Karen Gordon

Headshot of Karen Gordon
Professor; Associate Dean, Academic (CEPS)
School of Engineering
Phone number: 
(519) 824-4120 ext. 52435
THRN 2517

Education and Employment Background 

Dr. Karen Gordon received her PhD from the University of Western Ontario in 2004. In 2004, she held a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Calgary. Gordon joined the School of Engineering at the University of Guelph in 2004, where she is now a Professor and the Associate Dean (Academic) for the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences.

Research Themes 

Gordon’s research focuses on biomechanics and understanding the mechanical behaviour of the soft tissues that constitute the musculoskeletal system. This information helps inform the study of disease etiology, injury and healing mechanisms, the efficacy of clinical interventions, and replacement biomaterials. Key areas of focus include:

  1. Osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and the biggest musculoskeletal problem in the Western Hemisphere. More than three million Canadians suffer from this debilitating disease (approximately one in every six people). Frequently, clinical and radiographic signs become apparent only after irreversible degenerative changes are already present (i.e. the patient is already a candidate for joint replacement). Intervention is difficult without some earlier clinical signs. As well, a true understanding of the disease remains lacking. Increased comprehension of not only normal but also diseased functioning of orthopaedic soft tissue will greatly enhance our chances of intervention, treatment and cure. Gordon seeks to develop methods (in-vitro and eventually in-vivo) to study the deformation of tissue that surrounds the knee (and other) joints that are commonly afflicted with osteoarthritis.  Through this study of the functioning of these tissues, and how function is altered with disease, treatment options may be optimized, and diagnosis may occur earlier, resulting in improved patient outcomes.


  • Most Novel Paper in Wearable Technology, Canadian Bone and Joint Conference, 2017
  • Professorial Teaching Award, College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, University of Guelph, 2010
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Discovery grant, 2005, 2009, 2019

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