northeastern university seal

Abigail N. Koppes

Assistant Professor,  Chemical Engineering
Affiliated Faculty,  Bioengineering


Social Media


  • 617.373.6221

Research Focus

bioelectric medicine, development of novel interventions and tissue engineered platforms for nerve regeneration and repair, body-on-a-chip for enteric-gut interactions


Joined the Chemical Engineering Department in Fall 2014.

The main focus of the Advanced Biomaterials for NeuroEngineering Laboratory (ABNEL) is advancing treatments for persons suffering from debilitating disorders and injuries of the central and peripheral nervous system. Using a combinatorial approach, we seek to create therapeutic strategies for improved nerve guidance channels that incorporate biomaterial manufacturing, biophysical (optogenetics) cues, structural (nanotopography) cues, and/or biochemical (cytokine) stimulation to modulate neuronal and non-neuronal support cell behavior. We are interested in probing the underlying mechanisms of neural growth and regeneration while engineering future modalities for neural tissue engineering applications.

Through tissue engineering of the enteric nervous system, the ‘Brain in the Gut,’ we hope to improve drug discovery platforms and regenerative medicine interventions for the millions of people suffering from disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, such as irritable bowel diseases. This work will combine primary small intestinal organoid culture with neuro-engineering techniques to recapitulate this complex biological system. Ultimately, we aim to understand the underlying mechanisms of cellular responses to engineered systems and their native biological niches towards rationally designed therapies. Our research utilizes techniques from bioengineering, chemical engineering, materials science, and cellular, molecular, and systems biology.


  • B.S. (Biomedical Engineering) Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 2007
  • M.S. (Biomedical Engineering) Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 2010
  • PhD (Biomedical Engineering) Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 2013

Research Overview

bioelectric medicine, development of novel interventions and tissue engineered platforms for nerve regeneration and repair, body-on-a-chip for enteric-gut interactions

Department Research Areas

Selected Publications

  • D. Ventre, M. Puzan, E. Ashbolt, A.N. Koppes, Enhanced Total Neurite Outgrowth and Secondary Branching in Dorsal Root Ganglion Neurons Elicited by Low Intensity Pulsed Ultrasound, Journal of Neural Engineering, 15(4), 2018, 046013
  • J.R. Soucy, E. Shirzaei Sani, R.P. Lara, D. Diaz, F. Dias, A.S. Weiss, A.N. Koppes, R.A. Koppes, N. Annabi, Photocrosslinkable Gelatin/Tropoelastin Hydrogel Adhesives for Peripheral Nerve Repair, Tissue Engineering Part A, 2018
  • M. Puzan, S. Hosic, C. Ghio, A.N. Koppes, Enteric Nervous System Regulation of Intestinal Stem Cell Differentiation and Epithelial Monolayer Function, Scientific Reports, 8(1), 2018, 6313
  • M.L. Puzan, B. Legesse, R.A. Koppes, H. Fenniri, A.N. Koppes, Bioactive Organic Rosette Nanotubes Support Sensory Neurite Outgrowth, ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering, 4(5), 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 & Engineering, 4(5), 2018, 1558-1567
  • A.N. Koppes, M. Kamath, C. Pfluger, D. Burkey, M.R. 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, 2016, 035011
  • A.N. Koppes, K.W. Keating, A.L. McGregor, R.A. Koppes, et al., Robust Neurite Extension Following Exogenous Electrical Stimulation within Single Walled Carbon Nanotube-Composite Hydrogels, Acta Biomaterialia, 39, 2016, 34-43


Sep 13, 2019

Abby Koppes Featured as a Segment on an NPR WHYY The Pulse Episode

Chemical Engineering Assistant Professor Abby Koppes was featured as a segment on an NPR WHYY The Pulse Episode to discuss her research platform “guts on a chip.”


Apr 01, 2019

Love of Science Leads to Prestigious Award

Minhal Ahmed, a fifth-year bioengineering student, was named the winner of the Harold D. Hodgkinson Achievement Award for 2019, one of the highest honors a senior can receive.


Jan 03, 2019

Gut Health and Functional Foods Top Charts of 2019 Food Trends

ChE Assistant Professor Abigail Koppes was featured in the Forbes article "Gut Health and Functional Foods Top Charts of 2019 Food Trends".

Spotlight Story

Dec 12, 2018

Northeastern’s First Mitchell Scholar and More

Was recently one of only 12 students nationally selected as a George J. Mitchell Scholar. He is also a recipient of the prestigious Barry Goldwater Scholarship and the 2019 Harold D. Hodgkinson Achievement Award—one of the highest honors a senior can receive.


Nov 27, 2018

Prof. Koppes at AIChE WIC

The AIChE Women’s Initiative Committee (WIC) hosted a full day symposium of female speakers at AIChE 2018 to highlight the significant contributions of women to the chemical engineering field, including ChE Assistant Professor Abby Koppes who presented on “Engineered Models of the Gut-Brain Axis”.


Oct 09, 2018

COE NeuroArt Winner

MBF Bioscience recently selected ChE PhD student Danielle Large as a NeuroArt winner and her work was featured on the cover image of the November 2018 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience Research.


Jun 15, 2018

Featured New PI – Abigail Koppes, Ph.D.

ChE Assistant Professor Abigail Koppes was nominated by the New PI community (new PI slack) of over 900 folks worldwide as “Featured new PI” for the month of June.

group photo of people from conference


May 15, 2018

First International Conference on Biomaterials and Chemical Biology

Professors Ming Su and Art Coury of the Department of Chemical Engineering hosted at Northeastern University the first International Conference on Biomaterials and Chemical Biology. Collaborative research in these disciplines has the potential to advance the field of biomaterials in a unique way and lead to new discoveries for better medicines and treatments. The conference […]

Spotlight Story

Feb 15, 2018

Research Award: Gut-Brain Connection

Caroline Ghio, BS Chemical Engineering 2021, was awarded in fall 2017 an Undergraduate Research and Creative Endeavor (UGRCE) Award from Northeastern University. The Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships offers financial and academic support through the UGRCE Award to Northeastern students seeking to conduct original research of their own design. Ghio, who received her award […]


Dec 15, 2017

Ahmed Wins Advanced Research/Creative Endeavor Award

Bioengineering student Minhal Ahmed ’19 was awarded the Undergraduate Advanced Research/Creative Endeavor Award for his research project entitled, “The Gut-Brain-Axis: Exploring the Interface Between Enteroendocrine Cells and the Enteric Nervous System”.

View All Related News