Barry Karger

James L. Waters Chair in Analytical Chemistry, Barnett Institute Director Email: Phone: 617.373.2867


1963 Ph.D., Cornell University
1960 B.S., Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Area(s) of Expertise

Analytical Chemistry, Bioanalysis, Proteomics

Research Interests

Prof. Karger’s research focuses on the development and application of microscale separations and MS analysis to problems of biological relevance. Current research involves (1) comprehensive characterization of complex proteins at the low fmole level using LC coupled to a hybrid linear ion trap – FT mass spectrometer; (2) ultra-narrow (5-20 µm i.d.) monolithic and porous layer open tubular columns for low attomole LC/MS proteomic analysis; (3) proteomic tissue analysis for disease biomarker discovery using 10,000 cells or less; and (4) multiplex LC coupled to MALDI-MS using a 2 kHz repetition rate laser.

Professor Karger’s research group collaborates with clinicians, microbiologists and fundamental cell biologists to apply the developed technologies. As an example, the group is interacting with an industrial group on the discovery and validation of biomarkers for low and high grade stained cells from Pap smears (cervical scrapings). In another example, they are collaborating with a microbiologist on the study of growth of anaerobic bacteria (Archaea). The discovery of overexpressed enzymes has led to an understanding of important pathways for energy conservation. In a third example, the group is studying the kinetics of phosphorylation of tyrosine kinase receptors (EGFR) upon signal stimulation in order to elucidate important signaling pathways in tumor cancer cells. In these and other examples, the technology in ultratrace LC/MS allows generation of information not readily obtained by current methodologies.

Barnett Institute Website



140 The Fenway, Room 415

A 50-​​year scientific legacy

Northeastern professor Barry Karger, whose contributions to analytical chemistry helped enable the sequencing of the human genome, received the Arnold O. Beckman Medal and Award for Outstanding Scientific Achievements in the field of electrodriven separation techniques.

Chemistry professor named to Power List

He has helped guide close to 200 students, postdoctoral researchers, and staff members, and now Dr. Barry Karger has been named to The Analytical Scientist’s POWER LIST.

Life Science Research Partnership Targets New Breakthroughs

North­eastern University’s Bar­nett Insti­tute of Chem­ical and Bio­log­ical Analysis for­mally announced a tech­nology alliance part­ner­ship with Thermo Fisher Sci­en­tific, a multibillion-​​dollar ana­lyt­ical instru­men­ta­tion and product com­pany, based in San Jose, Calif., with cor­po­rate offices in Waltham, MA.