Current Members

Principal Investigator

Nenad Bursac

Professor of Biomedical Engineering

nenad_dot_bursac_@_duke_dot_edu

(919) 660-5510

Research Scientists

Ying Qian

ying.qian@duke.edu

My primary responsibilities involve animal surgeries: coronary artery ligation, implant engineered cardiac tissue patch onto heart, skeletal muscle injury and repair, engineered tissue window chamber implantation, and following implantation studies with biochemical and molecular biology analysis.

Renzhi Zhan

zhan0001@duke.edu

I am working on human engineered skeletal and cardiac muscle for organ-on-chip studies.

Hengtao Zhang

zht@duke.edu

I work on engineering of excitable fibroblasts for treatment of cardiac arrhythmias.

Laboratory Staff

Sumie Okuwa

sumie.okuwa@duke.edu

I am the lab manager for the Bursac Lab, and I also assist lab members with molecular biology and cell culture.

Taylor Robinette

taylor.robinette@duke.edu

I work on in vitro modeling of human skeletal muscle diseases.

Post-Doctoral Associates

Soon Chul Heo

soon.chul.heo@duke.edu

I work on engineered cardiac tissues derived from human pluripotent stem cells.

Alastair Khodabukus

alastair.khodabukus@duke.edu

I work on developing more physiologically relevant tissue engineered skeletal muscle to study both healthy and diseased muscle physiology in human and rat cells.

Hanjun Li

hanjun.li@duke.edu

I study the mechanisms of ion channel trafficking in reponse to biomechanical cues.

Hung Nguyen

hung.nguyen@duke.edu

I work on designing and engineering electrically active primary human cells with customized electrophysiological phenotypes for cardiac repair.

Jordan Pomeroy

jordan.pomeroy@duke.edu

I am interested in the fidelity of the electrical system and the role of fibroblasts in cardiac regeneration.

Lingjun Rao

raolingjun@gmail.com

My current project is focused on generating functional skeletal muscle bundles with cells derived from human pluripotent stem cells for drug development, disease modeling and implantation therapies.

Graduate Students

Nadia Abutaleb

nadia.abutaleb@duke.edu

I am studying the regenerative capacity of tissue-engineered skeletal muscle in vitro.

Brian Allen

brian.w.allen@duke.edu

I am studying the potential of cardiac patches derived from human embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells to repair damaged tissue after myocardial infarction.

Swarnali Sengupta Bjergaard

swarnali.sengupta@duke.edu

I am studying how mechanical forces regulate the recruitment and membrane distribution of ion channels.

Abbi Helfer

I work on human cardiac tissue engineering from pluripotent stem cells, and gene editing.

Amulya Kaza

amulya.kaza@duke.edu

I work on human skeletal muscle tissue engineering.

Yanzhen Li

yanzhen.li@duke.edu

I study how different cardiac fibroblast phenotypes affect the structure and function of engineered 3D tissues.

Jason Wang

jason.t.wang@duke.edu

I am exploring methods to improve the regenerative capacity of engineered tissues derived from human skeletal muscle cells.

Undergraduate Students

Neel Prabhu

I am interested in developing tissue-engineered skeletal muscle models of congenital human disease to study diseased physiology and test preclinical treatments.

Rachel Yang

As a Pratt Fellow working under Hung, I am exploring how to optimize the engineering of excitability and pacemaking properties in primary cells. 

Chris Zhou

I’m currently working on macrophage induced human skeletal muscle regeneration and developing an in vitro model for glycogen storage diseases using engineered human muscle.