David Karp, M.D., a Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at UT Southwestern, and Chief of its Division of Rheumatic Diseases. Dr. Karp specializes in systemic lupus erythematosus, spondyloarthropathy, and other autoimmune diseases.

Originally from Cleveland, Dr. Karp holds dual bachelor’s degrees in chemistry and biological sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He received his medical degree and his doctorate in cellular and integrative biology from Washington University in St. Louis. He completed his residency and clinical fellowship training at Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis. He then completed advanced training through fellowships in immunogenetics at the National Institutes of Health.

Certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in rheumatology, he joined the UT Southwestern Faculty in 1991.

Dr. Karp’s research interests include the underlying mechanisms of the immune system. He currently focuses on pre-clinical immunity – the transition from a healthy state to an asymptomatic activated immune system to symptomatic autoimmune disease. His investigations have resulted in more than 100 publications in peer-reviewed journals and contributions to several reviews and editorials. Additionally, he has presented his findings at scientific conferences throughout the United States and around the world.

At UT Southwestern, Dr. Karp chairs the Institutional Review Board and serves on the Immunology Program Membership Committee.

Dr. Karp is a Fellow of the American College of Rheumatology and the American College of Physicians, and a member of the American Association of Immunologists. He is on the Health Care Worker Prophylaxis Against COVID-19 Steering Committee for the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. He has also served on state and regional boards for the Arthritis Foundation.

Dr. Karp has been included in D Magazine's Best Doctors list several times and named a Texas Monthly Super Doctor.



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

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