Gateway 4012
Affiliated Department or Office
BS Chemical Engineering University of Massachusetts – Amherst 2006
PhD Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, 2012
Postdoc Biomedical Engineering Tufts University 2012-2016

The overall objectives of my research are to develop clinically translatable tissue regeneration and drug delivery strategies, and three-dimensional, in vitro human disease models using biologically-derived biomaterials. We will utilize techniques from engineering, chemistry and biology to address these research areas, including chemical modifications to alter drug-material interactions, small molecule and macromolecule conjugates to direct cell fate, and multi-cellular tissue/disease systems for paracrine signaling and direct cell-cell interactions. My research is focused on biomaterials and their applications in tissue engineering and drug delivery. During my PhD, I worked with photo-crosslinked PEGDA hydrogel systems to study repair strategies for articular cartilage diseases. I also developed low density, bioactive-electrospun fiber scaffolds for repair of articular cartilage defects. My postdoctoral research used silk fibroin proteins from Bombyx mori silkworm cocoons for (1) drug delivery systems for oncology therapeutics and HIV treatment/prevention and (2) tissue regeneration of the kidney and pancreas. In the lab and the classroom, I truly enjoy teaching. I am especially excited to mentor students on their Major Qualifying Projects. I strive to ensure that students are able to (1) apply theoretical concepts to practical applications and (2) fully understand the tasks being performed.

Scholarly Work

Ornell KJ, Mistretta KS, Ralston CQ, Coburn JM. (2021) Development of a stacked, porous silk scaffold neuroblastoma model for investigating spatial differences in cell and drug responsiveness. Biomaterials Science. 9:1272-1290.
Villarreal-Otalvaro C, Coburn JM. (2021) Fabrication methods and form factors of gellan gum-based materials for drug delivery and anti-cancer applications. Accepted ACS Biomaterials Science and Engineering. DOI: 10.1021/acsbiomaterials.1c00685
Abbott A, Bond K, Chiba T, Sims-Lucas S, Oxburgh L, Coburn JM. (2021) Development of a mechanically matched silk scaffolded 3D clear cell renal cell carcinoma model, Materials Science and Engineering: C. 126:11214.
Keutgen XM, Ornell KJ, Vogl A, Lakiza O, Miller P, Beckett M, Setia N, Weichselbaum RR, Coburn JM. (2021) Sunitinib-loaded chondroitin sulfate hydrogels as a novel drug-delivery system for the treatment of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors, Annals of Surgical Oncology. DOI: 10.1245/s10434-021-10245-1
Abbott A, Coburn JM. (2021) HepaRG maturation on silk fibroin scaffolds toward development of a 3D in vitro liver model, Accepted ACS Biomaterials Science and Engineering. DOI: 10.1021/acsbiomaterials.0c01584
Bond KH, Chiba T, Wynne KPH, Vary CPH, Sims-Lucas S, Coburn JM, Oxburgh L. (2021) The extracellular matrix environment of clear cell renal cell carcinoma determines cancer associated fibroblast growth. Cancers, 13, 5873.
Professional Highlights & Honors
2021 Trustee Award for Outstanding Academic Advising
2020 WPI Sigma Xi Outstanding Junior Faculty Award
2020 Biomaterials Science Emerging Investigators, Royal Society of Chemistry
2019 - 2020 WPI BME Teacher of the Year Award
Ruth L. Kirschtein NIH/NIA Predoctoral Fellowship (2010-2012)
Spectrum News 1
WPI professor developing transparent wound dressing from kombucha

Spectrum News 1 spoke with Jeannine Coburn, assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, about her $600,000 National Science Foundation CAREER Award to develop a transparent wound dressing that traces its origins to her homemade kombucha. Spectrum 1’s Louisville, Ky., outlet also featured Coburn’s research.