Rebecca L. Carrier

COE Distinguished Professor & Associate Chair of Research,  Chemical Engineering
Affiliated Faculty,  Bioengineering
Affiliated Faculty,  Biology


Social Media


  • 227 ISEC
  • 617.373.7126


  • 277 ISEC
  • 617.373.5607

Research Focus

Intestinal tissue engineering, retinal regenerative medicine, oral drug delivery


Joined the Chemical Engineering Department in Fall 2003.

The overall theme of my research interests is the interaction between biological systems and materials, with specific applications in drug delivery and regenerative medicine. The two main goals of my research program are: 1. To enhance understanding of compound transport in biological systems, (e.g., drug transport through the body), and how it is influenced by exogenous and endogenous carrier systems (e.g., lipid micelles) and 2. To develop and study biomimetic biomaterials and cellular response to them. Quantitative, mechanistic understanding of compound transport in the body will enable rational design of drug delivery systems, streamlining the resource-intensive drug development process and enabling viable pharmaceutical products to be developed from promising drug candidates. It could also enhance understanding of physiological function (e.g., significance of biological barriers such as gastrointestinal mucus in normal and disease states). Precisely biomimetic biomaterials could enable meaningful cell culture models for research and scaffolds promoting tissue regeneration when combined with appropriate cells. Current specific research focus areas include the impact of lipids on oral compound absorption, mechanistic studies of mucus barriers to drug and drug carrier transport, and development of biomimetic biomaterials for intestinal and retinal tissue engineering.


  • PhD (Chemical Engineering) Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2000
  • BS Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1995

Honors & Awards

  • 2024 Distinguished Faculty Award
  • 2018 American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering Fellow
  • 2018-2019 Society for Biomaterials Member-At-Large
  • 2017 Søren Buus Outstanding Research Award
  • 2016 NAE Frontiers of Engineering Symposium
  • 2014 COE Faculty Fellow
  • 2013 NAE Frontiers of Engineering Education Symposium
  • 2008 NSF CAREER Award

Professional Affiliations

  • Biology

Research Overview

Intestinal tissue engineering, retinal regenerative medicine, oral drug delivery

Advanced Drug Delivery Research Lab

The Advanced Drug Delivery Research Lab conducts research in regenerative medicine, with a focus on intestinal and retinal tissue engineering, and in oral drug delivery, with a focus on enabling effective oral delivery of therapeutics. In the area of enabling effective oral drug delivery, we have developed an experimental and theoretical framework to predict the impact of ingested lipids, in food or drug delivery systems, on oral drug absorption. This work could have a significant impact on societal health by providing practical, relevant guidance for the oral dosing of drugs and nutritive supplements. As part of our efforts in enabling effective oral treatments, we have explored the barrier properties of the gastrointestinal mucus barrier, and revealed changes in the mucus barrier certain disease states. The lab is now exploring how to alter mucus barrier properties to potentially prevent certain diseases, including necrotizing enterocolitis. In the area of intestinal tissue engineering, we are developing human in vitro models of the microbiome-gut-immune axis for understanding the impact of what we ingest and the microbiome on human health. We are also developing biomaterial cell carriers for cell-therapy based retinal regeneration strategies, with a focus on engineering cues into biomaterial carriers that will promote the survival and integration of implanted cells.

Advanced Drug Delivery Research Lab

Selected Research Projects

Selected Publications

  • Chen, Wen Li Kelly, Suter, Emily, Miyazaki, Hikaru, Velazquez, Jason, Lauffenburger, Douglas A., Griffith, Linda G., Carrier, Rebecca L. (2021). Synergistic Action of Diclofenac with Endotoxin-Mediated Inflammation Exacerbates Intestinal Injury in Vitro. ACS Infectious Diseases, 7(4),838-848. 10.1021/ACSINFECDIS.0C00762
  • Zhang, Jianbo, Huang, Yu-Ja, Yoon, Jun Young, Kemmitt, John, Wright, Charles, Schneider, Kirsten, Sphabmixay, Pierre, Hernandez-Gordillo, Victor, Holcomb, Steven J., Bhushan, Brij, Rohatgi, Gar, Benton, Kyle, Carpenter, David, Kester, Jemila C., Eng, George, Breault, David T., Yilmaz, Omer, Taketani, Mao, Voigt, Christopher A., Carrier, Rebecca L., Trumper, David L., Griffith, Linda G. (2021). Primary Human Colonic Mucosal Barrier Crosstalk with Super Oxygen-Sensitive Faecalibacterium prausnitzii in Continuous Culture. Med, 2(1),74-98.e9. 10.1016/J.MEDJ.2020.07.001
  • Hernandez-Gordillo, Victor, Kassis, Timothy, Lampejo, Arinola, Choi, GiHun, Gamboa, Mario E., Gnecco, Juan S., Brown, Alexander, Breault, David T., Carrier, Rebecca, Griffith, Linda G. (2020). Fully synthetic matrices for in vitro culture of primary human intestinal enteroids and endometrial organoids. Biomaterials, 254,120125. 10.1016/J.BIOMATERIALS.2020.120125
  • Lock, Jaclyn Y., Carlson, Taylor L., Yu, Yueyue, Lu, Jing, Claud, Erika C., Carrier, Rebecca L. (2020). Impact of Developmental Age, Necrotizing Enterocolitis Associated Stress, and Oral Therapeutic Intervention on Mucus Barrier Properties. Scientific Reports, 10(1). 10.1038/S41598-020-63593-5
  • Snyder, Jessica, Wang, Chia-Ming, Zhang, An Qi, Li, Yuan, Luchan, Joshua, Hosic, Sanjin, Koppes, Ryan, Carrier, Rebecca Lyn, Koppes, Abigail (2020). Materials and Microenvironments for Engineering the Intestinal Epithelium. Annals of Biomedical Engineering, 48(7),1916-1940. 10.1007/S10439-020-02470-8
  • Kim, So Young, Kundu, Joydip, Williams, Asher, Yandulskaya, Anastasia S., Monaghan, James R., Carrier, Rebecca L., Linhardt, Robert J. (2019). Glycosaminoglycans compositional analysis of Urodele axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) and Porcine Retina. Glycoconjugate Journal, 36(2),165-174. 10.1007/S10719-019-09863-5
  • J. Kundu, A. Michaelson, P. Baranov, M. Chiumiento, T. Nigl, M.J. Young, R.L. Carrier, Interphotoreceptor Matrix Based Biomaterial: Impact on Human Retinal Progenitor Cell Attachment and Differentiation, Journal of Biomedical Materials Research B Applied Biomaterials, 106(2), 2018, 891-899
  • J.Y. Lock, T.L. Carlson, C.M. Wang, A. Chen, R.L. Carrier, Acute Exposure to Commonly Ingested Emulsifiers Alters Intestinal Mucus Structure and Transport Properties, Scientific Reports, 8(1), 2018, 10008
  • T.L. Carlson J.Y. Lock R.L. Carrier, Engineering the Mucus Barrier, Annual Reviews in Biomedical Engineering, 20, 2018, 197-220
  • R.L. Carrier, M. Cirit, L.G. Griffith, D.A. Lauffenburger, et al., Integrated Gut/Liver Microphysiological Systems Elucidates Inflammatory Inter-Tissue Crosstalk, Biotechnology and Bioengineering, 114(11), 2017, 2648-2659
  • A.N. Koppes, M. Kamath, C.A. Pfluger, D.D. Burkey, M. Dokmeci, L. Wang, R.L. Carrier, Complex, Multi-Scale Small Intestinal Topography Replicated in Cellular Growth Substrates Fabricated via Chemical Vapor Deposition of Parylene C, Biofabrication, 8(3), 2016, 035011O


