Jiahe Li

Assistant Professor,  Bioengineering



  • 225 ISEC
  • 617.373.3233

Research Focus

Oral vaccine, host and oral microbiome interactions, microbiome engineering, and protein engineering-based cancer immunotherapy


  • Post-doc, David Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2015-2018
  • PhD, Biomedical Engineering, Cornell University, 2009-2015
  • BS, Microbiology, China Agricultural University, 2005-2009

Honors & Awards

  • 2016 David Koch Institute Quinquennial Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • 2018 Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program, Discovery Award, Department of Defense
  • 2020 Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program, Discovery Award, Department of Defense
  • 2020 Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program, Idea Award, Department of Defense

Teaching Interests

BioE 3210 Bioelectricity

BioE 5820 Biomaterials


Professional Affiliations

  • Biomedical Engineering Society
  • American Institute of Chemical Engineers
  • American Chemical Society

Research Overview

Oral vaccine, host and oral microbiome interactions, microbiome engineering, and protein engineering-based cancer immunotherapy

The Advanced Therapeutics Lab

The Li research group in the Department of Bioengineering at Northeastern University focuses on the development of molecular and live cell-based therapeutics, with a major emphasis on the use of bioconjugation chemistry, synthetic biology, and microbiology to interrogate and manipulate interactions between therapeutics, the microbiome, and host.

Li Lab

Selected Research Projects

  • 2018 and 2020 CDMRP PRMRP Discovery Awards
  • 2021 CDMRP PRCRP Idea Award
  • Research Capability Grant at the Ministry of Education in Saudi Arabia

College Research Initiatives

Selected Publications

After transitioning to the PI in 2019

  • Al-Dossary A, Tawfik AE, Isichei AC, Sun X, Li J, Alshehri AA, Alomari M, Almughem FA, Aldossary AM, Sabit H, and Almalik AM. Engineered EVs Mimetic Nanoparticles as Therapeutic Delivery Vehicles for High-grade Serous Ovarian Cancer, Cancers 2021, 13(12), 3075; https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6694/13/12/3075
  • Sun X, Hay I, Doran P, Basireddy S, Scott M, Wu Y, Al-Dossary AA, Li J*.  Delivery Strategies for STING Agonists, 2021. In press.
  • Sun X, Ni Y, He Y, Yang M, Tani TKitajima SBarbie DA, Li J*. Engineering the Immune Adaptor Protein STING as a Functional Carrier, Advanced Therapeutics, 2021. In press.  https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.02.18.431824v1
  • Hapach LA, Carey SP, Schwager SC, Taufalele PV, Wang W, Mosier JA, Ortiz-Otero N, McArdle TJ, Goldblatt ZE, Lampi MC, Bordeleau F, Marshall JR, Richardson IM, Li J, King MR, Reinhart-King CA. Phenotypic heterogeneity and metastasis of breast cancer cells, Cancer Research, 2021. https://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/canres/early/2021/05/10/0008-5472.CAN-20-1799.full.pdf
  • He Y, Hong C, Irvine DJ, Li J*, Hammond PT*. In vitro STING Activation with the cGAMP-STINGΔTM Signaling Complex, Bio-protocol, 2021. https://bio-protocol.org/e3905
  • Zhao H, Li T, Gu Z, Liu C, Li J, Yang D. Intralysosomal environment-responsive metal-organic framework for microRNA delivery and synergetic gene/chemodynamic therapy of triple-negative breast cancer, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces2021. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acsami.0c21006
  • Zhang X, Al-Dossary A, Hussain M, Setlow P, Li J*. Applications of Bacillus subtilis Spores in Biotechnology and Advanced Materials, Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 2020. https://aem.asm.org/content/early/2020/06/29/AEM.01096-20
  • He Y, Hong C, Yan Z.E, Li Y, Zhu G, Yang M, Li Y, Sun X, Irvine DJ, Li J*, Hammond PT*. Self-Assembled cGAMP-STING ΔTM Signaling Complex as a Bioinspired Platform for cGAMP Delivery, Science Advances, 2020. https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/6/24/eaba7589
  • Yang M, Zhu G, George K, Sun X, Setlow P, Li J*. Engineering Bacillus subtilis as a Versatile and Stable Platform for Production of Nanobodies, Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 2020 Apr 1;86(8). https://aem.asm.org/content/86/8/e02938-19

Before transitioning to the PI in 2019

  • Ludwicki MB, Li J, Stephens EA, Roberts RW, Koide S, Hammond PT, DeLisa MP. Broad-Spectrum Proteome Editing with an Engineered Bacterial Ubiquitin Ligase Mimic. ACS Cent Sci. 2019 May 22;5(5):852-866.
  • Li J, He Y, Wang W, Wu C, Hong C, Hammond PT. Polyamine-Mediated Stoichiometric Assembly of Ribonucleoproteins for Enhanced mRNA Delivery. Angewandte Chemie (International ed. in English). 2017; 56(44):13709-13712.
  • Li J, Wang W, He Y, Li Y, Yan EZ, Zhang K, Irvine DJ, Hammond PT. Structurally Programmed Assembly of Translation Initiation Nanoplex for Superior mRNA Delivery. ACS Nano. 2017 Mar 28;11(3):2531-2544.


Oct 16, 2020

COE Faculty Awarded Seed Funding in Collaboration with University of Maine

BioE Assistant Professors Jiahe Li and Mingyang Lu, ECE Professor & Chair Srinivas Tadigadapa, ECE Assistant Professors Sarah Ostadabbas and Xue “Shelley” Lin, and ECE Associate Research Scientist Ataur Katebi were among the faculty chosen for five competitive collaborative research projects with the University of Maine in the areas of artificial intelligence, earth and climate sciences, health and life sciences, manufacturing, and marine sciences.

steering wheel and dashboard of self-driving car


Oct 01, 2020

Assuring that Self-Driving Cars are Accessible to Those with Disabilities

ECE Assistant Professor Xue “Shelley” Lin is working with the algorithms in self-driving vehicles to ensure that they will be accessible to those with disabilities.


Apr 11, 2020

FY21 TIER 1 Award Recipients

Congratulations to the 19 COE faculty and affiliates who were recipients of FY21 TIER 1 Interdisciplinary Research Seed Grants for 13 different projects.

Portraits of Bajpayee and Li


Aug 20, 2019

Bajpayee Awarded NIH Trailblazer R21 Grant

BioE Assistant Professor Ambika Bajpayee(PI) and Jiahe Li (co-PI) were awarded a $628K NIH Trailblazer grant from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering for “Anti-Catabolic Drug Anchored Cationic Exosomes For Cartilage Targeting And Repair”.


Apr 09, 2019

FY20 TIER 1 Award Recipients

25 COE faculty and affiliates were recipients of FY20 TIER 1 Interdisciplinary Research Seed Grants for 18 different projects representing up to $900K dollars of investment in research.


Jan 04, 2019

New Faculty Spotlight: Jiahe Li

Jiahe Li joins the Bioengineering department in January 2019 as an Assistant Professor.

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