Karen Christman



Research Summary

The Christman lab is interested in multi-scale, interdisciplinary approaches for regenerative medicine and biomaterials, with a main focus on the treatment of cardiovascular disease. Current projects include the development of biomaterials for preventing heart failure following a myocardial infarction, injectable polymers for in situ regeneration of the myocardium, and multi-scale surface patterning for directing cell differentiation. Projects involve a variety of approaches and tools including polymer chemistry, nanotechnology, mechanics, cell biology, and imaging.

Karen Christman
Lab Website


Dr. Christman received her B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Northwestern University in 2000. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California San Francisco and Berkeley Joint Bioengineering Graduate Group in 2003 under the direction of Dr. Randall J. Lee at UCSF. Her thesis examined in situ approaches to myocardial tissue engineering and was the first to demonstrate that injecting a material alone into the infarct can preserve cardiac function following a myocardial infarction. She completed her postdoc work in the lab of Dr. Heather D. Maynard at the University of California, Los Angeles in the fields of polymer chemistry and nanotechnology. During this time, she developed novel methods for site-specifically patterning proteins into 2D and 3D structures. Dr. Christman is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of California, San Diego. She recently received a 2008 NIH Director's New Innovator's Award.