Dr. Karp was raised near Cleveland, OH.  He obtained his bachelor’s degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his medical and doctoral degrees from Washington University in St. Louis.  He also completed his residency and clinical fellowship training at Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis before joining the NIH as a research fellow.  He has been on the faculty of UT Southwestern since 1991. For the past 25 years, Dr. Karp has studied the human immune system in health and disease.  This has involved research on the genes, proteins, and cells that control immunity to harmful pathogens, as well as lead to disease states like systemic lupus erythematosus and systemic sclerosis.  His most recent studies have focused on the concept of pre-clinical immunity – the transition from people from a healthy state to having an activated immune system without symptoms to having genuine symptoms of autoimmune disease.  Understanding this transition may lead to better diagnostic tools and the ability to treat autoimmune diseases at an
earlier time or even prevent them.  Dr. Karp directs laboratory and clinical research on rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus.  He is the Chief of the Rheumatic Disease Division within the Department of Internal Medicine.


Medical School
Washington University in St. Louis (1984)
Washington University Barnes Hospital (1985), Internal Medicine
Washington University Barnes Hospital (1986), Internal Medicine
Washington University Barnes Hospital (1987), Rheumatology

Clinical Interest

Rheumatoid Arthritis


Systemic Lupus Erythematosus


Sjogren's Syndrome

Systemic Sclerosis


Relapsing Polychondritis

IGG4 Related Disease

Crystalline Arthropathies


Polymyalgia Rheumatic

Research Interest

  • Cardiovascular complications of autoimmune diseases
  • Causes of autoimmunity
  • Genetics of autoimmune diseases
  • Novel treatments for autoimmune diseases


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Discovery of biomarkers for systemic lupus erythematosus using a library of synthetic autoantigen surrogates.
Quan J, Lakhanpal A, Reddy MM, Zaman S, Li QZ, German DC, Olsen NJ, Kodadek T, Karp DR J. Immunol. Methods 2013 Nov
Organ damage in high-risk patients with systemic and incomplete lupus syndromes.
Olsen NJ, Yousif M, Mutwally A, Cory M, Elmagboul N, Karp DR Rheumatol. Int. 2013 May
Autoantibody profiling to follow evolution of lupus syndromes.
Olsen NJ, Li QZ, Quan J, Wang L, Mutwally A, Karp DR Arthritis Res. Ther. 2012 Jul 14 4 R174
Risk factors for ANA positivity in healthy persons.
Li QZ, Karp DR, Quan J, Branch VK, Zhou J, Lian Y, Chong BF, Wakeland EK, Olsen NJ Arthritis research & therapy 2011 Mar 13 2 R38
Interferon signature gene expression is correlated with autoantibody profiles in patients with incomplete lupus syndromes.
Li QZ, Zhou J, Lian Y, Zhang B, Branch VK, Carr-Johnson F, Karp DR, Mohan C, Wakeland EK, Olsen NJ Clin. Exp. Immunol. 2010 Mar 159 3 281-91
Novel sequence feature variant type analysis of the HLA genetic association in systemic sclerosis.
Karp DR, Marthandan N, Marsh SG, Ahn C, Arnett FC, Deluca DS, Diehl AD, Dunivin R, Eilbeck K, Feolo M, Guidry PA, Helmberg W, Lewis S, Mayes MD, Mungall C, Natale DA, Peters B, Petersdorf E, Reveille JD, Smith B, Thomson G, Waller MJ, Scheuermann RH Hum. Mol. Genet. 2010 Feb 19 4 707-19
Technical and policy approaches to balancing patient privacy and data sharing in clinical and translational research.
Malin B, Karp D, Scheuermann RH J. Investig. Med. 2010 Jan 58 1 11-8
Ethical and practical issues associated with aggregating databases.
Karp DR, Carlin S, Cook-Deegan R, Ford DE, Geller G, Glass DN, Greely H, Guthridge J, Kahn J, Kaslow R, Kraft C, Macqueen K, Malin B, Scheuerman RH, Sugarman J PLoS Med. 2008 Sep 5 9 e190
Protein array autoantibody profiles for insights into systemic lupus erythematosus and incomplete lupus syndromes.
Li QZ, Zhou J, Wandstrat AE, Carr-Johnson F, Branch V, Karp DR, Mohan C, Wakeland EK, Olsen NJ Clin. Exp. Immunol. 2007 Jan 147 1 60-70
Autoantibody profiling to identify individuals at risk for systemic lupus erythematosus.
Wandstrat AE, Carr-Johnson F, Branch V, Gray H, Fairhurst AM, Reimold A, Karp D, Wakeland EK, Olsen NJ J. Autoimmun. 2006 Nov 27 3 153-60

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • American College of Rheumatology (1991)
  • American College of Physicians (1984)
  • American Association of Immunologists (1980)