Carnegie Mellon University

Tzahi Cohen-Karni

Tzahi Cohen-Karni

Associate Professor

Scott Hall 4th Floor
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213


Tzahi Cohen-Karni is an Associate Professor at the Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering in Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA. He received both his B.Sc. degree in Materials Engineering and the B.A. degree in Chemistry from the Technion Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel, in 2004. He obtained his M.Sc. degree in Chemistry from Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel, in 2006 and his Ph.D. in Applied Physics from the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge MA, USA, in 2011. He was a Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) Postdoctoral Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Boston Children’s Hospital at the labs of Robert Langer and Daniel S. Kohane from 2011 to 2013. Dr. Cohen-Karni received the Gold Graduate Student Award from the Materials Research Society in 2009, and received the 2012 International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry Young Chemist Award. Dr. Cohen-Karni was awarded the Charles E. Kaufman Foundation Young Investigator Research Award (2014), the NSF CAREER Award (2016) and the Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering Rising Star Award (2017), the Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award (2017), The George Tallman Ladd Research Award (2017) and the Cellular Molecular Bioengineering Young Innovator Award (2018).


Technion IIT, Haifa, Israel, B.Sc., 2004, Materials Engineering

Technion IIT, Haifa, Israel, B.A., 2004, Chemistry

Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel, M.Sc., 2006, Chemistry

Harvard University, Cambridge MA, USA, Ph.D., 2011, Applied Physics

MIT, Cambridge MA, USA, Postdoc, 2013, Bioengineering


We are a team of scientists that combine materials science and engineering, chemistry, biology, and physics to develop new class of nanoscale hybrid-materials. Our work is focused on understanding the underlying mechanisms of the emergent electrical, electrochemical, optical, and thermal properties of our synthesized novel hybrid-nanomaterials. Our tailor-made complex hybrid-nanomaterials are also being investigated as bio-sensors, and energy conversion and storage platforms. Leveraging this extensive knowledge, we are also exploring novel strategies for the investigation of biological entities at multiple length scales from the molecular level to complex cellular networks.


Recent Publications -

T. Cohen-Karni, C.M. Lieber, “Nanowire nanoelectronics: Building interfaces with tissue and cells at the natural scale of biology,” Pure Appl. Chem., 85, 883-901, (2013).

T. Cohen-Karni, K.J. Jeong, J. Tsui, G. Reznor, M. Mustata, M. Wanunu, A. Graham, C. Marks, D.C. Bell, R. Langer, D.S. Kohane, “Nanocomposite gold-silk nanofibers,” Nano Lett., 12, 5403–5406 (2012).

T. Cohen-Karni, R. Langer, D.S.  Kohane, “The Smartest Materials: The future of nanoelectronics in medicine”, ACS Nano, 6, 6541–6545 (2012).

T. Cohen-Karni*, D. Casanova*, J. Cahoon, Q. Qing, D. Bell and C.M. Lieber, “Synthetically-encoded ultrashort-channel nanowire transistors for fast, point-like cellular signal detection,” Nano Lett. 12, 2639-2644 (2012).

T. Cohen-Karni, B. Tian and C.M. Lieber, “Electrical recording from cardiac cells and tissue using nanowire transistors,” in Nanomedicine and the Cardiovascular System (eds. R.J. Hunter and V.R. Preedy), Science Publishers (2011).

B. Tian*, T. Cohen-Karni*, Q. Qing, X. Duan, P. Xie and C.M. Lieber, "Three-dimensional, flexible nanoscale field-effect transistors as localized bioprobes,” Science329, 831-834 (2010).

T. Cohen-Karni*, Q. Qing*, Q. Li*, Y. Fang and C.M. Lieber, "Graphene and nanowire transistors for cellular interfaces and electrical recording," Nano Lett.10, 1098-1102 (2010).

T. Cohen-Karni, B.P. Timko, L.E. Weiss and C.M. Lieber, "Flexible electrical recording from cells using nanowire transistor arrays," Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA106, 7309-7313 (2009).

B.P. Timko*, T. Cohen-Karni*, G. Yu, Q. Qing, B. Tian and C.M. Lieber, "Electrical recording from hearts with flexible nanowire device arrays," Nano Lett.9, 914-918 (2009).