Robert S. Kass, PhD

Robert S. Kass, Ph.D. obtained his B.Sc. in Physics from the University of Illinois (1968) and his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Michigan (1972). Following postdoctoral training at Michigan (Physiology), the Marine Biology Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA, and the Department of Physiology at Yale University in the laboratory of Richard W. Tsien, Dr. Kass joined the faculty of the Department of Physiology at the University of Rochester as an Assistant Professor in 1977 and was promoted to Professor of Physiology in 1988. He was appointed Chairman of the Department of Pharmacology of Columbia University in 1995. In 1999 he became the David Hosack Professor and Chairman of the Department of Pharmacology, and in 2005 was named College of Physicians and Surgeons Alumni Professor. Dr. Kass is a member of Phi Eta Sigma and Phi Beta Kappa honorary societies.

 The focus of Dr. Kass' research program is on the structure and function of ion channels that are expressed in the heart. Most of the projects in his laboratory focus on understanding functional changes in ion channel activity that are caused by inherited mutations linked to human disease. The laboratory employs a multidisciplinary approach including collaborations with clinical investigators reporting novel mutations; the Department of Chemistry at Columbia, which has contributed novel compounds used to probe mutation-specific pharmacology; and genetically altered mice that enable analysis of the systems consequences of molecular perturbations. The Kass laboratory has trained over 40 post doctoral and 18 pre doctoral fellows. The laboratory is currently funded by multiple NIH awards and has benefited by a modest endowment.

 Dr. Kass is a member of the American Heart Association, The Biophysical Society, the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and serves as external advisor for several institutions and as Ad Hoc reviewer for the NHLBI. He is a past chair of the National American Heart Association Arrhythmia Study section, and is a Council Member of both The Society of General Physiologists and The Association of Pharmacology Chairs. Dr. Kass is associate editor of the journals Molecular Pharmacology and The Journal of Clinical Investigation.