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Dr. Tara Klassen
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Dr. Klassen’s work profiling the genetic landscape of the>400 ion channel genes in the human genome revealed that a “channotype” is a complex personal portfolio of common and rare variants. These genes encode proteins that form macromolecular complexes which regulate membrane excitability in all cells of the body where dysfunction is causative for diseases of the neurological, cardiovascular, endocrine, and immune systems. Genetic background has an essential role in variant penetrance and causation in genetic epilepsy and its comorbidities including Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP). Dr. Klassen’stranslational research program spans from molecule to man with the overarching goal of developing physiologically accurate in silicomolecular diagnostic tools for clinical genetic risk prediction in channelopathies. These computational models will translate personal genetic variation into clinically relevant markers for use in 1) the design and efficacy of pharmacophores for personalized treatment, 2) the adverse risk prediction via pharmacogenomic profiling, and 3) understanding the pathophysiological basis of pharmacoresistance.

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