Karien J.
Rodríguez, Ph.D.

Research Technical Leader
Life Science, Global Research and Engineering
Kimberly-Clark Corporation

Ph.D., Biomedical Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison
B.S., Chemical Engineering, University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez

Anyone with sensitive skin, from infants to adults, will be thankful for the work of Dr. Karien J. Rodríguez, the Research Technical Leader for the Life Science, Global Research & Engineering division of Kimberly-Clark. 

Dr.Rodríguezleads high priority research towards essential skin health benefits and other consumer needs for the multinational personal care corporation where her achievements make a difference for the comfort of consumers and simultaneously help increase brand loyalty, product differentiation and market shares for their products.

Her work leading research to address wound healing, the needs of the incontinent, and improve outcomes for high risk infants in Neonatal Intensive Care Units advances the company’s global brands and impact the lives of millions of customers who helped generate more than $18 billion in annual revenue. 

Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Dr. Rodríguezfirst discovered her interest in science while attending CROEM, the island’s highly competitive public high school focused on STEM education. With the support of her divorced mom and her grandparents, she enrolled to earn her B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering at the University of Puerto Rico – Mayaguez where she gained valuable experience with an internship at Merck Sharp & Dohme and an exchange semester at the University of Louisville in Kentucky. 

After a summer performing research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she published her first peer-reviewed article on nano-fuel cells. Her work led to a fellowship from the Graduate Research Engineering Scholars program for underrepresented minorities at UW-Madison to pursue a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering.

Specializing in Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering, Dr. Rodríguezcontinued developing expertise by conducting postdoctoral research on chronic wound healing at the University’s School of Veterinary Medicine after receiving her doctorate and before accepting a position at Johnson & Johnson in New Jersey where she spent 3 years researching aging skin and skin inflammation. 

In 2013, she joined the Life Science team at Kimberly-Clark’s Global Research and Engineering group as a Senior Scientist. Dr. Rodríguezbegan by leading skin research to develop an oxygen-delivering biomaterial for KC Health Care. The proposed research received a grant from the U.S. Office of Naval Research and her resulting technical solutions received a patent. Within a year, her work was rewarded with a promotion to Technical Leader — Cutaneous Biology, working on skin comfort solutions for KC’s Huggies® and Depend® brands.

With 17 external publications, a granted patent, four patent applications, and two trade secrets to her credit, Dr. Rodríguez’swork has helped Kimberly Clark improve their technical and business results and build a diverse team of talent. 

A member of the Society of Professional Hispanic Engineers, the Society for Investigative Dermatology, and the Society for Women in Engineering, Dr. Rodríguez has continued to work with women and minorities to advance their careers in STEM.