Life Science and Bioengineering Center 3013
+1 (508) 8316975
MS Biochemistry George Washington University 1985
PhD Biochemistry George Washington University 1985

Before joining WPI as the Peterson Family Dean of Arts and Sciences, I was the deputy director for undergraduate education at the National Science Foundation. I was also the founding provost at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, associate dean and director at George Mason University, and the co-P.I. on a large, national dissemination grant entitled Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities (SENCER). I received my BS in biology from Rochester Institute of Technology and my PhD in biochemistry from George Washington University.

Nationally, I conduct faculty development workshops on a variety of topics, including progressive pedagogical approaches to support learning, assessment strategies, and discovery-based undergraduate research, as well as using research on how people learn to inform curricular design. I have served as a Eurasia Specialist with USAID/HED (Higher Education for Development) and participated routinely in global research and education initiatives. I am the recipient of the 2008 Bruce Albert Award for excellence in science education.

Professional Highlights & Honors
National Leadership Development Institute, Phoenix, Arizona, 1998

Higher Education Resource Management Institute- Wellesley College, 2000

Senior Management Seminar, 2002
American Council for Education
Faculty Member of the Year, 2005
George Mason University Alumni Association
Bruce Albert’s Award, 2008
Presented by American Society for Cell Biology for Excellence in Science Education Reform
Federal Executive Institute: Leadership for a Democratic Society- A one month residential experience FEI-338 2008,


WPI professor says global health equity lies at the intersection of tech, science and humanity

Worldwide health challenges are global, from pandemics to water quality and inequitable access to care. Professor Karen Oates, who directs WPI’s master’s in global health program, spoke with GBH News’ “All Things Considered” about how technology, including artificial intelligence, can be leveraged to address these challenges. Our new degree program will empower students to design innovative, socially responsible solutions that can improve people’s health.

Spectrum News 1
WPI starts Global Health Master's Program in effort to address inequities, accessibility

WPI is empowering students to address global health challenges by leveraging socially responsible technology like AI-assisted medical treatment, wearable sensors, mobile apps, and biomedical devices. This report from Spectrum News 1 features our new master’s in Global Health program which will have a central focus on the social and ethical ramifications of health technology development.