Flora Tassone, Ph.D.

Flora Tassone, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine; Investigator, UC Davis MIND Institute, University of California, Davis
UC Davis MIND Institute
2825 50th Street
Sacramento, CA 95817

 

Phone:  916-703-0463
E-mail:  ftassone@ucdavis.edu 

Dr. Flora Tassone received her B.S. degree in biology from the University of Rome "La Sapienza" and her Ph.D. from the University of Rome UCSC in 1992. She is a Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine and a MIND Institute investigator at the University of California, Davis, School of Medicine. Dr. Tassone is a molecular geneticist with a specialty in gene transcriptional and translational regulation and she has carried out a significant work on the molecular characterization of the FMR1 gene at the structure, expression, CGG instability methylation and function levels. She has extensively reported on genotype/phenotype correlations particularly related to gene expression and methylation in patients with fragile X syndrome, with a full mutation and/or mosaicism.

Dr. Tassone has made a number of important observations related to the FMRP expression and to the mechanism of gene expression of the FMR1 gene, especially regarding the effects of expanded alleles (55-200 CGG repeats) on premutation carriers. Her most significant work led to the important discovery of gene dysregulation (increased mRNA activity) among premutation carriers. This discovery has provided the molecular basis for the forms of clinical involvement among carriers, including fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS), which was described in 2001. Since then she has carried out extensive work on the molecular basis and abnormal molecular phenotype observed in individuals with FXTAS.

Recently she has been involved in the development of molecular biomarkers as treatment outcome measures and to establish efficacy in clinical trial. Her research also focuses on a number of other neurodevelopmental disorders including Autism Spectrum Disorders and 22q11.2 deletion syndrome. Thus, her research addresses the causes, consequences, prevention, and treatment of neurodevelopmental disorders and has important implications for a translational science. Dr. Tassone is the director of a Fragile X project and the Director of the Fragile X Biobank, funded by the National Fragile X Foundation. Dr. Tassone is well known in the international Fragile X community; her work has been presented internationally and she has published extensively on the molecular aspect of both Fragile X and FXTAS and autism.

Education

B.S., Biology, University of Rome, 1983
Med Genetic, Medical Genetics, University of Rome, 1988
Ph.D., Molecular Biology, Catholic University of Rome, 1992