Laura Ensign-Hodges, Ph.D.

Headshot of Laura Ensign-Hodges
  • Marcella E. Woll Professor of Ophthalmology
  • Professor of Ophthalmology

Research Interests

Nanomedicine; Drug delivery systems


Laura Ensign, Ph.D., is the Vice Chair for Research and the Marcella E. Woll Professor of Ophthalmology at the Wilmer Eye Institute (Nanomedicine Division). Dr. Ensign has secondary appointments in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences, Gynecology and Obstetrics, Infectious Diseases, and Oncology. Her research interests are in the area of nanomedicine. Her laboratory focuses on the characterization of biological barriers in health and disease in order to design more effective formulations for prophylactic and therapeutic drug delivery. more


  • Marcella E. Woll Professor of Ophthalmology
  • Professor of Ophthalmology
  • Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering
  • Professor of Gynecology and Obstetrics
  • Professor of Medicine
  • Professor of Oncology
  • Professor of Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences

Departments / Divisions

Centers & Institutes



  • Ph.D.; Johns Hopkins University (Maryland) (2012)
  • B.S.; Ohio State University (Ohio) (2007)

Research & Publications

Selected Publications

View all on PubMed

Kim YC, Shin M, Hackett S, Hsueh TH, Lima e Silva R, Date A, Han H, Kim BJ, Xiao A, Kim Y, Ogunnaike L, Anders NA, Hemingway A, He P, Jun AS, McDonnell PJ, Eberhart C, Pitha I, Zack DJ, Campochiaro PA, Hanes J, Ensign LM. Gelling hypotonic polymer solution for extended topical drug delivery to the eye, Nature Biomedical Engineering, 2020; 4(11):1053-1062

Josyula A, Omiadze R, Parikh KS, Kanvinde P, Appel MB, Patel P, Saeed H, Sutar Y, Anders NA, He P, Rudek M, McDonnell PJ, Hanes J, Date A, Ensign LM. An ion-paired moxifloxacin nanosuspension eye drop provides improved prevention and treatment of ocular infection, BioTM, 2021; 6(3):e10238

Hsueh TH, Kim YC, Pitha I, Shin MD, Berlinicke CA, Chou RT, Kimball E, Schaub J, Quillen S, Leo KT, Han H, Xiao A, Kim Y, Appell MB, Rai U, Kwon H, Kolodziejski P, Ogunnaike L, Anders NA, Hemingway A, Jefferys J, Date AA, Eberhart C, Johnson TV, Quigley HA, Zack DJ, Hanes J, Ensign LM. Ion-complex microcrystal formulation provides sustained delivery of a multimodal kinase inhibitor from the subconjunctival space for protection of retinal ganglion cells, Pharmaceutics, 2021; 13(5):647

Hsueh TH, Chou RT, Rai U, Liyanage WS, Appell MB, Davison C, Kolodziejski P, Mozzer A, Leo KT, Kwon HY, Kim YC, Pitha I, Hanes J, Cummings MP, Ensign LM. Machine learning-driven multifunctional peptide engineering for sustained ocular drug delivery, Nat Comm, 2023;14:2509


Patent # US Patents 9,056,057; 9,393,212; 9.393,213; 9,415,020; 9,532,955; 9,737,491; 10,092,509; 10,058,511; 10,485,757; 10,646,434B2; 10,668,025; 10,736,854B2 | 

Patent # AU2011323250B2; CN104936620A; AU2013209452B2; RU2598627C2; K101811918B1; AU2016200707B2; CA2863632C; AU2016211696; AU2013256130B2; JP6360039B2; EP2635254B1; EP2804632B1; CA2816997C; CA2974715A1; AU2018201772B2; JP6816065B2 | 

Contact for Research Inquiries

400 N. Broadway
Smith 6015
Baltimore, MD 21287 map
Phone: 410-614-9854

Academic Affiliations & Courses

Graduate Program Affiliation

Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering; Biomedical Engineering; Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences

Activities & Honors


  • NAI Fellow, National Academy of Inventors, 2019
  • AIMBE Fellow, American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering, 2020
  • RPB Sybil B. Harrington Special Scholar Award, Research to Prevent Blindness, 2017
  • Maryland Outstanding Young Engineer, Maryland Academy of Sciences, 2015
  • Maryland E-Nnovation Initiative Fund (MEIF) Award, State of Maryland, 2018
  • Outstanding Engineering Alumni Award, Texnikoi (Ohio State University Engineering Alumni Association), 2019
  • Controlled Release Society Young Investigator Award
  • Controlled Release Society College of Fellows
  • Controlled Release Society Rising Women in Science Award

Videos & Media

Recent News Articles and Media Coverage

Game-Changer: How a Simple Quest Led to a Discovery That Promises to Change Lives, Wilmer Insider (Mar. 2021)

Patient Ratings & Comments

The Patient Rating score is an average of all responses to physician related questions on the national CG-CAHPS Medical Practice patient experience survey through Press Ganey. Responses are measured on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best score. Comments are also gathered from our CG-CAHPS Medical Practice Survey through Press Ganey and displayed in their entirety. Patients are de-identified for confidentiality and patient privacy.

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