Karen Louise Herbst, PhD, MD

Associate Professor, Medicine, Radiology
Director TREAT Program= Treatment, Research, Education, Adipose Tissue.
M.D.: Rush University 1996
Ph.D.: University of Iowa, 1990
Postdoctoral Fellowship: Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of Utah
Internship: University of Washington, 1996-1997
Residency: University of Washington 1997-1998; 1999-2000
Other: Endocrine Fellowship 1998-1999 and 2000-2002
Honors and Awards: 
Recent Humanitarian award at the Los Angeles Music Awards.
Major Areas of Research Interest: 
Adipose tissue disorders such as lipedema and Dercum’s disease where the subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) cannot be lost by diet, exercise and bariatric surgery.  I am studying these SAT disorders under a funded program called the TREAT program.  Our goal is to better understand the physiology of these SAT disorders to improve the lives of millions of affected women and better understand why people with diabetes and obesity also struggle to lose fat.  Important websites include: treat.medicine.edu / fatdisorders.org / lipomadoc.org
Student Opportunities Through Research: 
1. Be part of a multidisciplinary program to study the altered subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) found in the gynoid region of women with lipedema (Lip); the trunk is disproportionately normal and the arm SAT demonstrates lipedema later. Lip SAT is painful, and can become heavy and fibrotic. Diet and exercise do not reduce the Lip SAT.
2. Work with women who have lipedema to figure out what is different about their SAT and test new therapies. help find normal SAT on the body to compare to affected SAT.
3. Write papers on data or cases already collected.
- Comparing normal to affected fat
- Educating MDs, DOs, nurses, residents, medical students, pharmacists, undergraduates
-Imaging lipedema adipose tissue
Selected Publications: 

1)     Liao PS Peng S, Allehmazedeh K, Shah A, Coviello AD, Herbst KL. Testosterone with dutasteride, but not anastrazole, improves insulin sensitivity in young obese men: A randomized controlled trial.  J Sex Med. 2014 Feb;11(2):563-73. PMID:24344872

2)     Rasmussen JC, Herbst KL, Aldrich MB, Darne C, Tan I-C, Zhu B, Guilliod R, Fife CA, Maus EA and Sevick-Muraca EM. An abnormal lymphatic phenotype is associated with subcutaneous adipose tissue deposits in Dercum's diseaseObesity (Silver Spring). 2014 Jul 9. PMID:25044620

3)     Frankwich KA, Egnatios J, Kenyon ML, Rutledge TR, Liao PS, Gupta S, Herbst KL, Zarrinpar A.

Nutrigenetic-guided dietary intervention and weight loss: a feasibility randomized controlled trial. Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology (CGH)Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2015 Sep;13(9):1625-32.e1; quiz e145-6.  PMID: 25769412

4)     Herbst KL. Rare adipose disorders masquerading as obesity. Acta Pharmacol Sinica 2012; 33(2): 155-172. PMID: 22301856

5)     Yee JK, Phillips SA, Allamehzadeh K, Herbst KL. Subcutaneous Adipose Tissue Fatty Acid Desaturation in Adults With and Without Rare Adipose Disorders. Lipids in Health and Disease. 2012 Feb 3;11(1):19. PMID: 22300160

6)     Rutledge T, Braden AL, Woods G, Herbst KL, Groesz LM, Savu M. Five-year Changes in Psychiatric Health and Weight-Related Comorbidities Following Bariatric Surgery in a Veteran Population. Obesity Surgery. Obes Surg. 2012 Jul 21. PMID: 23011461

7)     Frankwich K, Tibble C, Torres-Gonzalez M, Bonner M, Lefkowitz R, Schmid-Schönbein GW, Villareal F, Heller M, Herbst KL. Proof of Concept: Matrix metalloproteinase inhibitor decreases inflammation and improves muscle insulin sensitivity in people with type 2 diabetes. Journal of Inflammation 2012 Oct 1;9(1):35. PMID: 23025537

8)     Herbst KL, Asare-Bediako S. Adiposis Dolorosa is More than Painful Fat. The Endocrinologist 2007. Nov/Dec 76(6):326-334.

9)     Herbst KL, Chang AS, Boyle, D. Lipomatosis associated inflammation and excess collagen may contribute to lower relative resting energy expenditure in women with adiposis dolorosa. International Journal of Obesity. 2009 Sep;33(9):1031-8. Epub 2009 Jul 21. PMID: 19621017

NIH Undergraduate Diversity Program: 
Marisol Allen, 2016: "Subcutaneous Adipose Tissue (SAT) Disorders"
Marleen Ibarra, 2017: "Lipedema and Dercums disease"
NIH High School Student Research Program: 
Kiana Toadlena, 2017, Window Rock High School
Tuesday, August 29, 2017