Debra Auguste, assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), has won a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The award honors Auguste as one of the most promising up-and-coming researchers in her field and provides an annual grant of $100,000 to support up to five years of laboratory research and educational outreach.

Auguste’s project, titled “Molecular Diversity in Drug Delivery Design: An Integrated Approach to Research and Education,” will investigate ways of building drug delivery vehicles that complement the heterogeneous display of molecules on cell membranes. Her work targets inflamed endothelial cells, which often present in cancer and cardiovascular diseases.

Auguste will also develop six educational modules to share concepts in bioengineering with students at local high schools. The students will learn how the assembly of lipids, DNA, and cells are coordinated to produce specific functions.

Research in Auguste’s group is primarily focused on developing new biomimetic materials for drug delivery and tissue engineering.

A chemical engineer by training, Auguste holds a bachelor’s degree from MIT and a Ph.D. from Princeton University. Prior to joining the Harvard faculty in 2006, she was a postdoctoral associate at MIT.