Samira Musah, PhD

Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering
Assistant Professor in Medicine
Affiliate of the Regeneration Next Initiative
Member of the Duke Cancer Institute
Campus mail 101 Science Dr., Box 90281, Durham, NC 27708
Email address

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.

Education and Training

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


Burt, Morgan, Rohan Bhattachaya, Arinze E. Okafor, and Samira Musah. “Guided Differentiation of Mature Kidney Podocytes from Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Under Chemically Defined Conditions.” Journal of Visualized Experiments : Jove, no. 161 (July 2, 2020).

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Musah, Samira, Nikolaos Dimitrakakis, Diogo M. Camacho, George M. Church, and Donald E. Ingber. “Directed differentiation of human induced pluripotent stem cells into mature kidney podocytes and establishment of a Glomerulus Chip.” Nature Protocols 13, no. 7 (July 2018): 1662–85.

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Musah, Samira, Akiko Mammoto, Thomas C. Ferrante, Sauveur S. F. Jeanty, Mariko Hirano-Kobayashi, Tadanori Mammoto, Kristen Roberts, et al. “Mature induced-pluripotent-stem-cell-derived human podocytes reconstitute kidney glomerular-capillary-wall function on a chip.” Nature Biomedical Engineering 1 (January 2017).

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Musah, Samira, Paul J. Wrighton, Yefim Zaltsman, Xiaofen Zhong, Stefan Zorn, Matthew B. Parlato, Cheston Hsiao, et al. “Substratum-induced differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells reveals the coactivator YAP is a potent regulator of neuronal specification.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 111, no. 38 (September 8, 2014): 13805–10.

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Musah, Samira, Stephen A. Morin, Paul J. Wrighton, Daniel B. Zwick, Song Jin, and Laura L. Kiessling. “Glycosaminoglycan-binding hydrogels enable mechanical control of human pluripotent stem cell self-renewal.” Acs Nano 6, no. 11 (November 2012): 10168–77.

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Musah, Samira, and Laura L. Kiessling. “Synthetic polymer scaffold supports human embryonic stem cell adhesion and proliferation in defined conditions.” In Abstracts of Papers of the American Chemical Society, Vol. 244. AMER CHEMICAL SOC, 2012.