Theodore Rasmussen

  • E-MAIL
    • (860) 486-8339
  • FAX
    • (860) 486-5792
    • School of Pharmacy
  • MAIL
    • University of Connecticut
      Dept. of Pharmaceutical Sciences
      69 North Eagleville Road
      Storrs, CT 06269-3092

Associate Professor of Pharmacology & Toxicology

Educational Background

  • B.S. University of Washington, Biology
  • Ph.D. University of Wisconsin – Madison, Genetics
  • Postdoctoral Training: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Whitehead Institute

Research Interests

  • Personalized medicine using stem cells
  • Cell-based therapeutics
  • Nuclear reprogramming and epigenetics
  • Cell-based screens and assays


Dr. Rasmussen is a Professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Connecticut and a charter member of the University of Connecticut Stem Cell Institute and the Institute for Systems Genomics at the University of Connecticut. In addition, he holds a joint academic appointment in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology. Dr. Rasmussen earned his B.S. degree in Biology at the University of Washington at Seattle and received his Ph.D. in Genetics at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, where he studied processing of nuclear RNA. He then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Whitehead Institute at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he performed research on X chromosome inactivation and embryonic stem cell biology.

The research goals of Rasmussen Lab are designed to bring about advances in cell-based therapeutics through approaches drawn from stem cell biology, epigenetics,proteomics, and molecular genetics. Major research themes in the lab include the following: (1) directing nuclear reprogramming of somatic cells using induced pluripotency (iPS) and ES cell fusion‐mediated reprogramming (FMR) strategies; (2) exploring heterochromatin assembly in the context of embryonic stem cell differentiation, so as to understand cell lineage‐restricted gene silencing; (3) translational research to use iPS cell reprogramming technologies to develop cell culture models of human genetic disorders through collaboration with clinicians. Long‐range goals of the lab include the production of safe, immunocompatible, pluripotent cells for use in human cell‐based therapies to alleviate human disease and the development of methods for the guided differentiation of pluripotent cells to produce transplantable cells with therapeutic properties. An allied goal is to achieve a better understanding of molecular and cellular mechanisms that participate in the processes of nuclear reprogramming and differentiation. Dr. Rasmussen also investigates epigenetic function during mammalian gametogenesis, preimplantation development, and X chromosome inactivation.

Dr. Rasmussen helped to establish a stem cell research program in the State of Connecticut. He teaches genetics stem cell science at undergraduate and graduate levels and frequently participates in forums and panels that discuss stem cell research and ethics for the public. Dr. Rasmussen participates in grants review for international funding agencies and is also active in peer review for major scientific journals.