Faculty and Staff

Rebekah Margaret Samsonraj

Rebekah Margaret Samsonraj

Assistant Professor - Engineering


(BMEG)-Biomedical Engineering

Phone: 479-575-6197

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Dr. Rebekah Margaret Samsonraj holds a doctorate in Bioengineering jointly from the National University of Singapore and the Institute of Medical Biology-A*STAR in Singapore. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Biotechnology from Anna University, India. She completed her postdoctoral studies at Mayo Clinic, Rochester following which she was appointed Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science. She also served as Research Faculty at the Knight Campus, University of Oregon. Dr. Samsonraj’s research focuses on developing strategies for safe and efficacious mesenchymal stem cell therapies for a variety of clinical indications. She applies novel proteomics- and genomics-based approaches to understanding stem cell function. Dr. Samsonraj’s original work on establishing criteria for MSC potency allowed her to develop and patent a method for identifying sub-populations of stem cells with improved bone-forming ability, eventually leading to the identification of a novel genomic biomarker to assess MSC potency. Dr. Samsonraj has a passion for biomedical research education and has successfully mentored several students fostering high achievement in underrepresented students in STEM fields.

Postdoctoral Fellowship, Mayo Clinic, Rochester

Ph.D. Bioengineering, National University of Singapore

B.Tech. Industrial Biotechnology, Anna University, India


Sathiyanathan P, Samsonraj RM, Tan CLL, Ling L, Lezhava A, Nurcombe V, Stanton LW, Cool SM. A genomic biomarker that identifies human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells with high scalability. Stem Cells. 2020 Jun 8. doi: 10.1002/stem.3203. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32510174.

Dudakovic A, Samsonraj RM, Paradise CR, Galeano-Garces C, Mol MO, Galeano-Garces D, Zan P, Galvan ML, Hevesi M, Pichurin O, Thaler R, Begun DL, Kloen P, Karperien M, Larson AN, Westendorf JJ, Cool SM, van Wijnen AJ. Inhibition of the epigenetic suppressor EZH2 primes osteogenic differentiation mediated by BMP2. J Biol Chem. 2020 Jun 5;295(23):7877-7893. doi: 10.1074/jbc.RA119.011685. Epub 2020 Apr 24. PMID: 32332097; PMCID: PMC7278362.

Ling L, Ren X, Cao X, Hassan ABM, Mah S, Sathiyanathan P, Smith RAA, Tan CLL, Eio M, Samsonraj RM, van Wijnen AJ, Raghunath M, Nurcombe V, Hui JH, Cool SM. Enhancing the Efficacy of Stem Cell Therapy with Glycosaminoglycans. Stem Cell Reports. 2020 Jan 14;14(1):105-121. doi: 10.1016/j.stemcr.2019.12.003. Epub 2020 Jan 2. PMID: 31902704; PMCID: PMC6962655.


Soreide E, Denbeigh JM, Lewallen EA, Thaler R, Samsonraj RM, Jones DL, Xu W, Larson D, Nordsletten L, Kakar S, van Wijnen AJ. A multi-chamber tissue culture device for load-dependent parallel evaluation of tendon explants. BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2019 Nov 18;20(1):549. doi: 10.1186/s12891-019-2896-2. PMID: 31739778; PMCID: PMC6862789.

Pignolo RJ, Samsonraj RM, Law SF, Wang H, Chandra A. Targeting Cell Senescence for the Treatment of Age-Related Bone Loss. Curr Osteoporos Rep. 2019 Apr;17(2):70-85. doi: 10.1007/s11914-019-00504-2. PMID: 30806947.


Dudakovic A, Camilleri ET, Paradise CR, Samsonraj RM, Gluscevic M, Paggi CA, Begun DL, Khani F, Pichurin O, Ahmed FS, Elsayed R, Elsalanty M, McGee-Lawrence ME, Karperien M, Riester SM, Thaler R, Westendorf JJ, van Wijnen AJ. Enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (Ezh2) controls bone formation and cell cycle progression during osteogenesis in mice. J Biol Chem. 2018 Aug 17;293(33):12894-12907. doi: 10.1074/jbc.RA118.002983. Epub 2018 Jun 13. PMID: 29899112; PMCID: PMC6102149.

Samsonraj RM, Paradise CR, Dudakovic A, Sen B, Nair AA, Dietz AB, Deyle DR, Cool SM, Rubin J, van Wijnen AJ. Validation of Osteogenic Properties of Cytochalasin D by High-Resolution RNA-Sequencing in Mesenchymal Stem Cells Derived from Bone Marrow and Adipose Tissues. Stem Cells Dev. 2018 Aug 15;27(16):1136-1145. doi: 10.1089/scd.2018.0037. Epub 2018 Jul 23. PMID: 29882479; PMCID: PMC6096350.

Maria S, Samsonraj RM, Munmun F, Glas J, Silvestros M, Kotlarczyk MP, Rylands R, Dudakovic A, van Wijnen AJ, Enderby LT, Lassila H, Dodda B, Davis VL, Balk J, Burow M, Bunnell BA, Witt-Enderby PA. Biological effects of melatonin on osteoblast/osteoclast cocultures, bone, and quality of life: Implications of a role for MT2 melatonin receptors, MEK1/2, and MEK5 in melatonin-mediated osteoblastogenesis. J Pineal Res. 2018 Apr;64(3):10.1111/jpi.12465. doi: 10.1111/jpi.12465. Epub 2018 Jan 17. PMID: 29285799; PMCID: PMC6711668.

