Current Members

Principal Investigator

Nenad Bursac

Professor of Biomedical Engineering

nenad_dot_bursac_@_duke_dot_edu

(919) 660-5510

Research Scientists

Karen Heman

karen.heman@duke.edu

I will be performing rodent surgeries to support cardiac and skeletal muscle studies.

Renzhi Zhan

zhan0001@duke.edu

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

Laboratory Staff

Amulya Kaza

Associate in research

amulya.kaza@duke.edu

I work on human skeletal muscle tissue engineering.

Sumie Okuwa

Lab Manager

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.

Post-Doctoral Associates

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.

Swarnali Sengupta Bjergaard

swarnali.sengupta@duke.edu

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

Torie Broer

toriebroer@gmail.com

I am  studying how the presence of immune cells affects the development and function of engineered skeletal muscle tissue.

Abbi Helfer

abbi.helfer@gmail.com

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

Yanzhen Li

yanzhen.li@duke.edu

I am studying how disease-induced changes in fibroblast phenotype alter the electrical and mechanical function of 3D engineered cardiac tissues and determine the underlying molecular mechanisms.

Nicholas Strash

nicholas.strash@duke.edu

I am currently interested in studying the role of polyploidy in the context of proliferation and maturation of human iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes.

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.

Sinan Xiong

sinan.xiong@duke.edu

I'm studying cardiomyocyte proliferation signaling network.

Undergraduate Students

Neel Prabhu

neel.prabhu@duke.edu

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

Chris Zhou

Chris.Zhou@duke.edu

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.