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Dr. Samira Musah is a stem cell biologist and a medical bioengineer. She is currently an Assistant Professor at Duke University with a joint faculty appointment in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and the Department of Medicine, Division of Nephrology. She is also a Duke MEDx Investigator and an Affiliated Faculty of the Regeneration Next Initiative. Dr. Musah’s research focuses on uncovering the molecular and cellular basis of human organ development and function, 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 diseases that lack targeted therapeutics, Dr. Musah’s current research focuses on applying stem cell biology to engineer functional preclinical models of human kidneys and related complications with the goal of developing new biomarkers and therapeutic modalities. Her most recent accomplishments include the establishment of a novel method to generate blood-filtering cells (glomerular podocytes) from human induced pluripotent stem cells and integrating these cells into a vascularized microfluidic organ-on-a-chip system to recapitulate the structure, function, and specific drug toxicity of the human kidney’s blood filtration unit.
Dr. Musah completed her postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University where she worked with Dr. Donald E. Ingber and Dr. George M. Church and her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison working with Dr. Laura L. Kiessling (now a professor at MIT). Dr. Musah is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards including the Whitehead Scholarship in Biomedical Research, Baxter’s Young Investigator Award (top tier), MEDx Biomechanics of Injury and Injury Repair Grant, Duke Innovation and Entrepreneurship Incubation Fund, Keystone Symposia Fellowship, Dean’s Postdoctoral Fellowship at Harvard Medical School, CPRIT Scholarship, NIH Chemical-Biology Training Grant, UNCF-Merck Postdoctoral Fellowship, Burroughs Wellcome Fund PDEP Career Transition Award, NIH/NIDDK Nephrology Research Fellowship, National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, Merck Graduate Research Award, Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research Award, and MIT Rising Stars in Biomedical Engineering.