Samira Musah

Musah

Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering (beginning January 2019)

The Musah Lab is interested in understanding how molecular signals and biophysical forces can function either synergistically or independently to guide organ development and physiology, and how these processes can be therapeutically harnessed to treat human disease. Given the escalating medical crisis in nephrology as growing number of patients suffer from kidney disease that can lead to organ failure, the Musah Lab focuses on engineering stem cell fate for applications in human kidney disease, extra-renal complications, and therapeutic development. Dr. Musah’s research interests include stem cell biology and regenerative medicine, molecular and cellular basis of human organ development and disease progression, organ engineering, patient-specific disease models, biomarker identification, therapeutic discovery, tissue and organ transplantation, microphysiological systems including Organ Chips (organs-on-chips) and organoids, matrix biology, mechanotransduction and disease biophysics.

Appointments and Affiliations

  • Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering
  • Assistant Professor of Nephrology
  • Duke MEDx Investigator
  • Affiliate of the Regeneration Next Initiative

Contact Information

Education

  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Harvard University
  • Ph.D., University of Wisconsin—Madison
  • B.S.-Honors, State University of New York at Binghamton

Research Interests

Dr. Musah’s research interests include stem cell biology and regenerative medicine, molecular and cellular basis of human kidney development and disease progression, organ engineering, patient-specific in vitro disease models, biomarker identification, therapeutic discovery, tissue and organ transplantation, microphysiological systems including organs-on-chips and organoids, matrix biology, mechanotransduction and disease biophysics.

Specialties

  • Human pluripotent stem cell biology
  • Cell fate engineering
  • Tissue and organ engineering
  • Engineered in vitro disease models
  • Microfluidic organs-on-chips
  • Design and synthesis of polymeric biomaterials and hydrogels
  • Surface chemistry and peptide display
  • Mechanobiology
  • Matrix biology

Awards, Honors, and Distinctions

  • CPRIT Scholar, Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas (declined to accept faculty position at Duke University). 2018
  • Baxter’s Young Investigator Award, Top Tier. 2018
  • Keystone Symposia Fellowship Program. 2017
  • MIT Rising Stars in Biomedical Engineering and Science, Featured. 2016
  • NIH/NIDDK Nephrology Research Fellowship. 2016
  • American Society for Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Research Spotlight, Featured. 2016
  • Burroughs Wellcome Fund Postdoctoral Enrichment Fellowship. 2015
  • Dean’s Postdoctoral Fellowship (Harvard Medical School). 2014
  • UNCF-Merck Postdoctoral Science Research Fellowship. 2014
  • AkzoNobel Award in Applied Polymer Science, Finalist. 2012
  • First Prize, Ruth and William Silen, M.D. Award for Exceptional Scientific Poster. 2014
  • First Prize, Novartis Institute for BioMedical Research Postdoctoral Award. 2014
  • Winner, The Why Files Cool Science Image Contest. 2011
  • NIH Chemical-Biology Interface Training Grant. 2011
  • Merck Graduate Research Award. 2008
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. 2007

Representative Publications

  • Samira Musah, Nikolaos Dimitrakakis, Diogo M. Camacho, George M. Church, Donald E. Ingber, “Directed differentiation of human induced pluripotent stem cells into mature kidney podocytes and establishment of a Glomerulus Chip,” Nature Protocols, DOI: 10.1038/s41596-018-0007-8, 2018
  • Samira Musah, Akiko Mammoto, Thomas C. Ferrante, Sauveur S. F. Jeanty, Mariko Hirano-Kobayashi, Tadanori Mammoto, Kristen Roberts, Seyoon Chung, Richard Novak, Miles Ingram, Tohid Fatanat-Didar, Sandeep Koshy, James C. Weaver, George M. Church, Donald E. Ingber, “Mature induced-pluripotent-stem-cell-derived human podocytes reconstitute kidney glomerular capillary wall function on a chip,” Nature Biomedical Engineering, DOI:10.1038/s41551-017-0069, 2017
  • Kambez H. Benam, Stephanie Dauth, Bryan Hussell, Anna Herland, Abhishek Jain, Kyung-Jin Jang, Katia Karalis, Hyun Jung Kim, Luke MacQueen, Roza Mahmoodian, Samira Musah, Yu-suke Torisawa, Andries D. van der Meer, Remi Villenave, Moran Yadid, Kevin K. Parker, and Donald E. Ingber, “Engineered In Vitro Disease Models,” Annual Review of Pathology: Mechanism of Disease, DOI:10.1146/annurev-pathol-012414-040418, 2015
  • Samira Musah, Paul J. Wrighton, Yefim Zaltsman, Xiaofen Zhong, Stefan Zorn, Mathew B. Parlato, Cheston Hsiano, Sean P. Palecek, Qiang Chang, William L. Murphy and Laura L. Kiessling, “Substratum-Induced Differentiation of Human Pluripotent Stem Cells Reveals the Coactivator YAP is a Potent Regulator of Neuronal Specification,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1415330111, 2014
  • Samira Musah, Stephen Morin, Paul J. Wrighton, Daniel B. Zwick, Song Jin and Laura Kiessling, “Glycosaminoglycan-Binding Hydrogels  Enable Mechanical Control of Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Self-Renewal,” ACS Nano, DOI: 10.1021/nn3039148, 2012
  • Ratmir Derda, Samira Musah, Brendan P. Orner, Joseph Klim, Lingyin Li and Laura L. Kiessling, “ High-throughput Discovery of Synthetic Surfaces that Support Proliferation of Pluripotent Cells,”  Journal of the American Chemical Society, DOI: 10.1021/ja906089g, 2010
  • Samuel N. Kikandi, Samira Musah, Kyoungyu Lee, John Hassani, Shawn Rajan, Ailing Zhou and Omowunmi A. Sadik, “Comparative Studies of Quercetin Interactions with Monophosphate Nucleotides using UV-Vis Spectroscopy and Electrochemical Techniques,” Electroanalysis, DOI: 10.1002/elan.200703954, 2007