Dr. Klaassen joined the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, Kansas in 1968 where he spent over 45 years holding numerous positions including University Distinguished Professor as well as Chair of the Department of Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Therapeutics. He received his Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Iowa.
Dr. Klaassen’s research interests have centered on how we adapt to chemicals in the environment. Studies have included the regulation of xenobiotic transporters by nuclear receptors, age, and the intestinal microbiome; the mechanism of tolerance to cadmium toxicity by metallothionein; the importance of the transcription factor Nrf2 in protecting against the hepatotoxicity of chemicals; and mechanisms of chemical-induced thyroid tumors. He has published approximately 525 peer-reviewed articles and more than 80 review articles and chapters for books. Google Scholar indicates that he has an H factor of 101, which indicates that 101 of his publications have been cited more than 101 times.
As a leader in toxicology education, Dr. Klaassen has trained over 120 Ph.D. and Postdoctoral students, and so far three have been elected President of SOT and four received the Achievement Award from SOT. He is editor of Casarett and Doull’s Toxicology: The Basic Science of Poisons since 1980, and was author of the toxicology section of Goodman and Gilman’s Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics from 1980 to 2005. He is Founder (1980) and Course Director of the Mid-America Toxicology Course, an annual postgraduate course to help prepare toxicologists for board examination, and has presented over 450 lectures around the world.