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Sandra Urdaneta-Hartmann

Sandra Urdaneta-Hartmann, MD, PhD, MBA

Associate Professor

Department: Microbiology & Immunology


  • MD - Universidad del Zulia (1998)
  • PhD - Pennsylvania State University (2004)
  • MBA - Drexel University (2009)

Awards & Honors


Outstanding Online Faculty Award presented by Drexel University Online on National Distance Learning Week, Philadelphia, Pa., 2014


Building Bridges Fellow, young female entrepreneur award sponsored by Women Inventing Next (WIN), Philadelphia, Pa., 2009

Semifinalist, Wake Forest University Elevator Pitch Competition, Winston-Salem, N.C., 2008

Elevator Pitch Award, McGinnis Business Plan Competition, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business, Pittsburgh, Pa., 2008

Fourth Place Winner, Purdue University, Life Sciences Business Plan Competition, West Lafayette, Ind., 2008

Finalist, 9th Annual “The Big $35,000 Idea” Business Plan Contest. Venture Investment Forum/Ben Franklin Technology Partners (Central and Northern Pennsylvania), State College, Pa., 2007

First Place Winner, Business Plan Competition, Drexel University LeBow College of Business, Philadelphia, Pa., 2007


American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Lecture Series on Women in Science and Engineering, presented at the LIII Annual Meeting of the Venezuelan Association for the Advancement of Science (ASOVAC) in Maracaibo, Venezuela, November 25-29, 2003

Postgraduate Training / Additional Certifications

Postdoctoral Training

Ruth L. Kirchstein Postdoctoral National Research Service Award (NRSA) Fellow, Pennsylvania State University, College of Medicine. Hershey, Pa., 2001 – 2004
Type of Training: Preclinical R&D of microbicides for the prevention of transmission of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) through breastfeeding.
Advisor:  Mary K. Howett, PhD

Dr. Sandra Urdaneta-Hartmann is associate professor and the founding director of the Center for Business and Online Development of the Institute for Molecular Medicine and Infectious Disease within the Department of Microbiology & Immunology at Drexel University College of Medicine.  She is also the director of the interdisciplinary MS in Biomedicine programs offered by the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Professional Studies.

Dr. Urdaneta-Hartmann received an MD from the University of Zulia, in her native Venezuela (1998), a PhD in microbiology and immunology from Penn State University (2004) and an MBA from Drexel’s LeBow College of Business with a concentration in entrepreneurship (2009). 


Dr. Urdaneta-Hartmann came to Drexel University in 2004, as a scientist researching antimicrobial compounds that inactivate HIV in breast milk.  Since then, she has transitioned from being a full-time biomedical research scientist to a career centered in full-time science education and administration with innovation in biomedical education as her goal.

Dr. Urdaneta-Hartmann is involved in various aspects of educational programs, from program and course designer to instructor of face-to-face, online and hybrid courses in the following topics:

  • Introductory concepts in cell and molecular biology
  • Parasitology
  • Technology development and commercialization
  • Biomedical career development

Dr. Urdaneta-Hartmann has a keen interest in mentoring students and in training scientist with interdisciplinary skills on high demand in the evolving job market. To this end, she developed and is the director of a series of interdisciplinary MS Programs in Biomedicine in collaboration with other Drexel schools and colleges:

Feel free to email Dr. Urdaneta-Hartmann any questions about the MS in Biomedicine Link to programs.

Research Interests

Game-based learning and other emerging learning technologies in higher education; industry trends and market analysis within biomedical higher education


Early in her career, the NIH and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funded Dr. Urdaneta-Hartmann’s research of antiviral compounds that inactivate HIV in breast milk to prevent mother-to-child-transmission of this virus. The process of constructing and implementing online and hybrid curricula within the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Professional Studies has provided her a renewed view of ways to teach science. As a result, Dr. Urdaneta-Hartmann’s current research and scholarly interests include game-based learning and other emerging learning technologies in higher education, in particular within the life sciences, as well as industry trends and market analysis within biomedical higher education.

In the Media

"How One University Is Gamifying Biomedical Education"
(April 2018)

"TWiV 489: CD4 Hunter"
(April 15, 2018)

“Honors for Two from College of Medicine During National Distance Learning Week”
November 7, 2014

“Words I Live By”
LeBow College of Business marketing campaign, Philadelphia, Pa., 2012
See behind the scenes shots of this marketing campaign

“Career for Girls”
Video-Interview to encourage young girls to become physician scientists, 2011

“Connecting the Dots. A career without boundaries”
Market Street, Drexel University LeBow College of Business, 2011

“Breakthrough in preventing AIDS”
The Times of India, October 1, 2008

“Breast milk purged of HIV virus”
BBC News, September 9, 2008

“Local scientist takes aim at STDs; shares award”
Intelligencer Journal, Lancaster, PA, June 16 2007, pp. A1 and A12.


Selected Publications

“The State of Sexual Health Education in U.S. Medicine”
*S. Criniti, M. Andelloux, M. B. Woodland, O. C. Montgomery and S. Urdaneta Hartmann 
Am J Sex Ed.; 9(1):65-80, March 13, 2014, DOI:10.1080/15546128.2013.854007

“A nipple shield delivery system for oral drug delivery to breastfeeding infants: Microbicide delivery to inactivate HIV”
*S.E. Gerrard, M.L. Baniecki, D.C. Sokal, M.K. Morris, S. Urdaneta-Hartmann, F.C. Krebs, B. Wigdahl, B.F. Abrams, C.V. Hanson, N.K. Slater, and A.D. Edwards
Int J Pharm.; 434(1-2):224-34, (Epub May 24, 2012) Sep 15, 2012, PMID: 22634141

“The 2010 Annual Sex and Gender Research Forum at Drexel University and Drexel University College of Medicine: an institute for women's health and leadership initiative. Introduction”
O. Montgomery, M. Follen, and S. Urdaneta-Hartmann
Gend Med.; 9(1 Suppl):S1-6. No abstract available, Feb 2012, PMID: 22340637
Erratum in: Gend Med.; 9(2):137, Apr 2012

"Knowledge and attitudes among women and healthcare providers about HIV transmission and breastfeeding" (Abstract No. P63)
*R. Rasal, N. T. Nguyen, S. L.Welles, G. Alleyne, L. Coleman, E. Aaron, M.Follen and S. Urdaneta Hartmann
Journal of Women’s Health, 20(3):477-478, 2011

"Alternative Modified Infant Feeding Practices to Prevent Postnatal Transmission of HIV-1 Through Human Milk: Past, Present and Future"
Urdaneta Hartmann S., Berlin C. M., and M. K. Howett
J. Hum. Lact., 22(1): 75-88, 2006, PMID: 16467289

"Biochemical Analysis of Breast Milk treated with Alkyl Sulfate Microbicides to Inactivate HIV-1"
Urdaneta Hartmann S., Wigdahl B., Neely E. B., Berlin C. M., Schengrund C.L., Lin H. M., and M K. Howett
J. Hum. Lact., 22(1): 61-74, 2006, PMID: 16467288

"Inactivation of HIV-1 in breast milk by treatment with the alkyl sulfate microbicide sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS)"
Urdaneta S., Wigdahl B., Neely E. B., Berlin C. M., Schengrund C. L., Lin H. M., and M. K. Howett
Retrovirology, 2: 28, 2005, PMID: 15888210