Karen Pawlowski, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Department: Otolaryngology

Graduate Programs: Biomedical Engineering


Download Curriculum Vitae

Dr. Pawlowski worked in the Plant Pathology Electron Microscopy Core facility while she obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of Minnesota, College of Biological Sciences. She supervised the electron microscopy lab of Dr. Ardnt J. Duvall III, the University of Minnesota Department of Otolaryngology, utilizing conventional light microscopy, scanning microscopy and electron microscopy investigating normal and pathological ultrastructure of the inner ear. Her first publications came from this lab and are published under her maiden name, Robinson.

Dr. Pawlowski joined the otologic research laboratory of Dr. Charles G. Wright, in the Department of Otolaryngology-HNS, UTSW Center in 1991. Dr. Pawlowski continued to co-author several publications with Dr. Wright while completing her MS in Applied Cognition and Science and her PhD in Auditory Neuroscience at UT Dallas in 2000. As a Research Scientist for the department of Behavioral and Brain Sciences UT Dallas, and then Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology UTSW, she continues to investigate, via collaborations with MDs, geneticists and physiologists, cellular mechanisms involved in hearing loss due to genetic mutations underlying conditions such as Usher’s syndrome types 1 and III. She has worked with several companies on otologic projects  since completing her degree.

Dr. Pawlowski rejoined the Department of Otolaryngology in 2003 as Assistant Professor. Her current position involves working with colleagues, graduate students and medical residents investigating issues involving the anatomy and physiology of the temporal bone. Her main areas of interest are the morphology of the ear in health and disease and issues concerned with recurrent infections in the ear.


Undergraduate University of Minnesota Central Office (1981)
Graduate School University of Texas at Dallas (1997)
Graduate School University of Texas at Dallas (2000)

Research Interests

  • Cellular mechanisms involved in sensory neural hearing loss
  • Investigations of biomedical engineering technologies applied to the temporal bone and auditory system
  • Role of biofilms in chronic recurrent infections of the temporal bone


Featured Publications Legend

Featured Publications

Hearing Loss is an Early Consequence of Npc1 Gene Deletion in the Mouse Model of Niemann-Pick Disease, Type C.

King KA, Gordon-Salant S, Pawlowski KS, Taylor AM, Griffith AJ, Houser A, Kurima K, Wassif CA, Wright CG, Porter FD, Repa JJ, Brewer CC J. Assoc. Res. Otolaryngol. 2014 May

Ototopic Applications of Povidone Iodine/Dexamethasone in the Rat.

Pawlowski K, Koulich E, Wright CG, Roland P Otol. Neurotol. 2012 Nov

Cochlear implant device failure secondary to cholesterol granuloma-mediated cochlear erosion.

Neilan RE, Pawlowski K, Isaacson B, Roland PS Otol. Neurotol. 2012 Jul 33 5 733-5

Results 1-10 of 33

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • Sigma X, UTSW Chapter (2010)
  • UTSW Imaging Society (2005)
  • Society for Neuroscience (2000)
  • Association for Research in Otolaryngology (1993)