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Rheem Totah

assistant professor rheem totah
Associate Professor, Department of Medicinal Chemistry
PH: 206 543 9481


  • B.S. (Honors), 1995, Birzeit University, Palestine
  • Masters (Honors), 2000, University of Kansas
  • Ph.D. (Honors), 2002, University of Kansas

Research Interests

  • Prescription drug negative side effects in the heart, skeletal muscle and bone; associated chemical mechanisms for this toxicity
  • Drug-endogenous substrate interactions
  • Pharmacogenetics


Dr. Totah obtained her bachelor's degree in chemistry from Birzeit University in Palestine and her master's and PhD in medicinal chemistry from the University of Kansas. Dr. Totah is currently an associate professor in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry. Her research is in the area of prescription drug negative side effects especially in the heart, skeletal muscle and bone. She focuses on researching the chemical mechanisms for this toxicity. Her research is important in guiding research towards medicines with fewer side effects and safer use. Research in the Totah lab is broadly centered on drug-endogenous substrate interactions. 

Recent Selected Publications

  • Kaspera R, Naraharisetti SB, Tamraz B, Sahele T, Kwok P-Y, Marciante K, Heckbert SR, Psaty BM, Totah RA. "In Vitro Metabolism of Cerivastatin by CPY2C8 Variants Found in Patients Experiencing Rhabdomyolysis." Pharmacogenetics and Genomics. In press.
  • Kaspera R, Sahele T, Lakatos K, Totah RA. "Cytochrome P450BM-3 reduces aldehydes to alcohols through a direct hydride transfer." Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 418(3):464-8 (Feb 17 2012.)
  • Naraharisetti SB, Lin YS, Rieder M, Marciante K, Psaty BM, Thummel KE, Totah RA. "Human Liver Expression of CYP2C8: gender, age and genotype effects." Drug Metab. Dispos. 38(6):889-93 (2010).
  • Lee C, Neul D, Clouser-Roche A, Dalvie D, Jiang J, Jones III JP, Wester M, Zientek M, Totah RA. "Identification of Novel Substrates for CYP2J2." Drug Metab. Disp. 38:347-356 (manuscript featured on the cover of February 2010 edition).
  • Kaspera R, Totah RA. "Epoxyeicosatrienoic acids: formation, metabolism and potential role in tissue physiology and pathophysiology." Expert Opin Drug Metab Toxicol. 5(7):757-71 (Jul 20009).
  • Smith, H., Jones, JP III, Kalhorn, T., Farin, F., Stapleton, P., Davis, C., Perkins, J., Blough, D., Hebert M., Thummel, K., Totah, R.A. "Role of Cytochrome P450 2C8 and 2J2 genotype in calcineurin inhibitor induced chronic kidney disease." Pharmacogenetics and Genomics. Nov;18(11):943-53 (2008).
  • Marciante, K., Totah, R.A., Heckbert, S., Smith, N., LeMaitre, R., Lumley, T., Rice, K., Hindorff, L., Bis, J., Hartman, B., Psaty, B, "Common Variation in Cytochrome P450 Epoxygenase Genes and the Risk of Incident Non-Fatal Myocardial Infarction and Ischemic Stroke." Pharmacogenet Genomics Jun;18(6):535-543 (2008).
  • Totah, R.A., Sheffels, P., Roberts, T., Whittington, D., Thummel, K., Kharasch, ED. "Role of CYP2B6 in Stereoselective Human Methadone Metabolism." Anesthesiology 108:363-74 (2008).
  • Totah, R.A., Allen, KE, Sheffels, P., Whittington, D., and Kharasch, E.D. "Enantiomeric metabolic interactions and stereoselective human methadone metabolism." J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 321:389-399 (2007).
  • Gaedigk, A., Baker, D.W., Totah, R.A., Gaedigk, R., Pearce, R.E., Vyhlidal, C.A., Zeldin, D.C., and Leeder, J.S. "Variability of CYP2J2 expression in human fetal tissues." J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 319:523-532 (2006).
  • Totah, R.A., Rettie, A.E. "Principles of drug metabolism, enzymes and tissues." Comprehensive Drug Metabolism, 2nd ed. Vol. 5 (2006).
  • Totah, R.A., Rettie, A.E. "CYP2C8: Substrates, Inhibitors, Pharmacogenetics and Clinical Relevance." Clin Pharm Therap. 77: 341-352 (2005).

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