Current Members

Principal Investigator


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

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

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

Laboratory Staff

Post-Doctoral Associates


Joonbum Lee

I work on the innervation and vascularization of tissue engineered skeletal muscle to enhance the cellular complexity of the in vitro model.


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.


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

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

Graduate Students


Torie Broer

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


Sophia DeLuca

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


Amber Detwiler

I am studying the role of macrophages in dysferlinopathy for their implementation in a tissue engineered skeletal muscle model.


Abbi Helfer

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


Xixian Jiang

I am interested in studying the signaling pathways regulating cardiomyocyte proliferation and maturation.


Marisa Patsy

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


Dylan Silkstone

I am interested in the development of tissue engineered skeletal muscle for disease modeling.


Yiu Yan Siu

I am interested in sodium channel trafficking and developing gene therapy for arrhythmia.

Undergraduate Students


Sarah Broders

I am interested in studying cardiomyocyte proliferation.


Stewart Hammond

I am assisting in the production of optimized pre-vascularization and function in engineered skeletal muscle.


James Koconis

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


Ashley Myers

I am currently studying methods to induce cardiomyocyte proliferation.


Libby Tejeda

I am researching the mechanism behind cardiomyocyte proliferation for regenerative therapy application.


Nick Tsintolas

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