David Karp, M.D., Ph.D.

Chief, Division of Rheumatic Diseases

  • Fredye Factor Chair in Rheumatoid Arthritis Research
  • Harold C. Simmons Chair in Arthritis Research
  • Internal Medicine - Rheumatology Diseases
  • Polymyalgia Rheumatica
  • Spondyloarthropathy


Dr. Karp was raised near Cleveland, OH. He obtained his bachelor’s degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his medical and doctoral degrees from Washington University in St. Louis.  He also completed his residency and clinical fellowship training at Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis before joining the NIH as a research fellow. He has been on the faculty of UT Southwestern since 1991. 

For the past 25 years, Dr. Karp has studied the human immune system in health and disease. This has involved research on the genes, proteins, and cells that control immunity to harmful pathogens, as well as lead to disease states like systemic lupus erythematosus and systemic sclerosis. His most recent studies have focused on the concept of pre-clinical immunity – the transition from people from a healthy state to having an activated immune system without symptoms to having genuine symptoms of autoimmune disease. Understanding this transition may lead to better diagnostic tools and the ability to treat autoimmune diseases at an earlier time or even prevent them. 

Dr. Karp directs laboratory and clinical research on rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus. He is the Chief of the Rheumatic Disease Division within the Department of Internal Medicine.

Dr. Karp has been included in D Magazine's Best Doctors list several times and named a Texas Monthly Super Doctor.

Education & Training
  • Fellowship - Washington University Barnes Hospital (1986-1987), Rheumatology
  • Residency - Washington University Barnes Hospital (1985-1986), Internal Medicine
  • Internship - Washington University Barnes Hospital (1984-1985), Internal Medicine
  • Medical School - Washington University in St. Louis (1980-1984)
Professional Associations & Affiliations
  • American Association of Immunologists (1980)
  • American College of Physicians (1984)
  • American College of Rheumatology (1991)
Honors & Awards
  • D Magazine Best Doctor 2020-2022
Books & Publications
  • Novel treatments for autoimmune diseases
  • Genetics of autoimmune diseases
  • Causes of autoimmunity
  • Cardiovascular complications of autoimmune diseases

Clinical Focus

  • Polymyalgia Rheumatica
  • Spondyloarthropathy
  • Systemic Sclerosis
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Vasculitis
  • Interstitial Lung Disease (Pulmonary Fibrosis)
  • Sjogren's Syndrome
  • Crystalline Arthropathies
  • Myositis
  • Relapsing Polychondritis
  • IGG4 Related Disease
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

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