Robert J. Straka, PharmD, FCCP

Department Head and Professor, Department of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology (ECP)

Robert J. Straka

Contact Info

Office Phone 612-624-5663

Fax 612-625-3927

Office Address:
7- 115B Weaver-Densford Hall

Mailing Address:
University of Minnesota
College of Pharmacy
Department of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology
7-115 Weaver-Densford Hall
308 Harvard St. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Administrative Assistant Name
Zack McGough

Administrative Phone

Administrative Email

Bachelors Degree, University of Toronto, Canada (Pharmacy), 1983

PharmD, University of Minnesota, 1985

Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Cardiovascular Pharmacokinetics, University of Tennessee, 1987

Sabbatical, Cardiovascular Pharmacogenomics, University of Florida, 2006-2007


Awards & Recognition

2018 University of Minnesota President’s Community-Engaged Scholar Award: This collegiate award recognizes exemplary community-engaged scholarship by a faculty member whose academic career has reflected longstanding commitment to the University’s definition of public engagement


Research Summary/Interests

Research Interests:

  • Cardiovascular Pharmacotherapy
  • Pharmacogenomics 
  • Pharmacodynamicsand Pharmacokinetics 
  • Drug Metabolism 
  • Health Disparities

Research Projects:

My research interests focus on optimizing the use of therapeutic agents used for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease by investigating pharmacogenetic, pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic sources of variability in drug response. Understanding variability in drug response can optimize achievement of therapeutic goals. Discovery and implementation of pharmacogenomic determinants of drug response can help tailor therapy to minimizing drug-drug-gene interactions. Discovering of novel genetic variants or recognizing unique allele frequencies of known variants in underserved populations may also help address disparities in optimal drug selection within such populations.

Therapeutic Areas of Interests

Hyperlipidemia, Hypertension, Hyperuricemia/Gout, Metabolic Syndrome and Heart Failure




