Lab: 325 Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute
Office: 510 Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute
Phone: 614-293-0405

Nicholas FerrellBiography

I received my bachelor’s and PhD degrees in mechanical and biomedical engineering, both from The Ohio State University. After a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute, I was on the faculty at Vanderbilt University Medical Center from 2012-2021. I returned to Ohio State in 2021 as a faculty member in the Division of Nephrology. My lab applies engineering approaches to study fundamental mechanisms of kidney disease. We are particularly interested in how biophysical factors regulate glomerular function and how this contributes to development of proteinuria in chronic kidney disease. Additionally, we use micro and nanotechnology to model kidney physiology and develop novel therapeutics to target kidney disease.

Research Interests

  • Tissue and extracellular matrix mechanics in chronic kidney disease
  • Biophysics of glomerular filtration
  • Bioengineered therapeutic approaches to treat acute and chronic kidney disease

Education and Training

  • B.S. Mechanical Engineering, The Ohio State University
  • Ph.D. Biomedical Engineering, The Ohio State University
  • Post-doctoral Fellowship, Biomedical Engineering, Cleveland Clinic

Active Funding

  • NSF CAREER Award (PI): The role of basement membrane stiffness in regulating filtration
  • NIH/NIGMS R01 (Co-I): Basement membrane homeostasis and repair
  • Center for Medical and Engineering Innovation Pilot Grant (Co-PI): Cellular delivery of engineered extracellular vesicles for acute kidney injury
  • College of Medicine Dean’s Intramural Funding Program (Co-PI): A provisional extracellular matrix drives AKI-CKD transition

Honors and Awards

  • NSF CAREER Award
  • American Society of Nephrology Carl W. Gottschalk Research Scholar Award
  • American Society for Artificial Internal Organs (ASAIO) Willem J. Kolff/Dan B. Olsen Award

Selected Publications

P. Cheng, N. Ferrell, C.M. Oberg, S.F. Buchsbaum, M.L. Jue, S.J. Park, D. Wang, S. Roy, F. Fornasiero, W.H. Fissell, P.R. Kidambi, “High-performance hemofiltration via molecular sieving and ultra-low friction in carbon nanotube capillary membranes.” Advanced Functional Materials 2304672 (2023).

J.Y. Kim, J.A. Silvaroli, G.V. Martinez, L.A. Jayne, M.J.H.H. Feng, B. Girotra, N. Garama, N. Ferrell, N. Weisleder, S. Chung, J.W. Christman, C.R. Brooks, S.M. Madhavan, A.J. Davidson, J.C. Sullivan, D. Zepeda-Orozco, A. Bajwa, N.S. Pabla, “ZFP24 drives SOX9 upregulation and protects tubular epithelial cells during acute kidney injury.” Kidney International 103, 1093-1104 (2023).

D. Wang, S. Sant, C. Lawless, N. Ferrell, “A kidney proximal tubule model to evaluate effects of basement membrane stiffening on renal tubular epithelial cells.” Integrative Biology 14, 171-183 (2022).

W. Wang, L.A. Hapach, L. Griggs, K. Smart, Y. Wu, P.V. Taufalele, M.M. Rowe, A.C. Johnson, N. Ferrell, A. Pozzi, C.A. Reinhart-King, “Diabetic hyperglycemia promotes tumor progression through glycation induced tumor extracellular matrix stiffening.” Science Advances 8, eabo1673 (2022).

D. Wang, S. Sant, N. Ferrell, “A biomimetic in vitro model of the glomerular filtration barrier using tissue derived glomerular basement membrane.” Advanced Healthcare Materials 10, 202275 (2021).

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