intact globe inflation testing of changes in scleral mechanics in myopia and recovery. Experimental Eye Research 2014 Jul 18;127C:42-48.

Grimaldo S, Garcia M, Zhang H, Chen L. Specific role of lymphatic marker podoplanin in retinal pigment epithelial cells. Lymphology 2010 Sep; 43(3):128–134.

Garcia M, Knight M. Cyclic loading opens hemichannels to release ATP as part of a chondrocyte mechanotransduction pathway. Journal of Orthopaedic Research 2009 Nov 4.

Knight M, McGlashan S, Garcia M, Jensen C, Poole C. Articular chondrocytes express connexin 43 hemichannels and P2 receptors—A putative mechanoreceptor complex involving the primary cilium? Journal of Anatomy 2009 Feb; 214(2):275–283.

Ferko M, Bhatnagar A, Garcia M, Butler P. Finite-element stress analysis of a multicomponent model of sheared and focally-adhered endothelial cells. Annals of Biomedical Engineering 2007 Feb; 35(2):208–223.

Conference Presentations

Zhang, Y., Yang, W., Hang, A., Zin, E., Garcia, M., Li, M., & Wildsoet, C. F. (2017). BMP2 Protein Increases the Expression of Genes for Inhibitor of DNA Binding Proteins in Cultured Chick Scleral Fibroblasts. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, 58(8), 5472-5472.

Garcia, M., Rau, A., Day, J., Ochoa, J., & Lovald, S. (2016). Finite Element Analysis of Whole Globe Goldmann Applanation Tonometry: A Closer Look at Model Sensitivity and Mechanics. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, 57(12), 6458-6458.

Benight S, MacLean S, Garcia M, Moll, J. Microscopy of intentionally oxidized polypropylene-based mesh material. Proceedings, ANTEC, 2016.

Garcia, M., Hammond, D., & Wildsoet, C. F. (2015). Differences in the sensitivity to myopia-inducing stimuli of young guinea pigs sourced from different colonies. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, 56(7), 2167-2167.

Garcia M, Jha AK, Healy KE, Wildsoet CF. A soft hyaluronic acid-based hydrogel can control myopia progression in guinea pigs. Annual Meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, May 2014.

Garcia M, Morgan AN, Jha AK, Healy KE, Wildsoet CF. An in vitro assay to quantify 3D cell migration from intact monolayers into hydrogels. International Myopia Conference, August 2013.

Garcia M, Jha AK, Healy KE, Wildsoet CF. Myopia control in guinea pigs with a biomimetic hyaluronic acid-based hydrogel. Annual Meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, May 2013.

Lewis J, Garcia M, Wildsoet CF. The effect of induced myopia on the scleral creep response of whole chick eyes. Annual Meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, May 2013.

Garcia M, Jha AK, Healy KE, Wildsoet CF. Optimization of biomimetic hydrogels intended for myopia control through scleral regeneration. Annual Meeting of the Biomedical Engineering Society. October 2012.

Garcia M, Jha AK, Healy KE, Wildsoet CF. Optimization of a synthetic biomimetic hydrogel intended for myopia control through scleral regeneration. Annual Meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, May 2012.

Wildsoet CF, Ostin LA, Garcia M. Pilocarpine-stimulated pupil and accommodative changes in guinea pigs. Annual Meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, May 2012.

Garcia M, Healy KE, Wildsoet CF. In vitro cytocompatibility of mammalian scleral fibroblasts in a biomimetic extracellular matrix. Annual Meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, May 2011.

Zhang Y, Xu J, Garcia M, Roorda A, Wildsoet C. In vivo imaging of the photoreceptors in the chicken eye with adaptive optics scanning laser ophthalmoscope. Fall Vision Meeting, September 2009.

Knight M, Garcia M. Chondrocyte hemichannels release ATP as part of a mechanotransduction pathway. Annual Meeting of the Orthopaedic Research Society. Las Vegas, NV, February 2009.

Garcia M, Geris S, McGlasham S, Poole A, Jensen C, Knight M. Chondrocytes express the mechanosensitive hemichannel connexin 43. Annual Meeting of the Tissue and Cell Engineering Society, Nottingham, UK, July 2008.

Garcia M, Dangaria J, Bhatnagar A, Butler P. Quantitative total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy of time-dependent focal adhesion deformation in sheared endothelial cells. Biomaterials and Bionanotechnology Summer Institute Symposium, University Park, PA, August 3, 2006.

Garcia M, Overberg J, Ferko M & Butler PJ. Ultramicroscopic characterization of cell adhesion to porous glass surfaces. Annual meeting of the Biomedical Engineering Society, Baltimore, MD, October 12, 2005.

Professional Affiliations

Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (2008–present)

Biomedical Engineering Society (2005–2007, 2012)

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Vision Science, University of California, Berkeley, 2014
  • B.S., Bioengineering, Pennsylvania State University, 2007
  • Whitaker Research Fellow at the Cell and Tissue Engineering Laboratories, Queen Mary University of London, London, England, 2007–2008

    Best Poster Award, International Myopia Conference, 2013

    William F. Ezell Fellowship, 2011 and 2012

    Minnie F. Turner Memorial Fund for Impaired Vision Research Award, 2011 and 2012

    Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award, University of California, Berkeley, 2010

    National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, 2008–2011

    Whitaker International Scholar Award, 2007–2008

    Overseas Research Studentship Award, Queen Mary University of London, 2007

LANGUAGES

  • Brazilian Portuguese