Complete Publications listed at PubMed

  • Peng K^, Bjork J, Wen YF^, Roman YM, Culhane-Pera, Lo MX, Gertner E, Straka, RJ. HLA-B*58:01.
    Carrier status in the Minnesota Hmong: first in Hmong genotyping for prevalence of this biomarker of risk for severe cutaneous adverse reactions (SCARs) caused by allopurinol. Pharmacogenetics and Genomics. Pharmacogenet Genomics. 2019 Oct 25. doi: 10.1097/FPC.0000000000000391. PMID: 31658186
  • Culhane-Pera KA*, Straka RJ*, Moua M, Roman Y, Vue P, Xiaaj K, Lo MX, Lor M.. Engaging Hmong Adults in Genomics/Pharmacogenomics Research: Towards Reducing Health Disparities in Genomics Knowledge Using a Community-Based Participatory Research Approach. Journal of Community Genet. 2017, 8:117-125doi: 10.1007/s12687-017-0292-x (*Co-First Authors) PMID: 28074382
  • Roman YM, Culhane-Pera KA, Menk J, Straka RJ. Assessment of genetic polymorphisms associated with hyperuricemia or gout in the Hmong. Personalized Medicine. 2016 September; 13(5), 429-440
  • An P, Straka RJ, Pollin TI, Feitosa MF, Wojczynski MK, Daw EW, O'Connell JR, Gibson Q, Ryan KA, Hopkins PN, Tsai MY, Lai CQ, Province MA, Ordovas JM, Shuldiner AR, Arnett DK, Borecki IB. Genome-wide association studies identified novel loci for non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and its postprandial lipemic response. Hum Genet. 2014 Jul;133(7):919-30. doi: 10.1007/s00439-014-1435-3. PMID: 24604477
  • Feitosa MF, Wojczynski MK, Straka R, Kammerer CM, Lee JH, Kraja AT, Christensen K, Newman AB, Province MA, Borecki IB. Genetic analysis of long-lived families reveals novel variants influencing high density-lipoprotein cholesterol. Front Genet. 2014 Jun 3;5:159. doi: 10.3389/fgene.2014.00159. eCollection 2014. PMID 24917880
  • Oldenburg NC, Duval S, Luepker RV, Finnegan JR, LaMarre H, Peterson KA, Zantek ND, Jacobs G, Straka RJ, Miller KH, Hirsch AT.A 16-month community-based intervention to increase aspirin use for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease.Prev Chronic Dis. 2014 May 15;11:E83. doi: 10.5888/pcd11.130378. PMID 24831287
  • Trottier J, Perreault M, Rudkowska I, Levy C, Dallaire-Theroux A, Verreault M, Caron P, Staels B, Vohl MC, Straka RJ, Barbier O.Profiling serum bile acid glucuronides in humans: gender divergences, genetic determinants, and response to fenofibrate.Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2013 Oct;94(4):533-43. doi: 10.1038/clpt.2013.122. Epub 2013 Jun 12. PMID 23756370
  • Aslibekyan S, Straka RJ, Irvin MR, Class SA, Arnett DK.Pharmacogenomics of high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol-raising therapies. Expert Rev Cardiovasc Ther. 2013 Mar;11(3):355-64. doi: 10.1586/erc.12.134. PMID 23469915
  • Frazier-Wood AC1, Aslibekyan S, Borecki IB, Hopkins PN, Lai CQ, Ordovas JM, Straka RJ, Tiwari HK, Arnett DK.Genome-wide association study indicates variants associated with insulin signaling and inflammation mediate lipoprotein responses to fenofibrate. Pharmacogenet Genomics. 2012 Oct;22(10):750-7. PMID 22890011
  • Frazier-Wood AC, Ordovas JM, Straka RJ, Hixson JE, Borecki IB, Tiwari HK, Arnett DK.The PPAR alpha gene is associated with triglyceride, low-density cholesterol and inflammation marker response to fenofibrate intervention: the GOLDN study. Pharmacogenomics J. 2013 Aug;13(4):312-7. doi: 10.1038/tpj.2012.9. Epub 2012 May 1. PMID 22547144
  • Aslibekyan S, Kabagambe EK, Irvin MR, Straka RJ, Borecki IB, Tiwari HK, Tsai MY, Hopkins PN, Shen J, Lai CQ, Ordovas JM, Arnett. DKA genome-wide association study of inflammatory biomarker changes in response to fenofibrate treatment in the Genetics of Lipid Lowering Drug and Diet Network.
  • Pharmacogenet Genomics. 2012 Mar;22(3):191-7. doi: 10.1097/FPC.0b013e32834fdd41. PMID 22228203
  • Trottier J, Bia?ek A, Caron P, Straka RJ, Heathcote J, Milkiewicz P, Barbier O.Metabolomic profiling of 17 bile acids in serum from patients with primary biliary cirrhosis and primary sclerosing cholangitis: a pilot study. Dig Liver Dis. 2012 Apr;44(4):303-10. doi: 10.1016/j.dld.2011.10.025. Epub 2011 Dec 9. PMID 22169272
  • Trottier J, Caron P, Straka, RJ, Barbier O. Profile of Serum Bile Acids in Noncholestatic Volunteers: Gender-Related Differences in Response to Fenofibrate. Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics. 2011August 90 (2):279-286 PMID 21716269
  • Kraja AT, Province MA, Straka RJ, Ordovas JM, Borecki IB, Arnett DK. Fenofibrate and metabolic syndrome.
  • Endocr Metab Immune Disord Drug Targets. 2010 Jun 1;10(2):138-48.PMID 20406163
  • Tsai MY, Ordovas JM, Li N, Straka RJ, Hanson NQ, Arends VL, Arnett D. Effect of fenofibrate therapy and ABCA1 polymorphisms on high-density lipoprotein subclasses in the Genetics of Lipid Lowering Drugs and Diet Network. Mol Genet Metab. 2010 Jun;100(2):118-22. Epub 2010 Mar 6.PMID: 20346718