Soreide E, Denbeigh JM, Lewallen EA, Samsonraj RM, Berglund LJ, Dudakovic A, Cool SM, Nordsletten L, Kakar S, van Wijnen AJ. Fibrin glue mediated delivery of bone anabolic reagents to enhance healing of tendon to bone. J Cell Biochem. 2018 Jul;119(7):5715-5724. doi: 10.1002/jcb.26755. Epub 2018 Mar 25. PMID: 29388702; PMCID: PMC5993592.

Samsonraj RM, Dudakovic A, Manzar B, Sen B, Dietz AB, Cool SM, Rubin J, van Wijnen AJ. Osteogenic Stimulation of Human Adipose-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells Using a Fungal Metabolite That Suppresses the Polycomb Group Protein EZH2. Stem Cells Transl Med. 2018 Feb;7(2):197-209. doi: 10.1002/sctm.17-0086. Epub 2017 Dec 27. PMID: 29280310; PMCID: PMC5788881.


Maria S, Swanson MH, Enderby LT, D’Amico F, Enderby B, Samsonraj RM, Dudakovic A, van Wijnen AJ, Witt-Enderby PA. Melatonin-micronutrients Osteopenia Treatment Study (MOTS): a translational study assessing melatonin, strontium (citrate), vitamin D3 and vitamin K2 (MK7) on bone density, bone marker turnover and health related quality of life in postmenopausal osteopenic women following a one-year double-blind RCT and on osteoblast-osteoclast co-cultures. Aging (Albany NY). 2017 Jan 26;9(1):256-285. doi: 10.18632/aging.101158. PMID: 28130552; PMCID: PMC5310667.

Pollock K*, Samsonraj RM*, Dudakovic A, Thaler R, Stumbras A, McKenna DH, Dosa PI, van Wijnen AJ, Hubel A. Improved Post-Thaw Function and Epigenetic Changes in Mesenchymal Stromal Cells Cryopreserved Using Multicomponent Osmolyte Solutions. Stem Cells Dev. 2017 Jun 1;26(11):828-842. doi: 10.1089/scd.2016.0347. Epub 2017 Mar 15. PMID: 28178884; PMCID: PMC5466057. (* equal contribution)

Samsonraj RM, Dudakovic A, Zan P, Pichurin O, Cool SM, van Wijnen AJ. A Versatile Protocol for Studying Calvarial Bone Defect Healing in a Mouse Model. Tissue Eng Part C Methods. 2017 Nov;23(11):686-693. doi: 10.1089/ten.TEC.2017.0205. Epub 2017 Jul 3. PMID: 28537529; PMCID: PMC5689119.

Samsonraj RM, Raghunath M, Nurcombe V, Hui JH, van Wijnen AJ, Cool SM. Concise Review: Multifaceted Characterization of Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells for Use in Regenerative Medicine. Stem Cells Transl Med. 2017 Dec;6(12):2173-2185. doi: 10.1002/sctm.17-0129. Epub 2017 Oct 26. PMID: 29076267; PMCID: PMC5702523.

Sen B, Uzer G, Samsonraj RM, Xie Z, McGrath C, Styner M, Dudakovic A, van Wijnen AJ, Rubin J. Intranuclear Actin Structure Modulates Mesenchymal Stem Cell Differentiation. Stem Cells. 2017 Jun;35(6):1624-1635. doi: 10.1002/stem.2617. Epub 2017 Apr 3. PMID: 28371128; PMCID: PMC5534840.


Ling L, Camilleri ET, Helledie T, Samsonraj RM, Titmarsh DM, Chua RJ, Dreesen O, Dombrowski C, Rider DA, Galindo M, Lee I, Hong W, Hui JH, Nurcombe V, van Wijnen AJ, Cool SM. Effect of heparin on the biological properties and molecular signature of human mesenchymal stem cells. Gene. 2016 Jan 15;576(1 Pt 2):292-303. doi: 10.1016/j.gene.2015.10.039. Epub 2015 Oct 17. PMID: 26484394;
PMCID: PMC5330685.


Samsonraj RM, Rai B, Sathiyanathan P, Puan KJ, Rötzschke O, Hui JH, Raghunath M, Stanton LW, Nurcombe V, Cool SM. Establishing criteria for human mesenchymal stem cell potency. Stem Cells. 2015 Jun;33(6):1878-91. doi: 10.1002/stem.1982. PMID: 25752682; PMCID: PMC5363381.

Hartrianti P, Ling L, Goh LM, Ow KS, Samsonraj RM, Sow WT, Wang S, Nurcombe V, Cool SM, Ng KW. Modulating Mesenchymal Stem Cell Behavior Using Human Hair Keratin-Coated Surfaces. Stem Cells Int. 2015;2015:752424. doi:10.1155/2015/752424. Epub 2015 Jun 1. PMID: 26124842; PMCID: PMC4466490.

Ong CT, Zhang Y, Lim R, Samsonraj R, Masilamani J, Phan TH, Ramakrishna S, Lim I, Kee I, Fahamy M, Templonuevo V, Lim CT, Phan TT. Preclinical Evaluation of Tegaderm™ Supported Nanofibrous Wound Matrix Dressing on Porcine Wound Healing Model. Adv Wound Care (New Rochelle). 2015 Feb 1;4(2):110-118. doi: 10.1089/wound.2014.0527. PMID: 25713753; PMCID: PMC4322021.


Samsonraj RM, Raghunath M, Hui JH, Ling L, Nurcombe V, Cool SM. Telomere length analysis of human mesenchymal stem cells by quantitative PCR. Gene. 2013 May 1;519(2):348-55. doi: 10.1016/j.gene.2013.01.039. Epub 2013 Feb 1. PMID: 23380569.