Rebecca L. Carrier

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

  • 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


Jul 20, 2023

Fall 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 Fall 2023 Spark Fund Awards.


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. Base Camp Awardees […]


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. This article originally appeared on Northeastern Global News. It was published by Alena Kuzub. Main photo: Rebecca Carrier, associate chair of research in […]

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.


Feb 08, 2023

Effects of Gut Health on the Body

ChE Professor Rebecca Carrier is studying the microbiome to develop models about gut health and its effect on the body.


Dec 07, 2022

NIH Trailblazer Award for Engineering Smarter Gut Metabolites to Affect Human Health

ChE Assistant Professor Benjamin Woolston is leading a $628K NIH Trailerblazer Award with Assistant Professor Ryan Koppes, Associate Professor Abigail Koppes, and Professor Rebecca Carrier for “Engineered Probiotics for Closed-Loop Control of Disease-Associated Gut Metabolites in Gut-On-Chip Models.”

Abigail Koppes working in a lab.


Aug 16, 2022

Abigail Koppes: Advancing Technology, Treatment, and Diversity in Biomedical Engineering

Associate Professor Abigail Koppes, chemical engineering, began her career as a Future Faculty Fellow through Northeastern’s ADVANCE Office of Faculty Development. Today she is an associate professor, has two patents, and numerous young investigator recognitions.


Dec 23, 2021

COE Professors Selected in Stanford University List of Top 2% Scientists Worldwide

The following COE professors are among the top scientists worldwide selected by Stanford University representing the top 2 percent of the most-cited scientists with single-year impact in various disciplines. The selection is based on the top 100,000 by c-score (with and without self-citations) or a percentile rank of 2% or above. The list below includes […]

slide of Materials and Microenvironments for Engineering the Intestinal Epithelium


Feb 05, 2020

Materials and Microenvironments for Engineering the Intestinal Epithelium

ChE Professor & Associate Chair of Research Rebecca Carrier, Assistant Professor Abigail Koppes, and Assistant Professor Ryan Koppes research on “Materials and Microenvironments for Engineering the Intestinal Epithelium” was published in the Annals of Biomedical Engineering. Abstract Source: Springer The barrier functions of the gastrointestinal tract rely in large part on a single layer of […]


Jun 20, 2019

Carrier Awarded Patent for Controlling Apical Flow to a Cell Culture

ChE Professor Rebecca Carrier was awarded a patent for a "Device for controlled apical flow in cell culture inserts." Abstract Source: USPTO A device for controlling apical flow to a cell culture includes an apical insert that defines at least one inlet channel extending from an inlet port to an apical feed port and at […]

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