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Barry Karger

Professor and Director, Barnett Institute
Affiliated Faculty, Bioengineering
Affiliated Faculty, Chemical Engineering
140 The Fenway, Room 415
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115


Prof. Karger’s research focuses on the development and application of microscale separations and MS analysis to problems of biological relevance. Current research involves (1) comprehensive characterization of complex proteins at the low fmole level using LC coupled to a hybrid linear ion trap – FT mass spectrometer; (2) ultra-narrow (5-20 µm i.d.) monolithic and porous layer open tubular columns for low attomole LC/MS proteomic analysis; (3) proteomic tissue analysis for disease biomarker discovery using 10,000 cells or less; and (4) multiplex LC coupled to MALDI-MS using a 2 kHz repetition rate laser.

Professor Karger’s research group collaborates with clinicians, microbiologists and fundamental cell biologists to apply the developed technologies. As an example, the group is interacting with an industrial group on the discovery and validation of biomarkers for low and high grade stained cells from Pap smears (cervical scrapings). In another example, they are collaborating with a microbiologist on the study of growth of anaerobic bacteria (Archaea). The discovery of overexpressed enzymes has led to an understanding of important pathways for energy conservation. In a third example, the group is studying the kinetics of phosphorylation of tyrosine kinase receptors (EGFR) upon signal stimulation in order to elucidate important signaling pathways in tumor cancer cells. In these and other examples, the technology in ultratrace LC/MS allows generation of information not readily obtained by current methodologies.


1963 Ph.D., Cornell University
1960 B.S., Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Research & Scholarship Interests

Analytical chemistry, bioanalysis, proteomics
Affiliated With

Department Research Areas

College Research Initiatives

Honors & Awards

  • Arnold O. Beckman Medal
  • Csaba Horváth Memorial Award
  • Heyrovsky Medal (Czech Republic)
  • Michael Widmer Award of the New Swiss Chemical Society
  • 3 American Chemical Society Awards

Selected Publications

  • Z. Liu, S. Dai, B.L. Karger, J.J. Li, et al., A Quantitative Proteomic Analysis of Cellular Responses to High Glucose Media in Chinese Hamster Ovary Cells, Biotechnology Progress, 31(4), 2015, 1026-1038
  • S. Li, B.D. Plouffe, B.L. Karger, A.R. Ivanov, et al., An Integrated Platform for Isolation, Processing and Mass Spectrometry-based Proteomic Profiling of Rare Cells in Whole Blood, Molecular and Cellular Proteomics, 14(6), 2015, 1672-1683
  • H. Arthanari, Y. Gao, S.-L. Wu, B.L. Karger, et al., Constitutively Oxidized CXXC Motifs within the CD3 Heterodimeric Ectodomains of the T Cell Receptor Complex Enforce the Conformation of Juxtaposed Segments, Journal of Biological Chemistry, 290(1), 2015, 18880-18892
  • S. Li, T. Nakayama, A. Akinc, S.-L. Wu, B.L. Karger, Development of LC-MS Methods for Quantitation Of Hepcidin And Demonstration of siRNA-Mediated Hepcidin Suppression in Serum, Journal of Pharmacological and Toxicological Methods, 71, 2015, 110-119
  • S. Rodig, J.L. Kutok, E.K. Jackson, B.L. Karger, et al., Immunological Mechanisms of the Antitumor Effects of Supplemental Oxygenation, Science Translational Medicine, 7(277), 2015, 277

Related News

April 17, 2015

ChE Associate Professor Shashi Murthy and Barry Karger & Alexander Ivanov of the Barnett Institute have built a foundation for proteomics-based personalized medicine by successfully isolating and...