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    Engineering the next generation of

    cell and gene therapies

  • publications

    Select publications are highlighted below. For a full publication list, please see Paperpile (with PDF files), Pubmed or Google Scholar.

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    Production and characterization of virus-free, CRISPR-CAR T cells capable of inducing solid tumor regression

    Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer

    Mueller, K. P.*, Piscopo, N. J.*, Forsberg, M. H., Saraspe, L. A., Das, A., Russell, B., Smerchansky, M., Cappabianca, D., Shi, L., Shankar, K., Sarko, L., Khajanchi, N., La Vonne Denne, N., Ramamurthy, A., Ali, A., Lazzarotto, C. R., Tsai, S. Q., Capitini, C. M., & Saha, K. 2022. [link] [PDF] *equal contribution

    "Editor's Pick" for October 2022

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    The NIH Somatic Cell Genome Editing program


    Krishanu Saha, Erik J. Sontheimer, P. J. Brooks, Melinda R. Dwinell, Charles A. Gersbach, David R. Liu, Stephen A. Murray, et al. 2021. 592 (7853): 195–204. [pdf] [link]

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    Human iPSC Modeling Reveals Mutation-Specific Responses to Gene Therapy in a Genotypically Diverse Dominant Maculopathy

    The American Journal of Human Genetics

    Divya Sinha*, Benjamin Steyer*, Pawan K. Shahi, Katherine P. Mueller, Rasa Valiauga, Kimberly L. Edwards, Cole Bacig, Stephanie S. Steltzer, Sandhya Srinivasan, Amr Abdeen, Evan Cory, Viswesh Periyasamy, Alireza Fotuhi Siahpirani, Edwin M. Stone, Budd A. Tucker, Sushmita Roy, Bikash R. Pattnaik, Krishanu Saha, David M. Gamm. 2020. [link]

    *equal contribution

    Media Coverage: UW-Madison [link]

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    Integrating Biomaterials and Genome Editing Approaches to Advance Biomedical Science

    Annual Review of Biomedical Engineering

    Amr A. Abdeen,* Brian D. Cosgrove,* Charles A. Gersbach, Krishanu Saha. 2021 [link]

    *equal contribution

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    Integrating United States Biomanufacturing Infrastructure across Vaccines and Therapeutics

    National Academy of Medicine Perspectives

    Krishanu Saha and Krishnendu Roy. 2021. [link; pdf]

    National Academy of Medicine, Washington, DC.

    Related OpEd [link; pdf]; Related Workshop [link] and Proceedings [link]

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    A biodegradable nanocapsule delivers a Cas9 ribonucleoprotein complex for in vivo genome editing

    Nature Nanotechnology

    Guojun Chen, Amr A. Abdeen, Yuyuan Wang, Pawan K. Shahi, Samantha Robertson, Ruosen Xie, Masatoshi Suzuki, Bikash R. Pattnaik, Krishanu Saha, Shaoqin Gong. 2019. [link]

    NIH Director's Blog Post [link]

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    Scarless Genome Editing of Human Pluripotent Stem Cells via Transient Puromycin Selection

    Stem Cell Reports

    Benjamin Steyer*, Qian Bu*, Evan Cory, Keer Jiang, Stella Duong, Divya Sinha, Stephanie Steltzer, David Gamm*, Qiang Chang, Krishanu Saha. 2018 [link]

    *equal contribution

  • research

    We utilize quantitative and bioengineering methods to advance the next generation of cell and gene therapies.

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    Genome Editing

    CRISPR-Cas9, nanoparticle delivery

    We develop new tools and insights into the editing of the human genome. Projects include understanding DNA repair and nanoscale assembly of nucleic acids and novel nonviral polymeric delivery agents around protein-based CRISPR systems. We are advancing two projects in the NIH Somatic Cell Genome Editing Consortium.

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    Cell therapy manufacturing

    Cells are living drugs that can be difficult to generate, scale-up, and quality control. Projects include monitoring and controlling the heterogeneity during gene modification and scale-up of stem cells and T cell immunotherapies (e.g., CAR T cells). We benefit from collaborations with the national Center for Cell Manufacturing.

