Samira Kiani, MD

Dr. Samira Kiani is an Associate Professor, Liver Research Center, Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh.  Dr. Kiani received her medical doctorate degree (MD) from Tehran University of Medical Sciences. Prior to joining the University of Pittsburgh in 2020, she held several academic appointments at Arizona State University, School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering, Ira. A Fulton Schools of Engineering, and at the Mayo Clinic Gastrointestinal Cancer Center in Phoenix.

She completed her postdoctoral training in the Center for Synthetic Biology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she worked on developing synthetic gene circuits to reprogram the function and behavior of mammalian cells based on the Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR)/Cas9 technology. Cas9 protein is a DNA cleaving enzyme that can be targeted to any DNA sequence by means of a small guide RNA (gRNA) and can be adapted both for gene editing and gene regulation.

Dr. Kiani’s research work has received funding from the NIH and the DOD.  Her research interests include:  CRISPR and gene editing tools, toxicity and immunogenicity of the CRISPR technology, predicting on/off target activity of CRISPR on human microphysiological systems including liver chip, developing safety switches for CRISPR to protect germ cells, epigenetic reprogramming using the CRISPR technology, regulating immune homeostasis using CRISPR, synthetic gene circuits using the custom DNA binding proteins, and in vivo CRISPR-based gene and epigenetic therapies.  Learn more about the work in her lab here.

Dr. Kiani is currently a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Biomedical Engineering Society.  She has 8 applied patents and 2 startup companies.  Dr. Kiani is also a reviewer for several scientific journals, including but not limited to, PNAS, Nature Methods, Trends in Biotechnology, and CRISPR Journal.  She provides grant reviews for the NIH and the UK’s Medical Research Council.

View a list of Dr. Kiani’s publications here.