Affiliated Faculty & Themes

Hematopoietic, Bone Marrow and Cord Blood
Hematopoietic stem cells give rise to all the cells of the blood and are the only type of stem cells successfully utilized in therapy for bone marrow and cord blood transplantation. Thus, many investigators are involved in understanding the signals that control the growth of blood stem cells and how cells in the microenvironment regulate hematopoietic stem cell function. This fundamental information will help identify novel strategies not only to increase stem cell numbers for transplantation, but also to enhance stem cell regeneration after injury.

Jun “Benny” Chen, MD
Professor
Internal Medicine, Duke School of Medicine
Chen Lab

Bernard Mathey-Prevot, PhD
Professor
Pharmacology and Cancer Biology, Duke School of Medicine
Mathey-Prevot Lab

Eda Yildirim, PhD
Assistant Professor
Cell Biology, Duke School of Medicine
Yildirim Lab

Phuong Doan, MD
Associate Professor
Department of Medicine, Duke School of Medicine

Tissue Engineering
One of the major challenges of stem cell research is “delivery”; how to introduce stem cells or their differentiated derivatives into damaged or defective organs so that they can perform their normal function and respond to physiological demands. Achieving normal function may involve the cells being organized into three-dimensional tissue structures like blood vessels or pieces of cartilage, or integrating closely with existing cells, for example when grafted into the heart or nervous system. Tissue engineering seeks to address these problems by combining stem cells or their derivatives with artificial matrices or scaffolds that support the cells, mold them into specific shapes, and even cleverly mimic the microenvironment of the stem cell niche.

David Sherwood, PhD
Professor
Biology, Duke School of Medicine
Sherwood Lab

George Truskey, PhD
Professor
Biomedical Engineering, Duke Pratt School of Engineering
Truskey Lab

Herbert Kim Lyerly, MD
Professor
Surgery, Immunology, Pathology; Duke School of Medicine

Nenad Bursac, PhD
Professor
Biomedical Engineering, Duke Pratt School of Engineering
Bursac Lab

Musculoskeletal
Researchers in this area focus on developmental biology and bioengineering as it relates to regeneration and repair of components of the musculoskeletal system like muscle, tendons, cartilage, and bone.

David Brown, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Surgery, Duke School of Medicine

Michel Bagnat, PhD
Associate Professor
Cell Biology, Duke School of Medicine
Bagnat Lab

Benjamin A. Alman, MD
Chair, Professor
Orthopedic Surgery, Duke School of Medicine
Alman Lab

Amy McNulty, PhD
Associate Professor
Orthopaedic Surgery, Duke School of Medicine
McNulty Lab

Charles Gersbach, PhD
Professor
Biomedical Engineering, Duke Pratt School of Engineering
Gersbach Lab

Colleen Wu, PhD
Assistant Professor
Orthopaedic Surgery, Duke School of Medicine

David Kirsch, MD, PhD
Professor
Radiation Oncology, Pharmacology and Cancer Biology, Duke School of Medicine
Kirsch Lab

Gupreet Baht, PhD
Assistant Professor
Orthopaedic Surgery, Duke Molecular Physiology Institute, Duke School of Medicine
Baht Lab

Jim White, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Medicine, Duke Molecular Physiology Institute, Duke School of Medicine

Matthew J. Hilton, PhD
Associate Professor
Orthopaedic Surgery and Cell Biology, Duke School of Medicine
Hilton Lab

Stefano Di Talia, PhD
Associate Professor
Cell Biology and Orthopaedic Surgery, Duke School of Medicine
DiTalia Lab

Virginia Byers Kraus, MD, PhD
Professor
Department of Medicine, Duke Molecular Physiology Institute, Duke School of Medicine

Yarui Diao, PhD
Assistant Professor
Cell Biology, Duke School of Medicine
Diao Lab

Cardiovascular
It has become clear that the heart does not possess a stem cell compartment of sufficient regenerative capacity to create significant amounts of new heart muscle after an injury like acute myocardial infarction.  In nature, animals like zebrafish regenerate heart muscle effectively by direct division of cardiac muscle cells. At Duke, research laboratories are exploring how examples of heart regeneration like this occurs, and they are developing methods to reconstitute lost muscle, with the ultimate goal of endowing greater regenerative capacity to the human heart.

Aravind Asokan, PhD
Professor
Department of Surgery, Duke School of Medicine
Asokan Lab

Kenneth Poss, PhD
Professor
Cell Biology, Duke School of Medicine
Poss Lab

Alexander Grabner, MD
Assistant Professor
Department of Medicine and Nephrology, Duke School of Medicine
Grabner Lab

Ravi Karra, MD, MHS
Associate Professor
Department of Medicine, Duke School of Medicine
Karra Lab

Neural
One of the long-standing dogmas in neuroscience was that a mature mammalian nervous system is unable to generate and incorporate new neurons after birth. The relatively recent discovery of postnatal and adult neural stem cells in the rodent and human brains upended this notion. Not only do these adult neural stem cells generate new neurons, astrocytes, and oligodendrocytes, their neuronal progeny continually integrate into functional circuits in the brain.  A better understanding of their function may lead to future therapies for patients suffering from brain injuries, as well as brain tumors.