Jun 13, 2024

Prebiotics in Food Are More Certain Source of Health Benefits Than Prebiotic Sodas

While the health benefits of prebiotics in soda are debated, ChE Professor Rebecca Carrier recommends relying on the definitive evidence that food with prebiotics promote a healthy gut and can have overall health benefits.


Jun 03, 2024

Investigating the Link Between Gut Health and Mental Health

ChE Professor Rebecca Carrier explains the current knowns and unknowns of the connection between gut health and mental health. While the two have been proven to have a clear link between them, the underlying mechanisms that cause these connections to be made are still being researched.


Feb 22, 2024

Research Partnership Between Northeastern and University College Dublin Flourishes

Northeastern has expanded its longstanding undergraduate partnership with University College Dublin of Ireland to include research and doctoral education. As part of the collaboration, the universities will jointly fund five new joint research projects that address global challenges in health care. ChE Professor Rebecca Carrier and University College Dublin Professor David Brayden will partner on one of the new research projects.


Feb 08, 2024

Using Spark Fund Awards To Optimize Drug Delivery

ChE Professor Rebecca Carrier is using the Spark Funds from the Center for Research Innovation at Northeastern to develop an algorithm-driven, streamlined process for drug delivery to potentially reduce dosages and side effects. 


Feb 01, 2024

Bajpayee’s Lab Research Featured on Cover of Biomaterials Science

Research conducted in BioE Associate Professor Ambika Bajpayee’s Molecular Bioelectrostatics and Drug Delivery Lab that focuses on oral delivery of gene therapeutics was featured on the front cover of Biomaterials Science. Students conducting the research are Chenzhen Zhang, PhD’23, and Hengli Zhang, PhD’25.


Feb 01, 2024

Faculty and Staff Awards 2024

The College of Engineering recognized faculty and staff at the annual faculty and staff awards event and thanked everyone for their hard work and dedication in support of our students, college, and university during the 2023-2024 academic year. View award recipients and photo gallery.


Jul 20, 2023

Spring 2023 Spark Fund Awardees

MIE Associate Professor Randal Erb, ChE/BioE Associate Professor Eno Ebong, ChE Professor Rebecca Carrier, and MIE Associate Professor Yi Zheng are recipients of the Spring 2023 Spark Fund Awards from Northeastern’s Center for Research Innovation.


Apr 27, 2023

Announcing Summer 2023 PEAK Experiences Awardees

Several engineering students and science students mentored by COE faculty are recipients of Northeastern’s Summer 2023 PEAK Experiences Awards. They will be pursuing a diverse set of projects, including a study of a pathogen that haunts hospitals, an examination of segregationist rhetoric in Boston newspapers, and an analysis of creativity in music.


Apr 19, 2023

Inside Rebecca Carrier’s Advanced Drug Delivery Research Lab: How a Practical Problem can Turn into One’s Life Work

ChE Professor Rebecca Carrier is researching the interactions between materials and biological systems, with a current focus on the intestinal environment and drug delivery, as well as retinal and gut epithelial repair.

Rebecca Carrier


Apr 06, 2023

Carrier Receives Honorable Mention at 3-D ROC

ChE Professor Rebecca Carrier received an honorable mention during the National Eye Institute (NEI) 3-D Retina Organoid Challenge (3-D ROC). Carrier’s team created an organoid-microvessel co-culture system that proposes to add vasculature embedded in a biomimetic hydrogel to organoids to increase oxygen and nutrient flow and mimic the chemical and physical cues present in developing eye tissue.

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