Karmen enrolled at the University of Iowa in the iBio (Integrated Biology) Graduate Program in the Department of Biology in August 2012 to pursue her Ph.D. where she joined the lab of Dr. Joshua Weiner. Karmen has utilized multiple lines of transgenic and knockout mice as well as cell culture and biochemical techniques to study the molecular mechanisms used by protocadherins, a group of cell adhesion molecules, to regulate development of the nervous system.
Karmen will be doing a postdoctoral fellowship in the lab of Drs. Vance Lemmon and John Bixby of The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. She wil be working on projects pertaining to drug discovery for promoting axon regeneration following spinal cord and optic nerve injury, focusing on the roles of kinase inhibitors.