Biomolecular and Tissue Engineering

Immunofluorescence staining image showing the cardiomyocytes in green and the fibroblasts interspersed around them in red. Note the alignment of the cells around the central pore.Duke BME research focuses on three broad areas of biotechnology: protein engineering, cellular engineering, and tissue engineering.

Much of the department's efforts are focused through the Center for Biomolecular Tissue Engineering.

Protein engineering concerns the design of proteins and oligopeptides that elicit specific ligand-receptor interactions or that can be used to develop targeted drug therapies. Cellular engineering research focuses on the regulation of the external and internal environment of cells for promoting specific expression of biomolecules, improving drug and gene delivery, or facilitating tissue engineering. The purpose of our tissue engineering work is two fold: the design or modification of matrices that promote or inhibit specific interactions with proteins, cells, and tissues; and the production of ordered ensembles of cells for therapeutic or technical applications.

Biomolecular and Tissue Engineering Faculty

Ravi Venkat Bellamkonda

Ravi Venkat Bellamkonda

Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering

Research Interests: Engineered devices for brain tumor therapy; immunomodulation for peripheral and central nervous system repair; biomaterials; brain-machine interfaces.

Nenad Bursac

Nenad Bursac

Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Research Interests: Bursac's research interests include embryonic and adult stem cell therapies for heart and muscle disease. Cardiac and skeletal muscle tissue engineering. Cardiac electrophysiology and arrhythmias. Genetic modifications of stem and somatic cells. Micropatterning of proteins and hydrogels.

Joel Henderson Collier

Joel Henderson Collier

Associate Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering

Research Interests: Collier's research interests relate to the design of biomaterials for a range of biomedical applications, with a focus on understanding and controlling adaptive immune responses. Most materials investigated are created from molecular assemblies- proteins, peptides or bioconjugates that self-...

Mark Wesley Dewhirst

Mark Wesley Dewhirst

Gustavo S. Montana Professor of Radiation Oncology, in the School of Medicine

Research Interests: Dr. Dewhirst's research interests focus on the tumor microenvironment and how it influences treatment responses. Areas of particular focus are hypoxia, acidosis, angiogenesis and oxidative stress.

Charles Gersbach

Charles Gersbach

Rooney Family Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Research Interests: Dr. Gersbach's research interests are in gene therapy, biomolecular and cellular engineering, regenerative medicine, and synthetic biology.

Geoffrey Steven Ginsburg

Geoffrey Steven Ginsburg

Professor of Medicine

Research Interests: Dr. Geoffrey S. Ginsburg's research interests are in the development of novel paradigms for developing and translating genomic information into medical practice and the integration of personalized medicine into health care.

Bruce Klitzman

Bruce Klitzman

Associate Professor of Surgery

Research Interests: The primary basic science research interests of our laboratory are in the area of physiological mechanisms of maintaining substrate transport from blood to tissue. This broad topic covers studies on whole animals, such as rats and mice, as well as studies on whole organ, hemorheological,...

Kam Leong

Kam Leong

Adjunct Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Research Interests: Leong's research interest focuses on biomaterials design, particularly on synthesis of nanoparticles for DNA-based therapeutics, and nanostructured biomaterials for regenerative medicine.

Gabriel P. Lopez

Gabriel P. Lopez

Adjunct Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Research Interests: Prof. Lopez's professional interests lie in research and education in biomaterials science and engineering, bioanalytical chemistry and biointerfacial phenomena.

Nassir Mokarram-Dorri

Nassir Mokarram-Dorri

Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering

Research Interests: Immunomodulation for nervous system repair; medical devices for brain tumor therapy; biomaterials for tissue engineering.

William M. Reichert

William M. Reichert

Theo Pilkington Professor of Biomedical Engineering in the Edmund T. Pratt, Jr. School of Engineering

Research Interests: Reichert's research interests include biosensors, protein mediated cell adhesion, and wound healing.

Lisa L Satterwhite

Lisa L Satterwhite

Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering

Research Interests: Satterwhite studies the genomics and epigenetics of environmental exposures in populations with clear health disparity. Her group identified the first genomic signature for pesticide exposure and is developing simple blood tests to diagnose early stage asymptomatic neurodegenerative disease and...

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Tarun Saxena

Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering

Lori A. Setton

Lori A. Setton

Adjunct Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Research Interests: Research in Setton's laboratory is focused on the role of mechanical factors in the degeneration and repair of soft tissues of the musculoskeletal system, including the intervertebral disc, articular cartilage and meniscus.

Xiling Shen

Xiling Shen

Associate Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering

Research Interests: Dr. Shen's research integrates systems biology and implantable devices to study non-coding RNA, colon cancer, stem cells, and the enteric nervous system. His multidisciplinary approach provides a new window for developing novel therapeutics against heterogeneous diseases such as cancer.

Cynthia Ann Toth

Cynthia Ann Toth

Joseph A.C. Wadsworth Professor of Ophthalmology

George A. Truskey

George A. Truskey

R. Eugene and Susie E. Goodson Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Research Interests: Dr. Truskey's research interests include cardiovascular tissue engineering, mechanisms of atherogenesis, cell adhesion, and cell biomechanics.

Jennifer L West

Jennifer L West

Fitzpatrick Family University Professor of Engineering

Research Interests: West's research in biomaterials, nanotechnology and tissue engineering involves the synthesis, development, and application of novel biofunctional materials, and the use of biomaterials and engineering approaches to study biological problems.

Stefan Zauscher

Stefan Zauscher

Sternberg Family Professor of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science

Research Interests: Nano-mechanical and nano-tribological characterization (elasticity, friction, adhesion) of materials including organic thin films; self-assembled monolayers, polymeric gels, and cellulosics; Fabrication of polymeric nanostructures by scanning probe lithography; Colloidal probe and atomic force...