Karen Anderson

Biodesign Virginia G Piper PD

Location: TEMPE

Contact Information
(480) 965-6982


  • Ph.D. Department of Microbiology and Immunology Duke University, Durham NC
  • M.D. Duke University School of Medicine Medical Scientist Training Program
  • B.A. Department of Chemistry University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 

Research Interests

The Anderson laboratory is focused on understanding how the immune response can be used to detect and alter cancer development. To create an effective cancer immunotherapy, Dr. Andersons team identifies target antigens for vaccine development, and understanding of the mechanisms of immune regulation that limit effective immunotherapy. The lab uses proteomic tools to perform immunoprofiling for cancer and infectious disease detection and monitoring.


Dr. Karen Anderson is a tumor biologist who studies how the immune system can be harnessed to detect and alter cancer development. For example, cancer causes the body to produce specific antibodies, which she and her research team can use as biomarkers to detect cancer in early stages of its growth. They use the alterations in immune response to develop new biomarkers for breast, ovarian, pancreatic and HPV-related cancers.

Dr. Anderson and her collaborators use molecular techniques, such as in vitro protein arrays, next-gen sequencing, and high-throughput functional genomics, to study early alterations in cancer development. They examine the abnormal characteristics of cancer to identify novel targets for cancer treatment and vaccine development.