Tzahi Cohen-Karni received both his B.Sc. degree in Materials Engineering and B.A. degree in Chemistry from the Technion Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel, in 2004, 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, in 2011. For his Ph.D. work, Cohen-Karni received the Gold Graduate Student Award from the Materials Research Society in 2009, and was awarded the 2012 IUPAC Young Chemist Award.

Cohen-Karni was a Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) Postdoctoral Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Boston Children's Hospital in the labs of Robert Langer and Daniel S. Kohane, where he developed nanostructured three-dimensional platforms for cellular interfaces.

Currently, Cohen-Karni is an associate professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. His research interests include the unique interfaces between biology and nanotechnology, namely interfacing tissue and cells with nanostructures, monitoring their electrical properties, and altering their properties through controlled interactions with the nanostructures.

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Tzahi Cohen-Karni
Hybrid-Nanomaterials and Nano-Bioelectronics Group website

How Cells "Talk" to Each Other in a Cellular Arrangement

Recording Electrical Signals from Cells in Three Dimensions


2011 Ph.D., Applied Physics, Harvard University

2006 MS, Chemistry, Weizmann Institute of Science

2004 BA, Chemistry, Technion Israel Institute of Technology

2004 BS, Materials Engineering, Technion Israel Institute of Technology

Media mentions

Science Daily

Cohen-Karni and Chamanzar featured on neural communication

BME/MSE’s Tzahi Cohen-Karni and ECE’s Maysam Chamanzar were featured in Science Daily for their new technology that enhances scientists' ability to communicate with neural cells using light.

CMU Engineering

A remote control for neurons

A novel material for controlling human neuron cells could deepen our understanding of cell interactions and enable new therapies in medicine.

CMU Engineering

Healing large wounds fast

CMU has secured a $22 million DARPA grant to develop a device combining artificial intelligence, bioelectronics, and regenerative medicine to regrow muscle tissue, especially after combat injuries.

CMU Engineering

Producing hydrogen peroxide when, and where, it’s needed

Does a material exist that can be used to selectively, reliably, and efficiently form hydrogen peroxide whenever and wherever it’s needed?

Pittsburgh Business Times

Cohen-Karni quotes in the Pittsburgh Business Time

Pittsburgh Business Times and International Business Times featured work by a group of CMU Engineering researchers who developed an “organ-on-an-electronic-chip” platform that measures the electrophysiology of heart cell structures in 3D.

CMU Engineering

Self-rolling sensors take heart cell readings in 3D

A new organ-on-an-electronic-chip platform, published in Science Advances, uses self-rolling biosensor arrays to coil up and measure the electrophysiology of heart cells in 3D.

CMU Engineering

The root of the matter

A team from the College of Engineering has used the natural architecture of the mangrove tree to unlock a better method of desalination.

CMU Engineering

2019 Dean’s Early Career Fellows

Three young faculty members have been granted the 2019 Dean’s Early Career Fellowship to enable their continued contributions to their respective fields.

CMU Engineering

Cohen-Karni wins CMBE Young Innovator Award

BME/MSE’s Tzahi Cohen-Karni has been named a 2018 Young Innovator in Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering. Cohen-Karni is a member of the Bioengineered Organs Initiative.

CMU Engineering

College of Engineering's 2017 game changers

From engineering new materials to constructing smart systems, researchers in the College of Engineering are innovating for the future. Read some of our highlights from 2017.

CMU Engineering

Crawling nanowires

At Carnegie Mellon, a team of researchers made the first observation of nanowires that seemed to “crawl” along the surface of graphene films.

Eight engineering faculty members receive CIT Faculty Awards

Eight engineering faculty members recently received CIT Faculty Awards for their outstanding contribution to the College of Engineering.