Faculty Directory

Karlsson, Amy J.

Karlsson, Amy J.

Associate Professor
Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Fischell Department of Bioengineering
1223A Chemical and Nuclear Engineering Building


  • PhD, University of Wisconsin—Madison, 2009
  • BS, Iowa State University, 2003


Dr. Amy J. Karlsson received her bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Iowa State University in 2003 and then joined Prof. Sean Palecek’s group at the University of Wisconsin, where she received her PhD in chemical engineering in 2009. Following her doctoral work, she was an NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein Postdoctoral Fellow in Prof. Matt DeLisa’s lab at Cornell University. Dr. Karlsson's research lies at the interface of biology and engineering, and her group uses protein engineering strategies to improve the understanding of human diseases and develop tools for drug design and disease diagnosis. 


  • University of Maryland Invention of the Year Finalist (2017)
  • University of Maryland A. James Clark School of Engineering ENGAGED Faculty Award (2015)
  • Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award (2014)
  • University of Maryland Research and Scholarship Award (2014)
  • University of Maryland Minta Martin Award (2013)
  • NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Individual Postdoctoral Fellowship (2011–2012)


Protein and peptide engineering, structure-function relationships, drug delivery, therapeutic design, diagnostics, fungal disease.

Professor Karlsson currently teaches or has taught the following courses:

  • Chemical and Biomolecular Separation Processes (CHBE 426)
  • Protein Engineering (CHBE 497/BIOE489R/ENCH648P)
  • Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Laboratory (CHBE 437)




For a complete list of publications (including links to full text), please visit Profesor Karlsson's web site: http://www.karlsson.umd.edu/publications.html.


  • Adhikari S, Alahmadi TI, Gong Z, and Karlsson AJ. 2018. Expression of cell-penetrating peptides fused to protein cargo. Journal of Molecular Microbiology and Biotechnology, 28, 159-68.
  • Moghaddam-Taaheri P and Karlsson AJ. 2018. Protein labeling in live cells for immunological applications. Bioconjugate Chemistry 29, 680-5.
  • Ikonomova SP, Le MT*, Kalla N*, and Karlsson AJ. 2018. Effect of linkers on immobilization of scFvs with biotin-streptavidin interaction. Biotechnology and Applied Biochemistry 65, 580-5. (*Equal contributions)
  • Gong Z, Ikonomova SP, and Karlsson AJ. 2018. Secondary structure of cell-penetrating peptides during interaction with fungal cells. Protein Science 59, 702-13.
  • Ikonomova SP, Moghaddam-Taaheri P, Jabra-Rizk MA, Wang Y, and Karlsson AJ. 2018. Engineering improved variants of the antifungal peptide histatin 5 with reduced susceptibility to Candida albicans secreted aspartic proteases and enhanced antimicrobial potency. FEBS Journal 285, 146-59.
  • Gong Z and Karlsson AJ. 2017. Translocation of cell-penetrating peptides into Candida fungal pathogens. Protein Science 26, 1714–1725.
  • Ikonomova SP, He Z, and Karlsson AJ. 2016. A simple and robust approach to immobilization of antibody fragments. Journal of Immunological Methods 435, 7-16.
  • Karlsson AJ, Lim H-K, Xu H, Rocco MA, Bratkowski MA, Ke A, and DeLisa MP. 2012. Engineering antibody fitness and function using membrane-anchored display of correctly folded proteins. Journal of Molecular Biology 416, 94-107. 
  • Karlsson AJ, Pomerantz WC, Weisblum B, Gellman SH, and Palecek SP. 2006. Antifungal activity from 14-helical β-peptides. Journal of the American Chemical Society 128, 12630-1. 

Celebrating ChemEs of the Black Diaspora

In honor of Black History Month, we highlight members of our ChBE community.

Amy Karlsson Named 2021 Kent Outstanding Teacher

Karlsson will be honored at the winter commencement ceremony on December 22.

Amy Karlsson Receives ASEE’s Martin Award

The award is presented for best paper offered at the 2020 ASEE meeting.

The Life of a ChBE Undergrad

Hanan Abuzeineh chases her degree and future career, while juggling family life.

Amy Karlsson Promoted to Associate Professor with Tenure

Karlsson was recognized at the 2019 Engineering Assembly last month.

UMD Students Encourage Fellow Academics to Get Moving

Joey Hurm and Tanner Pfendner organize calisthenics club to promote fitness, decrease stress. 

ChBE PhD Candidate Wins 2017 Outstanding Graduate Assistant Award

Svetlana Ikonomova was recognized at the UMD Graduate School Fellowship and Awards Celebration on May 11th. 

ChBE Professor Nominated for UMD Invention of the Year

Assistant Professor Amy Karlsson is in the running for her 'fungus fighting' research.

ChBE Student Receives AIChE 2016 Oral Presentation Award

Svetlana P. Ikonomova received one of four awards issued by AIChE for top-knotch presenters.  

Karlsson Receives ENGAGED Faculty Award

Award recognizes professor's efforts to increase student retention.

Undergrads Host AIChE Conference; Chem-E Car Shelldon Heads to National Competition

AIChE welcomes more than 300 chemical engineering students from more than two dozen schools.

Fighting Fungus: Engineering Antibodies for Validating Antifungal Drug Targets

Powe Junior Faculty Award supports Karlsson’s development of new experimental tool.

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, Honorable Mentions for ChBE Students

Two undergraduates and one graduate student recognized by NSF for research accomplishments.

Dominion Resources Supports Lab Upgrade

$30K gift supports purchase of new heat exchanger station for chemical engineering unit ops facility.

Karlsson Joins ChBE Faculty

Professor seeks to improve diagnosis and treatment of fungal diseases in immunocompromised patients.