Karen L Herbst, MD, PhD

Associate Professor, Medicine - (Clinical Scholar Track)
Clinical Associate Professor, Pharmacy Practice-Science
Associate Professor, Radiology
Phone Number: 
(520) 626-7689
Professional Bio: 

Karen L. Herbst PhD, MD is a board-certified endocrinologist and Associate Professor in the College of Medicine (COM) at the University of Arizona (UA).  She has been seeing patients with Adipose Tissue Disorders (ATDs) since 2000 as a Fellow in Endocrinology at the University of Washington and continues her work at Banner University Medical Center in Tucson.

At the end of 2015, Dr. Herbst received a large gift from the Lipedema Foundation (LF) to ramp up research on two of the more common ATDs, lipedema and Dercum’s disease, as part of the Treatment, Research, Education, Adipose Tissue (TREAT) program in the UA COM.   The TREAT program focuses on increasing our understanding of lipedema clinically and metabolically, imaging of the tissue and educating students and medical providers on ATDs, and over time will use additional funding to improve research, education and care of people with ATDs well into the future.

In September 2015, Dr. Herbst was recognized as  Humanitarian of the Year for Medical Research of Rare Tissue Disorders at the 25th Annual Los Angeles Music Awards for her compassionate care of people with ATDs.

Research Information

Research Program: 
Therapeutic Development
Research Focus: 
Clinical research strives to improve our understanding of the underlying pathophysiology of, and treatment options for, ATDs which includes a focus on the lymphatic system as well as natural supplements.  Her basic science research currently aims to find gene mutations in families with Dercum’s disease.

Professional Information

Board Certifications & Licenses: 
American Board of Internal Medicine
American Board of Internal Medicine, Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism Sub-specialty

Academic Information

University of Washington School of Medicine
University of Washington School of Medicine
Medical School: 
Rush Medical College, Chicago, IL
Undergraduate School: 
BA, Zoology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA