Karina Nakayama, Ph.D. (she/her)

  • Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering, School of Medicine
  • Co-Director, Biomedical Engineering Graduate Program, School of Medicine
  • Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, School of Medicine


Karina H. Nakayama is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). Dr. Nakayama's lab develops regenerative and immunomodulatory biomaterials to enhance engineered vasculature, muscle, and complex multi-tissue composites to develop therapies for cardiovascular diseases and traumatic musculoskeletal injuries. We approach these engineering challenges using biomaterial spatial patterning and immunomodulation combined with insights gained through regenerative rehabilitation. 

Prior to OHSU, Dr. Nakayama received her Ph.D in Biomedical Engineering from the University of California, Davis with her dissertation work aimed at developing regenerative therapies for congenital kidney diseases using decellularized kidney matrices and directed differentiation of stem cells towards renal lineages. She performed her postdoctoral work at Stanford University in the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery working towards enhancing angiogenesis in ischemic limbs and engineering atheroprotective vascular grafts and myocardial tissues through the manipulation of spatial and mechanical properties. 

Education and training

    • B.S., 2007, University of California, San Diego
    • Ph.D., 2012, University of California, Davis
  • Fellowship

    • Postdoctoral Fellow, Stanford University, Stanford, California, 2019

Areas of interest

  • Engineering cells and tissues for the treatment of cardiovascular and musculoskeletal diseases
  • Modulation of inflammatory and angiogenic endothelial cell phenotype using nano-patterned and immunomodulatory biomaterials for the generation of athero-resistant small diameter vascular grafts
  • Using rehabilitative exercise to enhance innervation, immune-based muscle regeneration, and force recovery following traumatic volumetric tissue injury


Selected publications

  • Nakayama KH, Quarta M, Paine P, Alcazar C, Garcia V, Calvo N, Simmons CS, Abilez O, Rando T, Huang NF. Treatment of Volumetric Muscle Loss Using Spatially Patterned Scaffolds Enhances Vascular Organization and Functional Integration. Commun Biol, 2:170, 2019
  • Nakayama KH, Shayan M, Huang NF. Engineering Biomimetic Materials for Skeletal Muscle Repair and Regeneration. Adv Healthc Mater, 8: 1801168, 2019
  • Nakayama KH, Alcazar C, Yang G, Quarta M, Paine P, Doan L, Davies A, Rando T, Huang NF. Rehabilitative exercise and spatially patterned nanofibrillar scaffolds enhance tissue revascularization for treatment of volumetric muscle loss. NPJ Regenerative Medicine, 3:16, 2018
  • Nakayama KH, Surya VN, Gole M, Walker T, Yang W, Lai ES, Ostrowski M, Fuller GG, Dunn AR, Huang NF. Nanoscale Patterning of Extracellular Matrix Alters Endothelial Cell Function Under Flow. Nano Letters 16:410-419, 2016
  • Nakayama KH, Joshi PA, Lai ES, Gujar P, Joubert LM, Chen B, Fuller GG, Huang NF. Bi-Layered Vascular Graft Derived from Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells with Biomimetic Structure and Function. Regen Med 10:745-755, 2015
  • Nakayama KH, Hong G, Lee J, Patel J, Edwards B, Zaitseva T, Paukshto M, Dai H, Cooke J, Woo Y, Huang N. Aligned-Braided Nanofibrillar Scaffold with Endothelial Cells Enhances Arteriogenesis. ACS Nano 9:6900-6908, 2015
  • Nakayama KH, Hou L, Huang NF. Role of extracellular matrix signaling cues in modulating cell fate commitment for cardiovascular tissue engineering. Adv Healthc Mater 3:628-641, 2014
  • Nakayama KH, Lee CI, Batchelder CA, Tarantal AF. Tissue Specificity of Decellularized Rhesus Monkey Kidney and Lung Scaffolds. Plos One. 8:e64134, 2013
  • Nakayama KH, Batchelder CA, Lee CI, Tarantal AF. Renal tissue engineering with decellularized rhesus monkey kidneys: age-related differences. Tissue Eng Part A. 17:2891-2901, 2011
  • Nakayama KH, Batchelder CA, Lee CI, Tarantal AF. Decellularized rhesus monkey kidney as a three-dimensional scaffold for renal tissue engineering. Tissue Eng Part A. 7:2207-2216, 2010


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