  • Straka RJ, Liu LZ, Girase PS, DeLorenzo A, Chapman RH. Incremental cardiovascular costs and resource use associated with diabetes: an assessment of 29,863 patients in the US managed-care setting. Cardiovascular Diabetology. 2009 Sep 26;8:53. PMID: 19781099
  • Tojcic J, Benoit-Biancamano MO, Court MH, Straka RJ, Caron P, Guillemette C. In vitro glucuronidation of fenofibric acid by human UGTs and liver microsomes. Drug Metabolism and Disposition 2009;11:2236-2243. PMID 19661212
  • Perez-Martinez P, Corella D, Shen J, Arnett DK, Yiannakouris N, Tai ES, Orho-Melander M, Tucker KL, Tsai M, Straka RJ, Province M, Kai CS, Perez-Jimenez F, Lai CQ, Lopez-Miranda J, Guillen M, Parnell LD, Borecki I, Kathiresan S, Ordovas JM. Association between glucokinase regulatory protein (GCKR) and apolipoprotein A5 (APOA5) gene polymorphisms and triacylglycerol concentrations in fasting, postprandial, and fenofibrate-treated states. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009;89:391-399. PMID: 19056598
  • Liu Y, Ordovas JM, Gao G, Province M, Straka RJ, Tsai MY, Lai CQ, Zhang K, Borecki I, Hixson JE, Allison DB, Arnett DK. Pharmacogenetic association of the APOA1/C3/A4/A5 gene cluster and lipid responses to fenofibrate: the Genetics of Lipid-Lowering Drugs and Diet Network study. Pharmacogenet Genomics. 2009;19:161-169. PMID: 19057464
  • Liu Y, Ordovas JM, Gao G. Province M. Straka RJ, Tsai MY, Lai CQ, Zhang K, Borecki I, Hixson JE, Allison DB, Arnett DK The SCARB1 gene is associated with lipid response to dietary and pharmacological interventions. Journal of Human Genetics 2008;53:709-717. PMID 18542840
  • Shen J. Arnett DK, Parnell LD, Peacock JM, Lai CQ, Hixon JE, Tsai MY, Province MA, Straka RJ, Ordovas JM. Association of common C-reactive protein (CRP) gene polymorphisms with baseline plasma CRP levels and fenofibrate response: The GOLDN Study. Diabetes Care. 2008;31:910-915. PMID: 18285551
  • Smith JA, Arnett DK, Kelly RJ, Ordovas JM, Sun YV, Hopkins PN, Hixson JE, Straka RJ, Peacock JM, Kardia SLR. The genetic architecture of fasting plasma triglyceride response to fenofibrate treatment. Euro J Hum Gen. 2008;16: 603-613. PMID: 18212815
  • Straka RJ, Mamdani M, Damen J, Kuntze CEE, Liu LZ, Botteman MF, Koren MJ. Economic impacts attributable to the early clinical benefit of atorvastatin therapy – a US managed care perspective. Curr Med Res Opin. 2007;23(7):1517-29. PMID: 17535539
  • Lai CQ, Arnett DK, Corella D, Straka, RJ, Tsai MY, Peacock JM, Adiconis X, Parnell LD, Hixon JE, Province MA, Ordovas JM. Fenofibrate effect on triglyceride and postprandial response of apolipoprotein A5 variants: The GOLDN study. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2007;27(6):1417-25. PMID: 17431185
  • Kaila N, Straka RJ, Brundage RC. Mixture models and subpopulation classification: A pharmacokinetic simulation study and application to metoprolol CYP2D6 phenotype. J Pharmacokinetics Pharmacodynamics. 2007;34(2):141-56. PMID: 17053980
  • Straka RJ, Burkhardt RT, Lang NP, Hadsall KZ, Tsai MY. Discordance between N-acetyltransferase 2 phenotype and genotype in a population of Hmong subjects. J Clin Pharmacol. 2006;46(7):802-11. PMID 16809806
  • Straka RJ, Burkhardt RT, Lang NP, Vang T, Hadsall KZ, Tsai MY Verified predominance of slow acetylator phenotype N-acetyltransferase 2 (NAT2) in a Hmong population residing in Minnesota. Biopharm Drug Dispos. 2006;27(6):299-304. PMID: 16799928
  • Straka RJ, Taheri R, Cooper SL, Smith JC. Achieving cholesterol target in a managed care organization (ACTION) trial. Pharmacotherapy. 2005;25(3):360-71. PMID: 15843283
  • Straka RJ, Taheri R, Cooper SL, Tan AW, Smith JC. Assessment of hypercholesterolemia control in a health care organization. Pharmacotherapy. 2001;21(7):818-27. PMID: 11444578
  • Straka RJ, Fish JP, Benson SR, Suh JT. Patient self-reporting of compliance does not correspond with electronic monitoring: an evaluation using isosorbide dinitrate as a model drug. Pharmacotherapy 1997:17(1);126-33. PMID: 9017773
  • Straka RJ, Hansen R, Walker P. Predominance of slow acetylators of N-acetyltransferase in a Hmong population residing in the United States. J Clin Pharmacol. 1996;36(8):740-7. PMID: 8877679
  • Straka RJ, Hansen RS, Walker PF. Comparison of the prevalence of the poor metabolizer phenotype for CYP2D6 between 203 Hmong subjects and 280 white subjects residing in Minnesota. Clin. Pharmacol Ther 1995;58(1):29-34. PMID: 7628180
  • Lalonde RL, Straka RJ, Pieper JA, Bottorff MB, Mirvis DM. Propranolol pharmacodynamic modeling using unbound and total concentrations in healthy volunteers. J Pharmacokinet Biopharm 1987;15(6):569-82. PMID: 3450842
  • Straka RJ, Lalonde RL, Pieper JA, Bottorff MB, Mirvis DM. Nonlinear pharmacokinetics of unbound propranolol after oral administration. J Pharm Sci 1987;76(7):521-4. PMID: 3668812