Karen L. Allendoerfer earned her AB in Biology from Princeton University and her PhD in Neuroscience from Stanford University. She has a long-standing interest in brain development, and wrote her thesis on the role of growth factors in the developing visual system. After postdoctoral work at Caltech, she worked in the biotech industry to develop and test therapies for diabetic neuropathy and stroke. She then returned to academic science as a project manager in Susan Lindquist’s lab at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, where she was involved in several projects that used modified yeast cells as a model system to discover new drugs for brain diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Karen is also an avid amateur violinist with the Arlington Philharmonic Orchestra.
Karen is a science educator at BASIS Independent Silicon Valley. She taught neurobiology at the Innovation Institute for two years until relocating to Northern California. Her passion for teaching grows out of her interest in how different people’s brains learn and her desire to share the excitement of scientific discovery with her students. She has taught in the UMass Boston Urban Scholars program, the Girl Scouts, and Unitarian-Universalist Religious Education. She spends her spare time with her German husband and 2 school-age children traveling, geocaching, and reading science fiction.