Senior Researcher

Institute for Complex Engineered Systems (ICES), Carnegie Mellon University


My lab: Coming Soon

My Department: Institute for Complex Engineered Systems

My University: Carnegie Mellon University

My Page at CMU: Coming soon

My Page at the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine (MIRM)


Former mentors:


Alma mater:


In the news:

Affiliation and contact info:

Institute for Complex Engineered System
1201 Hamburg Hall,
Carnegie Mellon University,
5000 Forbes Avenue,
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Tel. 412-268-3372 
Fax 412-268-5229


Education and formal training:

  • PhD of Biological Science, Department of Biological Sciences, Texas Tech University. 1997. Major Advisor: Robert J. Baker, Horn Professor.
  • Postdoctoral fellow, Department of Human Genetics, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh.
  • Research Associate, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.
  • Research Associate, Growth and Development Laboratory, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of Pittsburgh.

Current Projects:

In our lab, muscle derived stem cells (MDSCs) are isolated from the skeletal muscles of the mouse by a modification of the preplate technique. We have several projects that involve using these stem cells to regenerate and repair injured skeletal muscles in Duchenne muscular dystrophy mouse model (MDX mouse), cardiac muscle, and bone marrow. Donor cells are either engineered with reporter genes before they are injected, or they are injected without engineering. My research interest is how to best track non-engineered (normal) adult stem cells in recipient tissues, see if they proliferate, and check if they develop any chromosomal abnormalities, or if they fuse with host nuclei.

One of the most common techniques used is the fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH). In this method, DNA sequences from the mouse X or Y chromosome are amplified by degenerate oligonucleotide primer PCR (DOP-PCR), tagged with a fluorophore like FITC or an antigen like digoxigeninor biotin. This sequence (probe or paint) is hybridized overnight at 37 °C to the target cells. On day 2, the slides are washed and the hybridization signal is detected by antibodies conjugated to fluorescent molecules. Typically, we engraft male stem cells into female mice. Engraftment site is checked for donor cells by searching for the Y chromosomal paint signal that appears in one color and the female recipient tissue which shows two X chromosome signals in another color.

Other research projects include the use of G-banding and C-banding techniques to examine the effect of culture conditions on stem cells. Chromosomal numerical and structural abnormalities are recorded and metaphases are photographed and analyzed.

For more information, please click on this link .

Previous Interest and Backburner Projects:

  • Systematics, distribution and zoogeography of mammals of Tunisia, North Africa. The work was based on field work and a huge museum collection made in 1970s by Drs. E. L. Cockrum, Robert Baker, Tom and Pamela Vaughan. The collection is housed at the Natural Science Research Laboratory. I also spent two months (summer, 1996) doing field work in Tunisia surveying mammals and their habitats as well as collecting representative tissue and chromosomal material.
  • Human cytogenetics


Place stem cell bookmarks here.

My Pages Elsewhere:

Burhan at Linkedin.   EpernicusResearchgate. Academic. Twitter.

Other pages: