Karen Gould, PhD

Professor & Vice Chair for Graduate Education


Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Anatomy
985805 Nebraska Medical Center
Omaha, NE 68198-5805


PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1996

Academic Appointments:
Vice Chair for Graduate Education, Genetics, Cell Biology and Anatomy
Co-Director, Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences
Program Director, Masters in Medical Anatomy

Honors & Awards:
Impact in Education Award, UNMC, 2019
Interprofessional Academy of Educators, UNMC, 2018
Distinguished Graduate Mentor Award, UNMC, 2014

Dr. Gould teaches genetics, cell biology, histology, and embryology in graduate, medical and allied health program courses.  She contributes to graduate education by training graduate students in her lab, coordinating and teaching in multiple graduate courses for graduate and professional students, and overseeing various graduate education programs.

Estrogen receptor alpha regulation of lupus.
Lupus is a devastating autoimmune disease that is associated with considerable morbidity and mortality. Approximately 90% of patients with lupus are women. This dramatic sex bias is due to endogenous estrogens. Using a mouse model of lupus, we have shown that estrogens promote lupus via estrogen receptor alpha (ER-alpha), which acts in a B cell intrinsic manner to enhance B cell activation and loss of tolerance.  However, a concrete understanding of how ER-alpha signaling modulates B cell activation and loss of tolerance on a molecular level is unclear.  Our current studies use genetics as well as molecular and cellular biological approaches to understand how ER-alpha impacts B cell biology and the development of lupus.

Publications listed in PubMed

  1. Graham, J. H., Yoachim, S. D., & Gould, K. A. (2020). Estrogen Receptor Alpha Signaling Is Responsible for the Female Sex Bias in the Loss of Tolerance and Immune Cell Activation Induced by the Lupus Susceptibility Locus Sle1bFrontiers in immunology11, 582214.
  2. Tabor, D. E., & Gould, K. A. (2017). Estrogen receptor alpha promotes lupus in (NZB×NZW)F1 mice in a B cell intrinsic manner. Clinical immunology (Orlando, Fla.)174, 41–52. 
  3. Nelson, R. K., & Gould, K. A. (2016). An Lck-cre transgene accelerates autoantibody production and lupus development in (NZB × NZW)F1 mice. Lupus25(2), 137–154. 
  4. Yoachim, S. D., Nuxoll, J. S., Bynoté, K. K., & Gould, K. A. (2015). Estrogen receptor alpha signaling promotes Sle1-induced loss of tolerance and immune cell activation and is responsible for sex bias in B6.Sle1 congenic mice. Clinical immunology (Orlando, Fla.)158(2), 153–166.
  5. Yuan, F., Tabor, D. E., Nelson, R. K., Yuan, H., Zhang, Y., Nuxoll, J., Bynoté, K. K., Lele, S. M., Wang, D., & Gould, K. A. (2013). A dexamethasone prodrug reduces the renal macrophage response and provides enhanced resolution of established murine lupus nephritis. PloS one8(11), e81483. 
  6. Bynoté, K. K., Hackenberg, J. M., Korach, K. S., Lubahn, D. B., Lane, P. H., & Gould, K. A. (2008). Estrogen receptor-alpha deficiency attenuates autoimmune disease in (NZB x NZW)F1 mice. Genes and immunity9(2), 137–152.