b'ABSTR ACT / BIOGR APHY17 Samira Musah, Ph.D.Assistant Professor, Duke University; Department of Biomedical Engineering Department of Medicine, Division of Nephrology; Affiliate of the Regeneration Next Initiative, Duke MEDx InvestigatorMolecular and Biophysical Control of Stem Cell FateMembersoftheMusahLabaimtounderstandhowmolecularandbiophysicalcuescanfunctioneithersynergisticallyorindependently to guide organ development and function, and how these processes can be therapeutically harnessed to treat human disease. Research in ourlaboratory covers a range of interests, from fundamental studies of stem cell and tissue differentiation to engineered devices for clinical diagnostics and therapeutics. A major effort in our lab is focused on understanding the roles of molecular and biophysical cues in human organ development and how these processes can be applied to understand disease mechanismsanddevelopnewtherapeuticstrategies.Wedevelopdifferentiationmethodsbytheidentificationandoptimizationofmultiple,synergisticfactors within the stem cell niche to guide organ-specific cell lineagespecification. To engineer in vitro models of human tissues and organs, we integrate our stem cell differentiation strategies with microfluidic systems engineering, hydrogel synthesis, biofunctionalization, and three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting technologies to build dynamic circuits with living cells. Our interdisciplinary team of scientists, engineers, and clinicians use ideas and approaches spanning stem cell and developmental biology, biophysics,microengineering,chemistry,medicine,genomeengineering,and computational/mathematical modeling of complex biological problems.Dr. Samira Musah is a stem cell biologist anda bioengineer. Her work has focused on thedevelopment of novel methods to direct thedifferentiation of human pluripotent stem cellsand engineering of microphysiological systems, including organs-on-chips and bioactive materials. She is currently an Assistant Professor at Duke University with a joint appointment in theDepartments of Biomedical Engineering andMedicine. She is also a Duke MEDx Investigator and an Affiliated Facultyof the Regeneration Next Initiative. Research in her laboratory aims to understand the roles of molecular and biophysical cues in human organ development and how these processes can be harnessed to understanddisease mechanisms and develop new therapeutic strategies. Dr. Musah is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards including the Whitehead Scholarship in Biomedical Research, Baxters Young Investigator Award(top tier), Keystone Symposia Fellowship, Deans Postdoctoral Fellowshipat Harvard Medical School, Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Transition Award, National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship,Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research Award, and was named aRising Star in Biomedical Engineering at MIT.'