Karl J. Jepsen, Ph.D., was appointed associate dean for research on Sept. 1, 2021. He is involved in operations of the Medical School Office of Research, working closely with basic and translational research faculty and staff.
Jepsen is a professor of orthopaedic surgery and biomedical engineering in the Medical School and College of Engineering. He also is director of the Michigan Integrative Musculoskeletal Health Core Center and chair of the Laboratory and Research Safety Committee.
He earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in mechanical engineering from Wayne State University, and his M.S. and Ph.D. in bioengineering from the University of Michigan. He conducted his postdoctoral training at Case Western Reserve University, where he then served as an assistant professor in the Department of Orthopaedics. In 1999, he accepted a position in the Department of Orthopaedics at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. He returned to Michigan in 2011 as a professor of orthopaedic surgery. He was jointly appointed as a professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering in 2014.
Jepsen’s research program focuses on understanding how complex physiological systems such as the skeletal system establish function during growth and maintain function during aging. Having a better understanding of how complex systems work is expected to benefit efforts to reduce fracture risk by identifying the genetic and environmental factors that impair (or promote) specific components of the functional adaptation process that compromise (or improve) musculoskeletal health.
He collaborates with faculty across campus and institutions with the collective goal of giving a voice to a silent disease by identifying early indicators of skeletal fracture risk that will enable more precise and effective ways to treat individuals earlier in life.