Bradley J. Goldstein, MD, PhD
Vice Chair, Associate Professor
Department of Head & Neck Surgery & Communication Sciences, Duke School of Medicine
Goldstein Lab

Romain Cartoni, PhD
Assistant Professor
Neurobiology, Duke School of Medicine
Cartoni Lab

Aravind Asokan, PhD
Professor
Department of Surgery, Duke School of Medicine
Asokan Lab

Debby Silver, PhD
Associate Professor
Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Duke School of Medicine
Siver Lab

Cagla Eroglu, PhD
Associate Professor
Cell Biology, Neurobiology, Duke School of Medicine
Eroglu Lab

Derek Southwell, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor
Neurosurgery and Neurobiology, Duke School of Medicine
Southwell Lab

Dong Yan, PhD
Assistant Professor
Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Duke School of Medicine
Yan Lab

Jeremy Kay, PhD
Assistant Professor
Neurobiology, Ophthalmology, Duke School of Medicine
Kay Lab

Sarah Goetz, PhD
Assistant Professor
Pharmacology and Cancer Biology, Duke School of Medicine
Goetz Lab

Sharyn Endow, PhD
Professor
Cell Biology, Duke School of Medicine
Endow Lab

Timothy Faw, PT, DPT, PhD
Medical Instructor
Orthopaedic Surgery, Duke School of Medicine

Liver, Pancreas, Kidney
The liver has a striking ability to regenerate, enabling liver transplants. Other internal organs like pancreas and kidney have more limited capacities, although there is reason to think that this potential could be boosted. Progress in understanding the basis for regenerative capacity in tissues like these, and how to manipulate it, inform strategies for regenerative therapies for conditions like diabetes and organ failure.

Anna Mae Diehl, MD
Professor
Department of Medicine, Duke School of Medicine
Diehl Lab

Blanche Capel, PhD
Professor
Cell Biology, Duke School of Medicine
Capel Lab

Ryan Baugh, PhD
Associate Professor
Biology, Trinity College of Arts and Sciences
Baugh Lab

Samira Musah, PhD
Assistant Professor
Biomedical Engineering, Duke Pratt School of Engineering
Musah Lab

Tomokazu Souma, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Medicine, Duke School of Medicine
Souma Lab

Epithelial tissue: Skin, Lung, and Gastrointestinal Tract
Epithelial cells cover the surface of the body and line internal organs. In many cases, such as the gastrointestinal tract and the skin, these are highly proliferative tissues that turn over in days or weeks. Others, such as the lung, turn over slowly, yet quickly respond to environmental insults and injury to replenish themselves. The remarkable proliferative capacity of epithelial tissues is due to the presence of resident stem cells. Members of the program are working to identify epithelial stem cells and their niches in diverse organs, and to understand how they are activated during wound healing and repair and how they may give rise to cancers.  Studies are also underway to decipher how the stem cells are first specified and established during embryonic development.

Ann Marie Pendergast, PhD
Professor, Vice Chair
Pharmacology, Cancer Biology, Duke School of Medicine
Pendergast Lab

Michel Bagnat, PhD
Associate Professor
Cell Biology, Duke School of Medicine
Bagnat Lab

David Brown, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Surgery, Duke School of Medicine

Brigid Hogan, PhD
Professor
Cell Biology, Pediatrics, Duke School of Medicine

Chuan-Yuan Li, Sc.D
Professor
Dermatology, Pharmacology and Cancer Biology, Duke School of Medicine
Li Lab

David Kirsch, MD, PhD
Professor
Radiation Oncology, Pharmacology and Cancer Biology, Duke School of Medicine
Kirsch Lab

Don Fox, PhD
Associate Professor
Pharmacology, Cancer Biology, Duke School of Medicine
Fox Lab

Jatin Roper, MD
Assistant Professor
Department of Medicine, Pharmacology, Cancer Biology, Duke School of Medicine
Roper Lab

Jennifer Zhang, PhD
Associate Professor
Dermatology, Duke School of Medicine
Zhang Lab

Meta Kuehn, PhD
Associate Professor
Biochemistry, Duke School of Medicine
Kuehn Lab

Nicholas Heaton, PhD
Assistant Professor
Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Duke School of Medicine
Heaton Lab

Purushothama Rao Tata, PhD
Assistant Professor
Cell Biology, Duke School of Medicine
Tata Lab

Soman Abraham, PhD
Professor
Pathology, Duke School of Medicine
Abraham Lab

Terry Lechler, PhD
Professor
Dermatology, Cell Biology, Duke School of Medicine
Lechler Lab

Zhao Zhang, PhD
Assistant Professor
Pharmacology, Cancer Biology, Duke School of Medicine
ZZ Lab