Rebecca L. Carrier

Professor,  Chemical Engineering
Affiliated Faculty,  Bioengineering
Affiliated Faculty,  Biology


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  • 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
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 […]


Dec 03, 2018

Rebecca Carrier Elected as a AIMBE Fellow

ChE Professor and Associate Chair of Research Rebecca Carrier has been elected as a fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) for her exceptional achievements and significant contributions within the medical and biological engineering fields.


Oct 18, 2018

Carrier Receives $1.57M in Renewal of NIH Grant

ChE Professor Rebecca Carrier was awarded a four-year $1.57M renewal NIH grant for “Impact of lipids and food on oral compound absorption: mechanistic studies and modeling.” Abstract Source: NIH The overall goal of this project is to enable mechanistic understanding and quantitative prediction of the influence of ingested lipids and food on orally delivered compound absorption. […]


Sep 06, 2018

ChemE Research & Creative Endeavor Awardees

The Department of Chemical Engineering is proud to announce that eight of their students have received the Northeastern University Research and Creative Endeavor Awards from the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships.


Aug 15, 2018

Strong Female Role Models Contributed to Their Success

Jennifer Morales, PhD Bioengineering, comes from a place where feminist role models are rare and detainees are prevalent. She’s from Mission, Texas, a city in Hidalgo County—one of the immigration epicenters in the United States. “Whenever you hear about families getting separated at the border, they’re probably talking about Hidalgo,” she said. It’s economically depressed, […]


Jul 30, 2018

Carrier Awarded $300K NSF Grant for Tissue Modeling

ChE Professor Rebecca Carrier, in collaboration with Erin Lavik from the University of Maryland Baltimore County, was awarded a $300K NSF grant for “Engineering Architecture for Tissue Models”.


Feb 22, 2018

Making World-Changing Progress through Cancer Immunology Research

Jordan Harris, BS, Chemical Engineering, 2017—Jordan Harris’ goal was simple: Take advantage of Northeastern’s College of Engineering education and experience to gain access to a graduate program to render his opportunities in science and engineering virtually limitless. Graduating with a 4.0 GPA and being accepted into many dual MD/PhD programs, Harris is on target for […]


May 03, 2017

Faculty and Staff Awards 2017

Congratulations to all the winners of the faculty and staff awards, and to everyone for their hard work and dedication during the 2016-2017 academic school year. Faculty Fellow Edward Beighley, CEE Yun Raymond Fu, ECE Tommaso Melodia, ECE Rising Star Staff Award Erin Schnepp, Undergraduate Academic Advising Carolina Venegas-Martinez, CEE Outstanding Teachers of First Year […]


Apr 26, 2017

NU Talks: Linking diet and health

ChE Associate Professor Rebecca Carrier discusses her research into the human gut microbiome during a NU Talks session at the ISEC opening.

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