Current Members

Principal Investigator

Nenad Bursac

Professor of Biomedical Engineering

nenad_dot_bursac_@_duke_dot_edu

(919) 660-5510

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.

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

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.

Chen Zhaowei

chenzhaowei26@gmail.com

I am interested in developing organ-on-chip platforms containing engineered cardiac and skeletal muscle microtissues to enable high throughput pharmacological and genome editing screening.

Graduate Students

Torie Broer

toriebroer@gmail.com

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

Sophia Bunnell

sophia.bunnell@duke.edu

I am working on cardiomyocyte proliferation in the context of regeneration.

Abbi Helfer

abbi.helfer@gmail.com

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

Xiaoyu Qi

xiaoyu.qi@duke.edu

I’m studying engineered skeletal muscle.

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

Geovanni Janer Carattini

geovanni.janer.carattini@duke.edu

I am studying the proliferation of cardiomyocytes.

Lillian Hiser

lillian.hiser@duke.edu

I am currently working on the improvement of the structure and function of primary human and induced pluripotent stem cell engineered skeletal muscle tissues, which will be used for improved disease modeling of Duchenne muscular dystrophy and dysferlinopathy.

Sabrina Tran

sabrina.tran@duke.edu

I am studying the treatment of Pompe’s disease in engineered tissues derived from human skeletal muscle cells.

Maria ter Weele

maria.ter.weele@duke.edu

I am working on characterizing engineered sodium channels.

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.