Carolyn Lee-Parsons | AIChE

Carolyn Lee-Parsons

Associate Professor
Northeastern University

Carolyn W.T. Lee-Parsons is an Associate Professor jointly appointed in the Departments of Chemical Engineering and of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Northeastern University (Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.).  She earned her B.S. from the University of Kansas and her Ph.D. from Cornell University, both in Chemical Engineering.  As an undergraduate, she modeled reaction networks with Prof. Bala Subramaniam and investigated oil and gas recovery strategies at ARCO Oil and Gas.  Growing up in the midst of wheat fields in Kansas, she was always intrigued by plants and specifically medicines from plants.  As a doctoral student, she investigated bioprocess strategies for increasing the production of medicines from plant cell cultures with Prof. Michael L. Shuler.   

Her current research area is in plant metabolic engineering and plant synthetic biology.  Her team of graduate and undergraduate students focus on understanding how plants regulate the production of specialized metabolites and on developing and applying tools for engineering the production of pharmaceutical compounds and biofuels from plant tissue cultures and microalgae cultures.  Carolyn seeks to engage majors across disciplines in understanding the fundamentals underlying life in living organisms and translating this understanding to developing solutions to society’s grand challenges.  She contributed to the revision of the widely used textbook for bioprocess engineering (Bioprocess Engineering:  Basic Concepts by M.L. Shuler, F. Kargi, and M. DeLisa).  For her teaching and research mentoring, she was awarded the Martin Essigmann Outstanding Teaching Award and the University Excellence in Teaching Award at Northeastern University.