Karen Burg

University of Georgia | Athens, GA | 2021

Karen JL Burg Portrait Photo

The Presidential Award underscores my career passion of empowering research mentees and provides new possibilities to network with other PAESMEM honorees to connect our shared passions and diverse approaches to mentoring. The collective wisdom and efforts of the PAESMEM community afford unique opportunities to increase access to STEM well beyond what can be achieved individually. I look forward to shared adventures and collaborations.

The official biography below was current at the time of the award. Awardees may choose to provide their latest biographical information on their profile page.

Dr. Karen Burg is the Harbor Lights Chair/Professor of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery at the University of Georgia (UGA). She earned her chemical engineering B.S. degree from North Carolina State University; her bioengineering M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Clemson University; and she completed a tissue engineering postdoctoral fellowship at Carolinas Medical Center. From 1999 to 2014, Karen was a Clemson bioengineering faculty member, where she established several research-focused mentoring programs and institutionalized three significant programs to increase underrepresented minority (URM) participation in research, graduate education, and the professoriate. Of particular note was her NSF-funded Research Experience and Mentoring program which introduced freshmen and sophomores to research and research professional skills; 100% of mentees were retained in STEM, 59% pursued STEM graduate degrees, and 94% continued in STEM relevant post baccalaureate positions. Karen served as vice president for research and professor of chemical engineering at Kansas State University from 2014 to 2016, subsequently joining UGA in 2016. Karen is currently developing an online research mentor module series and is leading a National Institutes of Health-funded program designed to encourage URM freshmen to pursue further studies or careers in biomedical research. Honors to Karen include a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, recognition as a Massachusetts Institute of Technology TR100 Young Innovator, an American Council on Education Fellow, a National Academy of Inventors Fellow, a US Department of Defense Era of Hope Scholar, an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Lemelson Invention Ambassador, and a AAAS Fellow.