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Karen Cielo, PhD

Dr. Karen Cielo is the Interim Director of the Office of Research Development.  Her primary role is to support the collective research enterprise at Northwestern, with an emphasis on large interdisciplinary research proposals.  She guides proposal development from inception through submission, including organizing and facilitating proposal planning workshops, providing writing/editorial support, and coordinating the team science approach. Dr. Cielo also oversees the institutional limited submissions grant process for nearly 200 funding opportunities and 20 competitions per year. She leads grant writing workshops for early career faculty and provides personalized funding opportunity consultations to faculty across all of Northwestern’s colleges/schools. 

Prior to joining Research Development, Dr. Cielo was a faculty member in the Biomedical Engineering Department at Northwestern. Through her research program, she investigated bioengineered arteriovenous grafts, localized drug delivery, and bioadsorbents. She has been the recipient of several grant awards, including an NIH award from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and she has published numerous peer-reviewed manuscripts. Dr. Cielo taught and mentored students at the undergraduate and graduate level, served as a subject matter expert for curriculum development, and volunteered at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry.  Dr. Cielo received her B.S. in Biopsychology and Cognitive Science from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) and earned her doctorate in Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology from The University of Chicago.


Karen Cielo
Interim Director