Sean Kassen, PhD Director of the Ara Parseghian Medical Research Fund.
Sean Kassen, PhD
Director of the Ara Parseghian Medical Research Fund

Sean Kassen is the Director of the Ara Parseghian Medical Research Fund at the University of Notre Dame.  In this role he is responsible for administering all of the functions of the Fund which includes advancing Niemann-Pick Type C (NPC) disease research, fundraising, managing the grants program, and raising awareness of NPC disease.

Sean has been intimately involved in these efforts to find a cure for NPC disease for the past 10 years.  Prior to this new position, he was the Director of Academic Advancement for the College of Science at the University of Notre Dame where he worked directly with the University Relations office to externally promote the priorities of the College of Science to individuals, companies, and foundations.  He also coordinated several events including the Road to Discovery cross-country bike ride and the Parseghian Classic to raise awareness and funds for NPC disease.

Having received his Ph.D. in cell and molecular biology from the University of Notre Dame, Sean also has a background in Biology.  He published ten manuscripts in leading peer-reviewed scientific journals, ranging in topics from identifying the mechanisms behind retinal development and regeneration to using zebrafish as a model for developing genetic tools.  As a graduate student he also taught an undergraduate genetics lab for four years and trained many students, four of whom have been coauthors on publications.  Prior to attending Notre Dame, Sean conducted research for Evanston Hospital in Evanston, IL, identifying causes of a rare premature infant disease called necrotizing enterocolitis.

Sean received his undergraduate degree in biochemistry from Alma College in Alma, MI.  He currently lives in Granger, IN and is married with two daughters…who run his life!

About Notre Dame’s Partnership: