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.

4N107 Scott Hall
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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

CMU Engineering

New material aides in neural stimulation

Using light to control how cells “talk” to one another isn’t new science, but researchers at CMU have discovered that MXene, an easily produced nanomaterial, can allow for effiicient cellular communication.

Multiple outlets

Cohen-Karni neuron stimulation research featured

Research by BME/MSE’s Tzahi Cohen-Karni was featured in Florida News Times, as well as Knowledia, Asian Share, and Flipboard. 

CMU Engineering

Resetting travelers’ circadian clocks

Carnegie Mellon researchers are working with DARPA, Northwestern University, and Rice University to develop a system for regulating the body’s circadian clock.

CMU Engineering

Unlocking richer intracellular recordings

A forward-thinking group of researchers from Carnegie Mellon University and Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia has identified a flexible, low-cost, and biocompatible platform for enabling richer intracellular recordings.

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.