Jeffrey Karp, Ph.D.

Jeffrey Karp, Ph.D.

Brigham & Women's Hospital
Harvard Medical School
Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology
Jeffrey Karp, Ph.D.

The Karp lab aims to create advanced biomaterials and devices for therapeutics, taking a highly multidisciplinary approach.

Technologies developed in the Karp lab include high-tech skincare, tissue adhesives, and 3D printed biomedical devices, immunomodulation with biologically responsive materials, small-molecule regenerative therapeutics with an initial target of hearing loss, cannabinoid therapeutics, biomedical devices to improve child safety, needles that automatically stop when they reach their target, and a bioengineered luminal coating for controlled GI targeting.


Jeff Karp is a Professor of Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School. He is also a principal faculty member at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, and an affiliate faculty member at the Broad Institute and at the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology.

Karp's research is at the intersection of drug delivery, medical devices, stem cell therapeutics, and tissue adhesives. He has published over 125 peer-reviewed papers, with over 18,500 citations, and has given over 300 invited lectures. He has over 100 issued or pending national and international patents.

Several technologies developed in the Karp lab have led to multiple products currently in development or on the market for the launch of seven companies that have raised over $300 million in funding.

He has received over 50 awards and honors. He was elected to the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering’s College of Fellows in 2013, a fellow of the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) in 2018, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Canadian Academy of Engineering in 2019. His work has been selected by Popular Mechanic's as one of the Top 20 New Biotech Breakthroughs that Will Change Medicine. In 2015 and 2016, he received Breakthrough Awards from the Kenneth Rainin Foundation. His lab has been funded by the NIH, NFL, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Prostate Cancer Foundation, Kenneth Rainin Foundation, JDRF, Helmsley Trust, DoD, Sanofi, J&J, Phillips, Leo Pharma, UCB Pharma. Rheumatology Research Foundation, Coulter Foundation, Brain Science Foundation, American Heart Association, Deshpande Foundation, Institute for Pediatric Innovation, Boston Children’s Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the Government of India the Government of Korea, and the Government of Saudi Arabia.

In addition to his research goals, Karp is dedicated to developing the careers of the next generation bioengineers at the forefront of regenerative medicine. He was selected as the Outstanding Faculty Undergraduate Mentor among all faculty at MIT and he received the HST McMahon Mentoring award for being the top mentor of Harvard-MIT students. More than 20 trainees from his laboratory have secured faculty positions.

Karp gave a TEDMED talk in 2014 at the Kennedy Center in DC on bioinspired medical innovation, and in 2018 a TEDx talk on Radical Simplicity at Boston’s JFK Museum. He has been a member of the TEDMED Editorial Advisory Board since 2015. Karp also won an internal Shark Tank award judged by Kevin O’Leary (from ABC’s Shark Tank). Karp dedicates significant time to inspiring the next generation through hosting multiple groups of grade school and high school children to his laboratory each year for lectures and hands-on demonstrations, including schools from Japan, Sweden, and France, as well as through lectures at local and national schools.

Feature stories

Harvard Medical School: Surgery in a Pill? In a new study, an oral treatment temporarily coats intestine, reduces blood sugar spikes

Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News: Astellas, Frequency Therapeutics Partner to Develop Hearing Loss Drug

Stat News: Lessons Learned: Here’s how a scientist became a serial entrepreneur

Fortune: Bringing the Fire: A Q&A with Bioinspirationalist Jeff Karp

MIT Technology Review: MIT Tech Review – Tiny Glue Guns to Patch Surgical Holes

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