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Klarissa Jackson Lab

The Jackson laboratory utilizes human-relevant in vitro systems (hepatic cell cultures, tissue fractions, and recombinant enzymes) and liquid chromatography – mass spectrometry to study drug metabolism and disposition and address fundamental questions regarding the molecular mechanisms of drug toxicity and inter-individual variability in drug disposition. We also collaborate with basic scientists and clinical investigators to develop innovative solutions that will have a broader impact on improving drug safety and precision dosing in various therapeutic areas.

The Jackson laboratory focuses on translational research in drug metabolism and toxicology to elucidate the mechanisms of and risk factors for adverse drug reactions. An important goal of the laboratory is to identify the genetic and environmental factors that contribute to inter-individual variability in drug disposition, drug response, and drug toxicity. Our laboratory is currently investigating the influence of individual variations in cytochrome P450 and UDP-glucuronosyltransferase enzymes on the metabolism and hepatotoxicity of tyrosine kinase inhibitors used in cancer therapy as well as the natural product cannabidiol used in epilepsy treatment. We are also engaged in collaborative research to evaluate the structure-metabolism-toxicity relationships of novel compounds in drug discovery. The long-term goals of this research are to improve the prediction of serious adverse reactions, mitigate drug toxicity, and accurately tailor drug therapy in diverse patient populations.Current research projects in the Jackson laboratory include the following:

  • Metabolism and hepatotoxicity of tyrosine kinase inhibitors (NIH/NCI K01 CA190711)
  • Structure-metabolism-toxicity evaluation of bioactive molecules in drug discovery (NIH/NIGMS R01 GM127774)
  • Metabolism and hepatotoxicity of cannabidiol
  • Phenotypic biomarkers of cytochrome P450 3A for precision dosing (NC TraCS Pilot Grant 550KR231911

Klarissa Dawniette Jackson

(919) 962-5551

Klarissa Jackson joined the faculty at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy as an assistant professor in the Division of Pharmacotherapy and Experimental Therapeutics. Jackson obtained her B.S. in chemistry from Jackson State University and her Ph.D. in pharmacology from Vanderbilt University. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Washington School of Pharmacy in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry under the mentorship of Drs. Allan Rettie and Sidney Nelson. Prior to joining the faculty at UNC, Jackson was as an assistant professor at Lipscomb University College of Pharmacy in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacology at Vanderbilt University.

Jessica Beers

(919) 999-9999

Jessica obtained her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and her PharmD from Lipscomb University College of Pharmacy. She is currently pursuing a PhD in the Division of Pharmacotherapy and Experimental Therapeutics in the laboratory of Dr. Klarissa Jackson at UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. Jessica is studying the genetic and metabolic factors that influence adverse drug reactions and the role of drug metabolism and transport in informing pharmacokinetic models. Her current project focuses on characterizing the metabolism, transport, and hepatotoxicity of cannabidiol (CBD), a popular consumer product derived from Cannabis sativa that was recently FDA-approved to treat rare and severe forms of epilepsy in children. She is also interested in identifying possible pharmacogenomic differences in drug metabolizing enzymes that may influence CBD metabolism and subsequent toxicity.

Bethany Latham

Bethany obtained her bachelor’s degree in Genetics from North Carolina State University. She is pursuing a PhD in the Division of Pharmacotherapy and Experimental Therapeutics in the lab of Dr. Klarissa Jackson at UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. Bethany is studying genetic and phenotypic factors that influence interindividual variability in drug response. Currently, she is characterizing the metabolism of a HER-2 positive targeted breast cancer therapy, tucatinib, through in vitro phenotyping assays using human liver fractions. She is also interested in characterizing interindividual variability in response to antidepressant agents including psychedelic medicines.

Postdoctoral research associate position available: The Jackson laboratory is seeking a highly motivated postdoctoral fellow to join our research team in drug metabolism and disposition. Potential candidates are invited to email Klarissa Jackson at with the following information:

  • Complete curriculum vitae (CV) or biosketch
  • Summary of research training, background, and skills
  • Brief description of how you can contribute to the Jackson Laboratory

Dasean Terrell Nardone-White

(919) 962-9999

Dasean Nardone-White joined the Jackson laboratory after graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology as well as a Bachelor of Art in Music. Dasean’s research interests include medical microbiology, epidemiology, and host-pathogen interactions. Prior to joining the Jackson laboratory, Dasean conducted and presented his research at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, The Ohio State University, and Queens University of Charlotte. Additionally, Dasean has taught science at the high school level in an effort to stymie scientific illiteracy. Currently, Dasean is studying the glucuronidation pathways of the anti-cancer drug, lapatinib.