Klementina Fon Tacer, DVM, PhD
Assistant Professor of Reproductive Biology and Oncology
CPRIT Scholar in Cancer Research
Klementina originally comes from Slovenia, Europe. After obtaining her veterinary degree and Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology from the University of Ljubljana, she came to the U.S. for her post-doctoral training at the UTSW Medical Center in Dallas, TX. Klementina returned to her native Slovenia where she taught at the Veterinary Faculty of the University of Ljubljana. Science brought her back to the U.S.; first to the UTSW Medical Center in Dallas but then the laboratory moved to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, TN, where she was studying proteins that are normally restricted to germ cells but get often hijacked by cancer.
Klementina combines teaching and research in her academic work. Her teaching focuses on the molecular underpinnings of animal physiology, pathology, diagnostic, and therapy. While at the University of Ljubljana she taught animal nutrition and associated pathologies to veterinary medicine students. She served as a guest lecturer at the Washington State University, Pullman, WA, and University of Ljubljana teaching stem cell biology, genome editing, and cancer biology. Besides, she trained and mentored many undergraduate and graduate students in the research laboratory setting
The overarching aim of Klementina's research goals is to uncover novel mechanisms that evolved to protect mammalian germ cells against stress, discover how and why they were co-opted in cancer, and ultimately apply the insights learned for the advancement of cancer treatment, fertility preservation, and conservation of endangered species. With an interdisciplinary program and comparative approach, she plans to interconnect veterinary and human medicine to ultimately benefit both, animal and human wellbeing and health.
Klementina is a member of the Society for the Study of Reproduction, American Society for Andrology, European Association for Cancer Research, Slovenian Genetic Society, and Slovenian Biochemistry Society. At the Veterinary Faculty, University of Ljubljana, she was a chair of the International Relations University Committee and a Study Abroad Program coordinator. She currently serves as an Assistant Editor of the Slovenian Veterinary Research Journal.