Jonathan Brunger
Faculty Member
Last active: 3/16/2021


Dr. Brunger graduated from Stanford University with a bachelor's degree in Engineering in 2004, and afterward worked in the medical device industry until 2008. Dr. Brunger earned a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from Duke University in 2015, where he developed approaches to direct stem cell behaviors for musculoskeletal tissue regeneration through diverse methods involving biomaterial design, gene delivery, and genome engineering. Dr. Brunger then trained as an NRSA postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, San Francisco, where he deployed synthetic biology tools to control how stem cells read and react to features of their niche. Dr. Brunger joined the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Vanderbilt in the fall of 2019. The current focus of his lab is to systematically perturb and synthetically reconstitute cellular signaling pathways to understand diseases and develop living therapies to overcome tissue deterioration, with a particular focus on diseases of the musculoskeletal and central nervous systems.


The following timeline graph is generated from all co-authored publications.

Featured publications are shown below:

  1. Long non-coding RNA enhances chondrogenesis via suppression of the interferon type II signaling pathway. Huynh NP, Gloss CC, Lorentz J, Tang R, Brunger JM, McAlinden A, Zhang B, Guilak F (2020) Elife
    › Primary publication · 32202492 (PubMed) · PMC7202894 (PubMed Central)
  2. A Synthetic Gene Circuit for Self-Regulating Delivery of Biologic Drugs in Engineered Tissues. Pferdehirt L, Ross AK, Brunger JM, Guilak F (2019) Tissue Eng Part A 25(9-10): 809-820
    › Primary publication · 30968743 (PubMed) · PMC6533793 (PubMed Central)
  3. Genetic Engineering of Mesenchymal Stem Cells for Differential Matrix Deposition on 3D Woven Scaffolds. Huynh NPT, Brunger JM, Gloss CC, Moutos FT, Gersbach CA, Guilak F (2018) Tissue Eng Part A 24(19-20): 1531-1544
    › Primary publication · 29756533 (PubMed) · PMC6198766 (PubMed Central)
  4. Genome Engineering for Personalized Arthritis Therapeutics. Adkar SS, Brunger JM, Willard VP, Wu CL, Gersbach CA, Guilak F (2017) Trends Mol Med 23(10): 917-931
    › Primary publication · 28887050 (PubMed) · PMC5657581 (PubMed Central)
  5. Genome Engineering of Stem Cells for Autonomously Regulated, Closed-Loop Delivery of Biologic Drugs. Brunger JM, Zutshi A, Willard VP, Gersbach CA, Guilak F (2017) Stem Cell Reports 8(5): 1202-1213
    › Primary publication · 28457885 (PubMed) · PMC5425682 (PubMed Central)
  6. CRISPR-Based Epigenome Editing of Cytokine Receptors for the Promotion of Cell Survival and Tissue Deposition in Inflammatory Environments. Farhang N, Brunger JM, Stover JD, Thakore PI, Lawrence B, Guilak F, Gersbach CA, Setton LA, Bowles RD (2017) Tissue Eng Part A 23(15-16): 738-749
    › Primary publication · 28095751 (PubMed) · PMC5568019 (PubMed Central)
  7. CRISPR/Cas9 Editing of Murine Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells for Engineering Inflammation-Resistant Tissues. Brunger JM, Zutshi A, Willard VP, Gersbach CA, Guilak F (2017) Arthritis Rheumatol 69(5): 1111-1121
    › Primary publication · 27813286 (PubMed) · PMC5406241 (PubMed Central)
  8. Knockdown of the cell cycle inhibitor p21 enhances cartilage formation by induced pluripotent stem cells. Diekman BO, Thakore PI, O'Connor SK, Willard VP, Brunger JM, Christoforou N, Leong KW, Gersbach CA, Guilak F (2015) Tissue Eng Part A 21(7-8): 1261-74
    › Primary publication · 25517798 (PubMed) · PMC4394871 (PubMed Central)
  9. Scaffold-mediated lentiviral transduction for functional tissue engineering of cartilage. Brunger JM, Huynh NP, Guenther CM, Perez-Pinera P, Moutos FT, Sanchez-Adams J, Gersbach CA, Guilak F (2014) Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 111(9): E798-806
    › Primary publication · 24550481 (PubMed) · PMC3948308 (PubMed Central)
  10. Injectable laminin-functionalized hydrogel for nucleus pulposus regeneration. Francisco AT, Mancino RJ, Bowles RD, Brunger JM, Tainter DM, Chen YT, Richardson WJ, Guilak F, Setton LA (2013) Biomaterials 34(30): 7381-8
    › Primary publication · 23849345 (PubMed) · PMC3771102 (PubMed Central)
  11. Synergistic and tunable human gene activation by combinations of synthetic transcription factors. Perez-Pinera P, Ousterout DG, Brunger JM, Farin AM, Glass KA, Guilak F, Crawford GE, Hartemink AJ, Gersbach CA (2013) Nat Methods 10(3): 239-42
    › Primary publication · 23377379 (PubMed) · PMC3719416 (PubMed Central)
  12. Chondrogenesis and mineralization during in vitro culture of human mesenchymal stem cells on three-dimensional woven scaffolds. Abrahamsson CK, Yang F, Park H, Brunger JM, Valonen PK, Langer R, Welter JF, Caplan AI, Guilak F, Freed LE (2010) Tissue Eng Part A 16(12): 3709-18
    › Primary publication · 20673022 (PubMed) · PMC2991213 (PubMed Central)