Samira Musah

Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering

The Musah Lab is interested in understanding how molecular signals and biophysical forces can function either synergistically or independently to guide organ development and physiology, and how these processes can be therapeutically harnessed to treat human disease. Given the escalating medical crisis in nephrology as growing number of patients suffer from kidney disease that can lead to organ failure, the Musah Lab focuses on engineering stem cell fate for applications in human kidney disease, extra-renal complications, and therapeutic development. Dr. Musah’s research interests include stem cell biology and regenerative medicine, molecular and cellular basis of human organ development and disease progression, organ engineering, patient-specific disease models, biomarker identification, therapeutic discovery, tissue and organ transplantation, microphysiological systems including Organ Chips (organs-on-chips) and organoids, matrix biology, mechanotransduction and disease biophysics.

Appointments and Affiliations

  • Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering
  • Assistant Professor in Cell Biology
  • Assistant Professor in Medicine
  • Affiliate of the Duke Regeneration Center
  • Member of the Duke Cancer Institute

Contact Information

Education

  • Ph.D. University of Wisconsin, Madison, 2013

Research Interests

Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells), disease mechanisms, regenerative medicine, molecular and cellular basis of human kidney development and disease, organ engineering, patient-specific disease models, biomarkers, therapeutic discovery, tissue and organ transplantation, microphysiological systems including organs-on-chips and organoids, matrix biology, mechanotransduction, mechanobiology, and disease biophysics.

Awards, Honors, and Distinctions

  • NIH Director's New Innovator Award (DP2). NIH/NIDDK. 2023
  • Genentech Research Award. Genentech. 2021
  • George O’Brien Kidney Center Pilot Grant. The George M. O'Brien Kidney Translational Core Center at the University of Michigan (P30 DK081943) . 2021
  • Featured, "Women to Watch" series on RegMedNet. RegMedNet. 2021
  • Functional & Molecular Genomics Core Facility Voucher Program Award. Duke University. 2020
  • Duke Incubation Fund. Duke Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative. 2020
  • Whitehead Scholarship in Biomedical Research. Whitehead Foundation. 2020
  • 100 inspiring black scientists in America. Cell Press, Cell Mentor. 2020
  • MEDx (Medicine & Engineering) Biomechanics of Injury and Injury Repair Grant. Duke MEDx Initiative. 2020
  • Chair's Research Award. Department of Medicine, Duke University. 2019
  • Early Career Investigator Travel Award. Keystone Symposia. 2019
  • Dr. Samuel M. Nabrit Early Career Scholar. Brown University. 2019
  • CPRIT Scholar. Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas. 2018
  • Baxter Young Investigator Award, First-Tier. Baxter International Inc.. 2017
  • Fellow. Keystone Symposia Fellowship. 2017
  • MIT Rising Stars in Biomedical Engineering and Science. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 2016
  • NIH/NIDDK Nephrology Research Fellowship. NIH-BIDMC . 2016
  • Burroughs Wellcome Fund Postdoctoral Enrichment Fellowship. Burroughs Wellcome Fund. 2015
  • Dean's Postdoctoral Fellowship. Harvard University. 2014
  • UNCF-Merck Postdoctoral Science Research Fellowship. UNCF & Merck Foundation. 2014
  • First Prize, Novartis Institute for BioMedical Research Postdoctoral Award. Novartis Institute for BioMedical Research. 2014
  • NIH Chemical-Biology Interface Training Grant. NIH. 2011
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. NSF. 2007

Courses Taught

  • ME 718S: Biological Engineering Seminar Series (CBIMMS and CBTE)
  • ME 717S: Biological Engineering Seminar Series (CBIMMS and CBTE)
  • EGR 393: Research Projects in Engineering
  • CELLBIO 493: Research Independent Study
  • BME 792: Continuation of Graduate Independent Study
  • BME 791: Graduate Independent Study
  • BME 790: Advanced Topics for Graduate Students in Biomedical Engineering
  • BME 789: Internship in Biomedical Engineering
  • BME 712S: Biological Engineering Seminar Series (CBIMMS and CBTE)
  • BME 711S: Biological Engineering Seminar Series (CBIMMS and CBTE)
  • BME 644: Physiology for Engineers
  • BME 590: Special Topics in Biomedical Engineering
  • BME 494: Projects in Biomedical Engineering (GE)
  • BME 493: Projects in Biomedical Engineering (GE)
  • BME 394: Projects in Biomedical Engineering (GE)

In the News

Representative Publications

  • Musah, Samira, Rohan Bhattacharya, and Jonathan Himmelfarb. “Kidney Disease Modeling with Organoids and Organs-on-Chips.” Annual Review of Biomedical Engineering 26, no. 1 (July 2024): 383–414. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-bioeng-072623-044010.
  • Barreto, Amanda D., Morgan A. Burt, and Samira Musah. “Advancing drug discovery for glomerulopathies using stem-cell-derived kidney models.” Trends in Pharmacological Sciences 44, no. 4 (April 2023): 204–7. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tips.2022.12.001.
  • Roye, Yasmin, and Samira Musah. “Isogenic Kidney Glomerulus Chip Engineered from Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells.” Journal of Visualized Experiments : JoVE, no. 189 (November 2022). https://doi.org/10.3791/63821.
  • Musah, Samira. “Uncovering SARS-CoV-2 kidney tropism.” Nature Reviews. Molecular Cell Biology 22, no. 8 (August 2021): 509. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41580-021-00370-w.
  • “Introductions to the Community: Early-Career Researchers in the Time of COVID-19.” Cell Stem Cell 27, no. 2 (August 2020): 200–201. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.stem.2020.07.016.