Headshot photo of Lisa A. Karstens, Ph.D.

Lisa A. Karstens, Ph.D.

  • Assistant Professor of Medical Informatics and Clinical Epidemiology, School of Medicine
  • Biomedical Informatics Graduate Program, School of Medicine


Dr. Karstens is an Assistant Professor at Oregon Health & Science University in the Departments of Medical Informatics and Clinical Epidemiology and Obstetrics and Gynecology. Her research interests broadly span using bioinformatics to understand complex human disease. Her current research focuses on using bioinformatic approaches to understand bladder disorders, with a specific focus on understanding how the human microbiome contributes to bladder health and disease.

While Dr. Karstens' research is interdisciplinary, her expertise is in bioinformatics- specifically microbiome, metabolomics, and neuroimaging analysis. She collaborates with clinicians and molecular biologists on a regular basis on a variety of projects.

Teaching and Mentoring

Dr. Karstens teaches Introduction to Programming for the Department of Medical Informatics and Clinical Epidemiology at OHSU, which focuses on understanding programming logic and is taught in Python. She mentors many types of students ranging from high school students to graduate students and medical fellows. 

Education and training

    • Ph.D., 2010, Princeton University
    • M.B.I., 2013, Oregon Health & Science University

Areas of interest

  • Microbiome
  • Bioinformatics
  • Women's Health


Selected publications

  • Community profiling of the urinary microbiota: considerations for low-biomass samples.  Karstens L, Asquith M, Caruso V, Rosenbaum JT, Fair DA, Braun J, Gregory WT, Nardos R, McWeeney SK. Nature Reviews Urology 2018 Oct 12. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 30315209 
  •  Short chain fatty acids ameliorate immune-mediated uveitis partially by altering  migration of lymphocytes from the intestine. Nakamura YK, Janowitz C, Metea C, Asquith M, Karstens L, Rosenbaum JT, Lin P. Sci. Rep. 2017; 7, 11745. PMID: 28924192 
  • Estrogen protection against EAE modulates the microbiota and mucosal-associated regulatory cells. Benedek G, Zhang J, Ngyuyen H, Kent G, Seifert H, Davin S, Stauffer P, Vandenbark A, Karstens L, Asquith M, Offner H. Journal of Neuroimmunology. 2017; 310:51-59. PMID: 28778445 
  • Does the urinary microbiome play a role in urgency urinary incontinence and its severity? Karstens L, Asquith M, Davin S, Stauffer P, Fair D, Gregory WT, Rosenbaum J, McWeeney S, Nardos R. Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Biology. 2016 Jul 27;6:78. PMID: 27512653
  • Gut Microbial Alterations Associated With Protection From Autoimmune Uveitis. Nakamura YK, Metea C, Karstens L, Asquith M, Gruner H, Moscibrocki C, Lee I, Brislawn CJ, Jansson JK, Rosenbaum JT, Lin P. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2016 Jul 1;57(8):3747-58. PMID: 27415793
  • Abnormal Functional Connectivity in Women with Urgency Urinary Incontinence: Can We Predict Disease Presence and Severity in Individual Women Using Rs-fcMRI? Nardos R, Karstens L, Carpenter S, Aykes K, Krisky C, Stevens C, Fair D. Neurourology and Urodynamics. 2016; 35(5):563-73. PMID:25933352 
  • Medications are associated with falls in people with MS: A prospective cohort study. Cameron MH, Karstens L, Hoang P, Bourdette D, Lord S. International Journal of MS Care. 2015; 17(5): 207-214. PMID: 26472941
  • Metabolomics approach to human brain spectroscopy identifies associations between clinical features and the frontal lobe metabolome in multiple sclerosis. LK Vingara, HJ Yu, M Wagshul, D Searafin, C Christodoulou, I Pelzcer, L Krupp, M Maleti?–Savati? NeuroImage 2013; 82: 586-594. PMID: 23751863
  •  Optimized pre-processing of UPLC-MS metabolic profiles for improved information recovery. K Veselkov,* LK Vingara,* P Masson, S Robinette, E Want, J Li, B Walther, C Boursier, R Barton, T Ebbels, I Pelczer, J Lindon, E Holmes, J Nicholson. Anal. Chem, 2011; 83, 5864–5872.  PMID: 21526840 *Joint first authors


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