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    Disease Modeling

    Biomaterials + gene editing to generate new cell models

    We are using customized biomaterials and genome editing to generate new human cell-based models of inherited disorders. Projects include correcting mutations within diseased cells and generate isogenic organoids that recapitulate morphogenesis and pathology seen in patients. This project exploits close collaboration with biologists and clinicians at the Waisman Center.

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    Science and Technology Studies

    Science Policy/Bioethics

    We seek to understand the dynamic and heterogeneous processes by which novel bioengineered objects get embedded into law and policy. Outputs are designed to invoke reflection among practicing scientists on the social commitments behind their choices when engineering human cells, as well as to inform regulations, institutional obligations, and state policy. We leverage collaborations within Holtz STS Center, Bio+Society Collaboratory, and Forum on Regenerative Medicine.

  • meet our lab

    Members come from several programs including biomedical engineering, biophysics, molecular biology and medicine.

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    Kris Saha, PhD

    Associate Professor

    Kathryn and Latimer Murfee Chair - Retina Research Foundation

    NIH Somatic Cell Genome Editing Consortium, Co-Chair

    NSF Center for Cell Manufacturing Technologies, Testbed Co-lead

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    Kirstan Gimse, PhD

    Postdoctoral Fellow

    Genome editing in the brain

    NIH T32 Genome Sciences Traineeship.(with Sushmita Roy)
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    Madeline Smerchansky

    Graduate Student - Biomedical Engineering

    NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

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    Namita Khajanchi

    Graduate Student - Biomedical Engineering

    NIH T32 Genome Sciences Traineeship

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    Keerthana Shankar

    PhD Candidate

    Biomedical Engineering

    Virus-free CAR Natural Killer (CAR NK) Cell Therapies for Solid Tumors

    SCRMC Graduate Student Traineeship


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    Shivani Saxena

    Graduate Student - Biomedical Engineering

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    Lauren Sarko

    Graduate Student

    - Cellular and Molecular Pathology

    CAR T Cell Therapies for Senescence and Neurodegeneration

    NIH T32 Training Grant
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    Dan Cappabianca

    Graduate Student - Biomedical Engineering

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    Apoorva Ramamurthy

    Graduate Student - Biomedical Engineering

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    Nina La Vonne Denne

    Graduate Student - Cellular and Molecular Biology

    Biotechnology Training Program

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    Mackenzie Beam

    Undergraduate Research Assistant

    Hilldale Research Fellow

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    Undergraduate Research Assistant

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    Undergraduate Research Assistant

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    Undergraduate Research Assistant

  • social feed

  • job opportunities

    We seek energetic and passionate researchers of all stages (postdocs, graduate students, undergraduates, and research associates) to join our team.


    If you are naturally curious about biomedicine, want to invent new technologies to engineer life, and enjoy working in a creative and dynamic environment, we would love to work with you! Candidates with experience in stem cells, genetics, molecular biology, biomaterials, circuit design, bioengineering, or computational biology are encouraged to apply. Thank you for being so interested!

    Post-Doctoral Scholars

    The Saha Lab is hiring postdocs. We are looking for highly motivated scientists with great enthusiasm for gene editing and/or stem cell research and the ability to solve problems creatively.

    Please send your application to ksaha@wisc.edu. The subject line must read "PostDoc Application". In your email, include the following:

    • CV with a list of publications
    • a short summary of your present and future research interests
    • a list of three references (for postdoctoral candidates)

    Graduate Students

    Graduate students considering joining us should check out this link for information about what makes the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery unique.

    Interested in the numerical side of biology? Find out more about the Quantitative Biology Initiative at UW-Madison by visiting qbi.wisc.edu

    Please send your application to ksaha@wisc.edu. The subject line must read "Grad Application." In your email, include the following:
    • CV (with a list of publications, if applicable)
    • a short summary of your present and future research interests
    • a list of two references