Current Members

Principal Investigator

Nenad  Bursac

Nenad Bursac

Professor of Biomedical Engineering

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

Alastair  Khodabukus

Alastair Khodabukus

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

Yongwu  Li

Yongwu Li

I will provide Rodent surgery support for cardiac muscle and skeleton muscle tissue engineering studies.

Laboratory Staff

Post-Doctoral Associates

Ethan  Lotz

Ethan Lotz

I am interested in developing functional neuromuscular junctions in vitro, the roles immune and glial cells play in the innervation of skeletal muscle, and regenerative strategies for the reinnervation of skeletal muscle following volumetric muscle loss in vivo.

Graduate Students

Torie  Broer

Torie Broer

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

Sophia  DeLuca

Sophia DeLuca

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

Abbi  Helfer

Abbi Helfer

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

Marisa  Patsy

Marisa Patsy

I am interested in the relationship between neurons and cardiomyocytes in the context of cardiac innervation, regeneration, and disease.

Jacob  Scherba

Jacob Scherba

I am interested in the relationship between cardiac fibroblasts, cardiomyocytes, and the extracellular matrix as it relates to the biomechanics of cardiac disease and regeneration.

Nicholas   Strash

Nicholas Strash

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

Tianyu  Wu

Tianyu Wu

My research focuses on developing prokaryotic voltage-gated sodium channels (BacNav) based gene therapies for cardiac arrhythmias.

Undergraduate Students

Sarah  Broders

Sarah Broders

I am interested in studying cardiomyocyte proliferation.

Chloe  Derocher

Chloe Derocher

I'm interested in demonstrating a functional synaptic connection in a tissue-engineered model of the neuromuscular junction in order to study motor neuron innervation of muscle in healthy and diseased states.

Ishika  Gupta

Ishika Gupta

I am a sophomore at Duke pursuing a biology major on the pre-med track. In this lab, I will be helping study how the presence of immune cells effects the development and function of engineered skeletal muscle tissue.

James  Koconis

James Koconis

I am interested in developing prokaryotic sodium channel-based gene therapies for cardiac arrhythmias.

Allison  Kuo

Allison Kuo

I am interested in human cardiac tissue engineering and its applications in cardiac regeneration and disease. 

Amber  Miranda

Amber Miranda

I am studying regenerative cardiomyocyte proliferation and working on developing an in vivo heart injury model.

Ashley  Myers

Ashley Myers

I am currently studying methods to induce cardiomyocyte proliferation.

Nick  Tsintolas

Nick Tsintolas

I am interested in the development and function of engineering skeletal muscle tissues.