Franck K. Kalume, PhD

Portrait of Franck Kalume, Ph.D.
Job Title
Associate Professor of Neurological Surgery
Adjunct Associate Professor of Global Health
Adjunct Associate Professor of Pharmacology

Dr. Franck Kalume is a principal investigator in the Center for Integrative Brain Research (CIBR) at Seattle Children's Research Institute, and an associate professor in the departments of neurological surgery, pharmacology and global health at the University of Washington. He received a BS in biology from LeMoyne-Owen College and a PhD in neuroscience from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. He completed his post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Washington, under the mentorship of Professor William A. Catterall, in the Department of Pharmacology. He served as acting instructor in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Washington before joining the faculty of the Department of Neurological Surgery and the CIBR at Seattle Childrens Research Institute in late 2012. His current research interests include understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying sleep disturbance and sudden unexpected death, and investigating the anti-seizure properties of the ketogenic diet in Dravet syndrome and other genetic epilepsies.

Research Interests

The Kalume Lab is focused on understanding the pathophysiological basis of genetic epilepsies and their comorbid conditions. The goal of this lab is to pave the way for developing future drugs and therapeutic approaches for these disorders. The current research in the lab is aimed at understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying sudden unexpected death, sleep disturbance and the anti-seizure properties of the ketogenic diet in Dravet syndrome. Dravet syndrome is a drug-resistant and life-threatening epilepsy that starts in infancy, and is caused by heterozygote loss-of-function mutations in SCN1A, the gene encoding the type1 sodium (NaV 1.1) channels. The lab uses innovative approaches by combining behavioral assay, patch-clamp electrophysiology, pharmacology, electroencephalography, electrocardiography, electromyography, immunohistochemistry, biochemistry and mouse genetic techniques to identify changes in NaV channel function, as well as changes in neuronal and network excitability that cause epilepsy and associated conditions in a mouse model of Dravet syndrome.


Doctorate of Philosophy

University of Tennessee

Contact Information


  • Ahn M, Kalume F, Pitstick R, Oehler A, Carlson G, DeArmond SJ. Brain Aggregates: An Effective In Vitro Cell Culture System Modeling Neurodegenerative Diseases. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2016 Mar;75(3):256-62. doi: 10.1093/jnen/nlv025. Epub 2016 Feb 6. Erratum in: J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2016 May;75(5):479. PMID: 26851378
  • Roy A, Skibo J, Kalume F, Ni J, Rankin S, Lu Y, Dobyns WB, Mills GB, Zhao JJ, Baker SJ, Millen KJ. Mouse models of human PIK3CA-related brain overgrowth have acutely treatable epilepsy. Elife. 2015 Dec 3;4. pii: e12703. doi: 10.7554/eLife.12703. PMID: 26633882
  • Kalume F, Oakley JC, Westenbroek RE, Gile J, de la Iglesia HO, Scheuer T, Catterall WA. Sleep impairment and reduced interneuron excitability in a mouse model of Dravet Syndrome. Neurobiol Dis. 2015 May;77:141-54. doi: 10.1016/j.nbd.2015.02.016. Epub 2015 Mar 10. PMID: 25766678
  • Cheah CS, Westenbroek RE, Roden WH, Kalume F, Oakley JC, Jansen LA, Catterall WA. Correlations in timing of sodium channel expression, epilepsy, and sudden death in Dravet syndrome. Channels (Austin). 2013 Nov-Dec;7(6):468-72. doi: 10.4161/chan.26023. Epub 2013 Aug 21.PMID: 23965409
  • Kalume F. Sudden unexpected death in Dravet syndrome: respiratory and other physiological dysfunctions. Respir Physiol Neurobiol. 2013 Nov 1;189(2):324-8. doi: 10.1016/j.resp.2013.06.026. Epub 2013 Jul 9. Review. PMID: 23850567
  • Kalume F, Westenbroek RE, Cheah CS, Yu FH, Oakley JC, Scheuer T, Catterall WA Sudden unexpected death in a mouse model of Dravet syndrome. J Clin Invest. 2013 Apr;123(4):1798-808. doi: 10.1172/JCI66220. Epub 2013 Mar 25. PMID: 23524966
  • Cheah CS, Yu FH, Westenbroek RE, Kalume FK, Oakley JC, Potter GB, Rubenstein JL, Catterall WA. Specific deletion of NaV1.1 sodium channels in inhibitory interneurons causes seizures and premature death in a mouse model of Dravet syndrome. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Sep 4;109(36):14646-51. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1211591109. Epub 2012 Aug 20. PMID: 22908258
  • Dutton SB, Sawyer NT, Kalume F, Jumbo-Lucioni P, Borges K, Catterall WA, Escayg A. Protective effect of the ketogenic diet in Scn1a mutant mice. Epilepsia. 2011 Nov;52(11):2050-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1528-1167.2011.03211.x. Epub 2011 Jul 29. PMID: 21801172
  • Oakley JC, Kalume F, Catterall WA.Insights into pathophysiology and therapy from a mouse model of Dravet syndrome. Epilepsia. 2011 Apr;52 Suppl 2:59-61. doi: 10.1111/j.1528-1167.2011.03004.x. Review. PMID: 21463282
  • Catterall WA, Kalume F, Oakley JC. NaV1.1 channels and epilepsy. J Physiol. 2010 Jun 1;588(Pt 11):1849-59. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.2010.187484. Epub 2010 Mar 1. Review. PMID: 20194124
  • Oakley JC, Kalume F, Yu FH, Scheuer T, Catterall WA. Temperature- and age-dependent seizures in a mouse model of severe myoclonic epilepsy in infancy. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Mar 10;106(10):3994-9. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0813330106. Epub 2009 Feb 20. PMID: 19234123
  • Kalume F, Yu FH, Westenbroek RE, Scheuer T, Catterall WA. Reduced sodium current in Purkinje neurons from Nav1.1 mutant mice: implications for ataxia in severe myoclonic epilepsy in infancy. J Neurosci. 2007 Oct 10;27(41):11065-74. PMID: 17928448
  • Yu FH, Mantegazza M, Westenbroek RE, Robbins CA, Kalume F, Burton KA, Spain WJ, McKnight GS, Scheuer T, Catterall WA. Reduced sodium current in GABAergic interneurons in a mouse model of severe myoclonic epilepsy in infancy. Nat Neurosci. 2006 Sep;9(9):1142-9. Epub 2006 Aug 20. Erratum in: Nat Neurosci. 2007 Jan;10(1):134. PMID: 16921370
  • Kalume F, Lee SM, Morcos Y, Callaway JC, Levin MC. Molecular mimicry: cross-reactive antibodies from patients with immune-mediated neurologic disease inhibit neuronal firing. J Neurosci Res. 2004 Jul 1;77(1):82-9. PMID:15197740
  • Levin MC, Lee SM, Kalume F, Morcos Y, Dohan FC Jr, Hasty KA, Callaway JC, Zunt J, Desiderio D, Stuart JM. Autoimmunity due to molecular mimicry as a cause of neurological disease. Nat Med. 2002 May;8(5):509-13. PMID: 11984596