Karen David, Ph.D.

Job Title
Program Director, NIH BRAIN Initiative
Karen David
Division of Neuroscience
Cluster, Section, or Program
Neurotechnology & Integrated Systems (NIS)
Areas of Interest

Portfolio: BRAIN Integrated Approaches/Circuits Research Project Grants (R34, R01) and Exploratory Team-research BRAIN Circuit Program - eTeamBCP (U01); NINDS Collaborative Opportunities for Multidisciplinary, Bold, and Innovative Neuroscience (COMBINE RM1); team science; species diversity  

Additional Keywords: Integrative function of brain circuits; basic systems neuroscience; team science; species diversity

Contact Email
Contact Number

Karen David is a Program Director with the goal of promoting team science, enhancing species diversity in neuroscience, fundamental neuroscience, and the integration of multi-scale approaches to solve complex systems neuroscience questions.

Towards these goals, Karen leads the R34, R01, and eTeamBCP U01 funding opportunities of the Circuits and Integrated Approaches portfolio of the BRAIN initiative. The overall goal of these programs is to understand behavior and function at the level of neural activity and circuits. In addition, together with Drs. Kari Johnson and Jay Churchill, she manages the BRAIN Initiative K99/R00 awards (NINDS-assigned). With NINDS, she led the creation of the new team science funding opportunity: the NINDS Collaborative Opportunities for Multidisciplinary, Bold, and Innovative Neuroscience (COMBINE) program, which she currently co-leads with Cory Kelly. This COMBINE program, as part of the NINDS Strategic Plan for Research, is designed to support interdisciplinary research teams to achieve transformative goals that could not be met by individual or parallel efforts. 

Karen leverages the wide breadth of her training and experience to administer a portfolio that spans approaches from molecular to systems. She joined NINDS in 2013 and has served the BRAIN Initiative since inception and NINDS in a range of capacities over the years including Project Officer, Scientific Review Officer, Program Analyst, and her current role as Program Director. Karen has also worked on various special projects including coordinating the review activities of the Biospecimen Repository Acquisition Committee (BRAC) for the Parkinson's Disease Biomarkers Program. Before joining extramural research, Karen did her postdoctoral fellowship in Molecular Biology and Genetics at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. She earned a B.S. from the University of the Philippines and a Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Medicine from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.