Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering
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 in the Department of Biomedical Engineering
- Assistant Professor - Track V in Medicine
- Affiliate of the Regeneration Next Initiative
- Ph.D. University of Wisconsin at Madison, 2013
Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells), disease mechanisms, regenerative medicine, molecular and cellular basis of human kidney development and disease, organ engineering, patient-specific disease models, biomarkers, therapeutic discovery, tissue and organ transplantation, microphysiological systems including organs-on-chips and organoids, matrix biology, mechanotransduction, mechanobiology, and disease biophysics.
Awards, Honors, and Distinctions
- Duke Incubation Fund. Duke Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative. 2020
- Functional & Molecular Genomics Core Facility Voucher Program Award. Duke University. 2020
- Whitehead Scholarship in Biomedical Research. Whitehead Foundation. 2020
- Chair's Research Award. Department of Medicine, Duke University. 2019
- Dr. Samuel M. Nabrit Early Career Scholar. Brown University. 2019
- Early Career Investigator Travel Award. Keystone Symposia. 2019
- CPRIT Scholar. Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas. 2018
- Baxter Young Investigator Award, First-Tier. Baxter International Inc.. 2017
- Fellow. Keystone Symposia Fellowship. 2017
- MIT Rising Stars in Biomedical Engineering and Science. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 2016
- NIH/NIDDK Nephrology Research Fellowship. NIH-BIDMC . 2016
- Burroughs Wellcome Fund Postdoctoral Enrichment Fellowship. Burroughs Wellcome Fund. 2015
- Dean's Postdoctoral Fellowship. Harvard University. 2014
- First Prize, Novartis Institute for BioMedical Research Postdoctoral Award. Novartis Institute for BioMedical Research. 2014
- UNCF-Merck Postdoctoral Science Research Fellowship. UNCF & Merck Foundation. 2014
- NIH Chemical-Biology Interface Training Grant. NIH. 2011
- National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. NSF. 2007
- BME 790: Advanced Topics for Graduate Students in Biomedical Engineering
- BME 791: Graduate Independent Study
- EGR 393: Research Projects in Engineering
In the News
- The Decade Ahead: What’s coming in the Life Sciences? Musah shares predictions. (Jan 9, 2020 | LaunchBio)
- Incubation Awards to Assist Seven Innovative Research Projects Move Toward the Market (Nov 25, 2019 | Innovation and Entrepreneurship)
- The Right Tools for the Job: Model Systems for Glomerular Disease (Nov 7, 2019 | American Society of Nephrology)
- “Talent from All Corners” Event Honors the Contribution of Immigrants to American Science (Nov 6, 2019 | Duke University )
- Stem Cell Research Opening Doors to Precision Medicine for Human Kidney Disease (Jul 16, 2019 | Clinical Practice Today )
- Department selects four investigators for Chair’s Research Award (Apr 9, 2019 | Duke University)
- Musah Wins Keystone Symposia Early Career Investigator Travel Award (Mar 15, 2019 | Duke University)
- Futuristic organ-on-a-chip technology now seems more realistic than ever (Oct 21, 2018 | Salon)
- Samira Musah: Engineering Stem Cell Fate for Applications in Kidney Disease (Aug 13, 2018 | Duke University)
- Kidney Podocytes, All Grown up (Jul 19, 2018 | Science & Technology Research News)
- New Tool for Generating Mature Kidney Podocytes (Jul 16, 2018 | Technology Networks)
- New Protocol Managed to Create Kidney Cells in The Laboratory (Jul 11, 2018 | The Bioscientist)
- Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas Awards New Grants (May 16, 2018 | CPRIT)
- Baxter Honors Recipients of Ninth Annual Young Investigator Awards (Oct 31, 2017 | Baxter)
- Faces of Physics: human organs on a chip (Oct 3, 2017 | Physics World)
- Samira Musah, Ph.D. Discusses the Impact of Mentoring on Her Research (Jun 14, 2017 | NRMN)
- Engineering human stem cells to model the kidney's filtration barrier on a chip (May 10, 2017 | EurekAlert!)
- Musah, S; Dimitrakakis, N; Camacho, DM; Church, GM; Ingber, DE, Directed differentiation of human induced pluripotent stem cells into mature kidney podocytes and establishment of a Glomerulus Chip., Nature Protocols, vol 13 no. 7 (2018), pp. 1662-1685 [10.1038/s41596-018-0007-8] [abs].
- Musah, S; Mammoto, A; Ferrante, TC; Jeanty, SSF; Hirano-Kobayashi, M; Mammoto, T; Roberts, K; Chung, S; Novak, R; Ingram, M; Fatanat-Didar, T; Koshy, S; Weaver, JC; Church, GM; Ingber, DE, Mature induced-pluripotent-stem-cell-derived human podocytes reconstitute kidney glomerular-capillary-wall function on a chip., Nature Biomedical Engineering, vol 1 (2017) [10.1038/s41551-017-0069] [abs].
- Benam, KH; Dauth, S; Hassell, B; Herland, A; Jain, A; Jang, K-J; Karalis, K; Kim, HJ; MacQueen, L; Mahmoodian, R; Musah, S; Torisawa, Y-S; van der Meer, AD; Villenave, R; Yadid, M; Parker, KK; Ingber, DE, Engineered in vitro disease models., vol 10 (2015), pp. 195-262 [10.1146/annurev-pathol-012414-040418] [abs].
- Musah, S; Wrighton, PJ; Zaltsman, Y; Zhong, X; Zorn, S; Parlato, MB; Hsiao, C; Palecek, SP; Chang, Q; Murphy, WL; Kiessling, LL, 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 of the United States of America, vol 111 no. 38 (2014), pp. 13805-13810 [10.1073/pnas.1415330111] [abs].
- Musah, S; Morin, SA; Wrighton, PJ; Zwick, DB; Jin, S; Kiessling, LL, Glycosaminoglycan-binding hydrogels enable mechanical control of human pluripotent stem cell self-renewal., Acs Nano, vol 6 no. 11 (2012), pp. 10168-10177 [10.1021/nn3039148] [abs].