Professor of Microbiology
Evans Center, Room 318C
Samina Akbar, Ph.D. joined the department of biomedical sciences at Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine as an assistant professor of microbiology in 2013. She received her promotion to associate professor and tenure in 2016 and was promoted to full professor in 2023. Dr. Akbar is an experienced microbiologist with fifteen years of experience as an osteopathic educator focusing on human infections caused by bacteria and viruses.
Dr. Akbar earned her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees from the department of microbiology at University of Karachi, Pakistan. She received her Ph.D. in microbiology and molecular biology from University of California Davis. Her dissertation was on genetic analysis of the signal transduction network that activates the transcription factor B of Bacillus subtilis in response to adverse environmental conditions.
Prior to joining MU-COM, Dr. Akbar was a faculty member in the department of microbiology and immunology at Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine. After finishing her Ph.D., Dr. Akbar worked at Harvard Medical School for three years as a postdoctoral fellow in the department of microbiology and molecular genetics working on virulence gene regulation in Salmonella Typhimurium. She then moved to University of British Columbia, Center for Disease Control (Canada) where she was a research associate examining the presence of a Type III secretion system in Chlamydia trachomatis.
Dr. Akbar has been a member of the Indiana Academy of Sciences (IAS) since 2013 and was appointed chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee of the IAS in 2021 for a four-year term. The committee put together a DEI statement and strategic plan for the Academy. As part of the strategic plan, the DEI committee requested and received a grant of $15,000 from the IAS to invite proposals for projects that focus on DEI issues from academic institutions across Indiana. The committee awarded six grants to graduate students and faculty from different universities in Indiana. In Iowa, Dr. Akbar served as the Iowa Science Foundation chairperson as well as Grant Reviewer as well as the treasurer of the Northcentral branch of the American Society for Microbiology. She has been a member of the American Society for Microbiology since 1990 and became a member of the Indiana branch of the ASM in 2014. She has been an NBOME and an NBPME Item Writer and reviewer since 2008. Dr. Akbar was appointed NBOME National Faculty in Clinical Microbiology and Immunology in 2013.
Dr. Akbar’s broad research interests include genetic and molecular analysis of gene regulation in both Gram positive and Gram negative pathogenic bacteria as well as molecular analysis of host-pathogen interactions. The research projects in her lab focus on studying multiple antibiotic resistance in bacteria from different sources including humans, animals, and the natural environment. Currently, her lab is focusing on the isolation and characterization of multiple drug resistant bacteria from fresh bodies of water in greater Indianapolis area.
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