Karen attended Brown University where she received her Bachelors of Science in biochemistry. She then moved to Philadelphia where she completed her MD and PhD at the University of Pennsylvania. During her doctoral research she studied HIV integration and splicing in the laboratory of Dr. Frederic Bushman. Her interests in tropical medicine and virology also brought her to Sri Lanka where she worked with Dr. Dharshan DeSilva to sequence and phylogenetically characterize an endemic dengue virus strain. She completed her residency in General Pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and is currently a clinical fellow in Infectious Diseases at Boston Children’s Hospital. Her research in the Gehrke lab focuses on differential infection of primary neural cell culture by flaviviruses. This work is being done in collaboration with the Jaenish laboratory at the Whitehead Institute, the Sabatini laboratory at the Whitehead institute, the Whalen laboratory at Harvard Medical School, and the Yang laboratory at the Harvard Medical School. Outside the lab she enjoys cooking, skiing, and gymnastics.