Hicham Fenniri

Professor,  Chemical Engineering


Social Media


  • 222 Cullinane
  • 617.373.7690


  • 216 Egan
  • 617.373.7746

Research Focus

Nanomaterials science and engineering, supramolecular chemistry, theranostics, targeted drug delivery, sensors


Joined the Chemical Engineering Department in Fall 2013.

The supramolecular nanoscale assembly group is a multidisciplinary team of scientists, engineers and technical staff dedicated to understanding the underlying concepts of molecular recognition, self-assembly and self-organization processes, and utilizing this knowledge to advance the health and medical technologies, energy and environment, information and communication technologies, and nanomaterials sectors.

The mission of our group is to (a) harness the properties and architecture of matter from the ground up through supramolecular synthesis, self-assembly and self-organization, (b) create new materials for application in sustainable energy generation, catalysis, nanoelectronics, and nanomedicine, (c) develop new technology platforms to address significant public health problems and meet current technological challenges, (d) train highly qualified graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and technical staff.

Our group focuses specifically on the development of a variety of nanomaterials (organic nanotubes, metal nanoparticles, nanocrystalline cellulose) for applications as: (a) adaptable scaffolds for drug display/delivery, in particular for cancer, lung inflammation, and bone therapy; (b) coatings for optimal medical device integration in living systems; (c) electroactive and photoactive components for organic photovoltaics and nanoelectronics; (d) catalysts; (e) platforms for ultradetection; (f) components in composite materials.

In the context of these investigations, we explore the fundamentals of self-assembly and self-organization processes, to advance the design of materials with predefined dimensions and physical properties, and explore commercialization opportunities in the nanomedical device arena.


  • B.S. (Chemistry and Biochemistry) Université Louis Pasteur, 1989
  • M.Sc (Supramolecular Organic Chemistry) Université Louis Pasteur, 1990
  • Ph.D. (Supramolecular Sciences and Engineering) Université Louis Pasteur, 1994


Honors & Awards

  • Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering
  • NSF CAREER Award
  • Cottrell Teacher-Scholar Awardee
  • Canada Foundation for Innovation Leaders Award
  • Xerox UAC Award
  • 3M Young Investigator Award
  • Visiting Professor at: College de France, University of Strasbourg, Regensburg University, Taiwan National Normal University, and University of Colorado

Research Overview

Nanomaterials science and engineering, supramolecular chemistry, theranostics, targeted drug delivery, sensors

Synthetic Chemistry.

Supramolecular Nanomaterials Lab

The supramolecular nanomaterials laboratory (SNL) group is a multidisciplinary group of scientists and engineers dedicated to understanding the underlying concepts of molecular recognition, self-assembly and self-organization processes and utilizing this knowledge to address significant public health and technological problems.

Supramolecular Nanomaterials Lab

Selected Research Projects

  • RNA Nanoparticles as Carriers of Therapeutic miRNAs for the Treatment of Inflammation and Atherosclerotic Plaques
    • Principal Investigator, Northeastern University

Selected Publications

  • P. Tripathi, H. Joshi, H. Yamazaki, W. Fowle, A. Aksimentiev, H. Fenniri, M. Wanunu, Rosette Nanotube Porins as Ion Selective Transporters and Single Molecules Sensors, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 142, 2020, 1680-1685
  • Y. Fan, A.C. Pauer, A.A. Gonzales, H. Fenniri, Enhanced Antibiotic Activity of Ampicillin Conjugated to Gold Nanoparticles on Pegylated Rosette Nanotubes, International Journal of Nanomedicine, 14, 2019, 7281-7289
  • J.E. Fitzgerald, S. Shen, H. Fenniri, Barcoded Polymer-Based Cross-Reactive Spectroscopic Sensor Array for Organic Volatiles, Sensors, 19(17), 2019, 3683
  • L.M. Puzan, B. Legesse, R.A. Koppes, H. Fenniri, A.N. Koppes, Bioactive Organic Rosette Nanotubes Support Sensory Neurite Outgrowth, ACS Biomaterials Science and Engineering, 4, 2018, 1630-1640
  • A.R. Spencer, A. Primbetova, A.N. Koppes, R.A. Koppes, H. Fenniri, N. Annabi, Electroconductive Gelatin Methacryloyl-PEDOT:PSS Composite Hydrogels: Design, Synthesis, and Properties, ACS Biomaterials Science and Engineering, 4, 2018, 1558-1567


Aug 05, 2019

Biomimetic Sensing

ChE Professor Hicham Fenniri and PhD alumni Dr. Jessica Fitzgerald have published a book entitled Biomimetic Sensing: Methods and Protocols.


Mar 01, 2019

Fenniri and Webster Award Patent

ChE Professor & Chair Thomas Webster and Professor Hicham Fenniri received a patent entitled “Nanotubes and Compositions Thereof”, which describes their work to develop novel self-assembled materials for tissue engineering applications.


Nov 28, 2018

Hicham Fenniri Elected as a AIMBE Fellow

ChE Professor Hicham Fenniri has been elected as a fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) for his exceptional achievements and significant contributions within the medical and biological engineering fields.


Feb 16, 2018

Hicham Fenniri Co-Chair of SPIE Molecular Machines Conference

ChE Professor Hicham Fenniri will be the Co-Chair of the Molecular Machines conference San Diego in August 2018.


Dec 18, 2017

Fenniri Selected as SPIE Conference Co-Chair

ChE Professor Hicham Fenniri was selected as the SPIE Optics + Photonics 2018 Conference Co-Chair.


Jul 10, 2017

Prof. Hicham Fenniri’s Article is Top 10% Most Cited in PLOS ONE

Prof. Fenniri’s 2014 article “Widespread Nanoparticle-Assay Interference: Implications for Nanotoxicity Testing”, is in the top 10% most cited papers of PLOS ONE. PLOS ONE is a peer-reviewed open access scientific journal published by the Public Library of Science (PLOS) since 2006. The journal covers primary research from any discipline within science and medicine.

Jun 06, 2016

Chemical Engineering Well Represented at World Biomaterials Congress in Montreal

Northeastern had the highest number of presentations by faculty and students ever at the World Biomaterials Congress held in Montreal from May 17-22, 2016.

Aug 26, 2014

Patent for Nanotubes

ChE professor Thomas Webster and Hicham Fenniri were awarded a patent for using “Nanotubes and compositions thereof” on the surfaces of implants.

Jul 28, 2014

Nanoscale Cover Feature

ChE professor Hicham Fenniri’s research on “Chiromers: conformation-driven mirror-image supramolecular chirality isomerism identified in a new class of helical rosette nanotubes” was featured on the cover Nanoscale.

Sep 25, 2013

The ultimate molecular chess match

For the last two decades, it’s been said that carbon nan­otubes hold the promise to trans­form a range of fields, from alter­na­tive energy to drug delivery. But making that happen has proved dif­fi­cult, according to Hicham Fen­niri, an inter­na­tional leader in nan­otech­nology and new pro­fessor in Northeastern’s Col­lege of Engi­neering. “Carbon nan­otubes are fas­ci­nating mate­rials,” said Fen­niri, […]

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