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Karen Herbst, Ph.D., M.D.

Board-Certified Endocrinologist

Internationally Recognized Lipedema Expert

Head of Research

Director of Diagnostic and Preventative Medicine

Dr. Karen L. Herbst, a prominent board-certified endocrinologist, serves as the Head of Research and Director of Diagnostic and Preventative Medicine at The Roxbury Institute, home to the Advanced Lipedema Treatment (ALT) program. In this role, Dr. Herbst collaborates closely with Dr. David Amron to redefine care for patients by mapping and creatively addressing gaps in research, accelerating the development of novel therapies, and broadening access to clinical breakthroughs. Her innovative approach not only pushes the boundaries of human investigation but also empowers ALT providers to apply the latest insights directly to patient care, enhancing treatment options for both new and existing patients.

Dr. Karen Herbst, Ph.D., M.D. Image of Dr. Karen Herbst

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Dr. Herbst is at the forefront of unraveling the complexities of lipedema, Dercum’s disease, and other diseases of adipose connective tissue, focusing not just on lymphatic and vascular comorbidities but also on metabolic and hormonal factors, dysregulation of the immune system, and the genetics underlying chronic diseases including hypermobile joint syndromes, mast cell activation disease, and others. Her commitment extends beyond traditional surgical interventions as she integrates cutting-edge research with advanced diagnostic and preventative therapies, significantly enhancing The Roxbury Institute's multidisciplinary approach and achieving transformative outcomes for patients.

Internationally recognized for her groundbreaking research, Dr. Herbst has spearheaded significant advancements in understanding lipedema, Dercum's disease, and related conditions. She notably led an NIH-sponsored conference in 2019 to establish the standard of care for Lipedema in the United States and was instrumental in the introduction of new ICD-10 codes at the CDC in 2020, marking her as a pivotal figure in global healthcare discussions.

Dr. Herbst completed her Ph.D. in Cell Physiology at the University of Iowa, followed by a prestigious Howard Hughes Fellowship at the University of Utah. She then completed her medical degree at Rush Medical College and her residency and combined research and clinical fellowship in Metabolism, Endocrinology, and Nutrition at the University of Washington, an innovative campus known for receiving more federal research dollars than any other U.S. public university. With a distinguished career spanning over two decades, Dr. Herbst has held faculty positions at Martin Luther King Drew Medical Center/UCLA, the VA San Diego Health Care System/UCSD, and the University of Arizona, where she led the TREAT program focusing on adipose tissue and metabolism.

Recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award from Tucson Business in 2019 and named one of America's top physicians, Dr. Herbst's innovative approach and dedication make significant contributions to the treatment and understanding of connective tissue diseases.

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  • Dr. Amron with Gabby in OR
  • Waiting Area of the Roxbury Institute
  • Dr. Amron
Roxbury Dermatology and Multispecialty Practice


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