Principal Investigator

Dr. Brittany Hartwell, PI

Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering

Member, Center for Immunology

University of Minnesota

Postdoc, Irvine Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2017-2021

PhD, Biomolecular Engineering, University of Kansas, 2016

BS, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Iowa State University, 2011


Dr. Brittany Hartwell is an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Minnesota. Her lab’s research in immunoengineering combines perspectives from biomolecular engineering, drug delivery, and immunology to develop molecular platforms that can target specific cells and tissues of the immune system to direct the response, with a particular focus on ‘tuning' immunity through the mucosa. This work has broad applications ranging from the development of antigen-specific immunotherapies that induce immune tolerance against autoimmune diseases to development of targeted vaccines that activate immune protection against infectious diseases and cancer. 

Before starting at the University of Minnesota in Fall 2021, Dr. Hartwell was a postdoc with Darrell Irvine at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she worked on developing targeted mucosal vaccines against HIV and SARS-CoV-2 in mice and nonhuman primates. As a postdoc, she was affiliated with the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research and the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT, and Harvard. Dr. Hartwell obtained her PhD in biomolecular engineering with Cory Berkland at the University of Kansas as a Madison and Lila Self Graduate Fellow. Her doctoral research focused on developing an antigen-specific immunotherapy to treat multiple sclerosis while determining cellular and molecular mechanisms of tolerance. Prior to KU, Dr. Hartwell received her B.S. in chemical and biological engineering from Iowa State University. At Iowa State, she was also involved in NCAA D1 athletics as a four-year letterwinner in cross country and track, and music as a violist in the Iowa State symphony orchestra and numerous chamber groups. Outside of work, Dr. Hartwell enjoys distance running, hiking, biking, and (almost) anything outdoors -- which these days typically entails exploring local playgrounds, parks, trails, and lakes with her husband and two kids.