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Department Seminar Series - Debra Auguste, Ph.D

Northeastern University



Date & Time

September 19, 2022, 12:00 pm12:50 pm


This is part of the 2022 CBEE Department Seminar Series.

Debra Auguste, Ph.D


Engineering targeted therapeutics for breast cancer


Cells sense changes in their environment and respond by altering their gene expression.  My lab investigates how cells manipulate membrane proteins, which has profound effects on disease progression. Cells orchestrate the density of proteins and lipids to govern adhesion and migration. From this knowledge, one can engineer drug delivery vehicles that complement the molecular patterns observed on cells to achieve strong, cooperative binding. I have employed these strategies in a model system of endothelial inflammation and in breast cancer metastasis. My lab has identified a new target and biomarker for triple negative breast cancer, examined the role of ligand/receptor cell adhesion by atomic force microscopy, and synthesized targeted drug delivery vehicles that demonstrate that nanoparticle ligand surface density alters gene expression. 


Debra Auguste, PhD is a Professor of Chemical Engineering at Northeastern University. She received her S.B. in Chemical Engineering from MIT in 1999 and her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University in 2005. She was trained as a Post-Doctoral Associate at MIT.  Her interests include drug and gene delivery, targeted drug delivery, stimuli sensitive materials. Dr. Auguste is the principal investigator on grants from the National Institute of Health (NIH), Office of Naval Research (ONR), Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). She is a recipient of various awards including: the Presidential Early Career in Science and Engineering, the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award, NSF CAREER Award, and the DARPA Young Faculty Award. Dr. Auguste was elected as a Fellow of the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) and the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE). Dr. Auguste sits on the Scientific Advisory Board of PATHS UP at Texas A&M University and Shriners Hospital for Children in Boston and is an Associate Editor for Bioactive Materials, iScience, and Annals of Biomedical Engineering. Dr. Auguste is the current Treasurer for BMES, where she previously served on the Board of Directors and chair of the annual meeting. Dr. Auguste was recently elected to the AIMBE Board of Directors.


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