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“You don't cure the disease by only looking at the disease.
 Very often cures come out of left field. ”
Klaus Ley, M.D.
Division Head and Professor
Division of Inflammation Biology

cell-bullet1.jpg"For me, I couldn't imagine doing anything else.  I love my work.  It's fun, interesting and intellectually challenging every day, to think it through.  It's real." - Klaus Ley, M.D.

Dr. Ley joined LIAI in 2007 as the Division Head in the Division of Inflammation Biology.

Klaus Ley, M.D.Dr. Ley received his B.S. from Altkönigschule-Gymnasium, Kronberg, Germany in 1976. In 1982, he received his M.D. from the Julius-Maximilians-Universität, Würzburg, Germany. Dr. Ley began his postdoctoral training from 1983 to 1987 at the Freie Universität Berlin, Germany. From 1987 to 1989, Dr. Ley was a visiting research scientist at the University of California, San Diego. From 1990 to 1992, Dr. Ley was appointed as scientific assistant for the Department of Physiology at Freie Universität in Berlin, Germany.

Dr. Ley has been awarded the 2008 Marie T. Bonazinga Award, the highest scientific prize offered by the Society for Leukocyte Biology, and the 2010 Malpighi Award, the most prestigious award of the European Society for Microcirculation.

research focus

cell-bullet2.jpg Klaus Ley, M.D., and his team study inflammation a defense reaction caused by tissue damage or injury, characterized by redness, heat, swelling, and pain. The primary objective of inflammation is to localize and eradicate the irritant and repair the surrounding tissue. For the survival of the host, inflammation is a necessary and beneficial process. The inflammatory response involves three major stages: first, dilation of capillaries to increase blood flow; second, microvascular structural changes and escape of plasma proteins from the bloodstream; and third, leukocyte transmigration through endothelium and accumulation at the site of injury.

The leukocyte adhesion cascade is a sequence of adhesion and activation events that ends with extravasation of the leukocyte, whereby the cell exerts its effects on the inflamed site. At least five steps of the adhesion cascade are capture, rolling, slow rolling, firm adhesion, and transmigration. Each of these five steps appears to be necessary for effective leukocyte recruitment, because blocking any of the five can severely reduce leukocyte accumulation in the tissue. These steps are not phases of inflammation, but represent the sequence of events from the perspective of each leukocyte. At any given moment, capture, rolling, slow rolling, firm adhesion and transmigration all happen in parallel, involving different leukocytes in the same microvessels.

The roles of adhesion molecules in acute and chronic inflammation have been investigated using in vitro model systems and in vivo microcirculation studies. The ultimate goal of inflammation research is to develop methods to control inflammation by modulating or blocking leukocyte adhesion to the endothelium. These ideas developed by basic research contribute to contemporary research projects developing anti-inflammatory drugs. Anti-inflammatory agents function as blockers, suppressors, or modulators of the inflammatory response.

selected publications

cell-bullet3.jpgLeukocyte ligands for endothelial selectins: specialized glycoconjugates that mediate rolling and signaling under flow. Blood. 2011

SAMP1/YitFc mouse strain: A spontaneous model of Chron's disease-like ileitis.
Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2011

How dendritic cells shape atherosclerosis. Trends Immunol. 2011

CD63 positions CD62P for rolling. Blood. 2011

High refractive index silicone gels for simultaneous total internal reflection flourescence and traction force microscopy of adherent cells. PLoS One. 2011

Small moleculemediated activation of the integrin CD11b/CD18 reduces inflammatory disease. Sci Signal. 2011

Monocyte and macrophage dynamics during atherogenesis. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2011

Rap1a activation by CalDAG-GEFI and p38 MAPK is involved in Eselectin-dependent slow leukocyte rolling. Eur J Immunol. 2011

Adam 17-dependent shedding limits early neutrophil influx but does not alter early monocyte recruitment to inflammatory sites. Blood. 2011

Live cell imaging of paxillin in rolling neutrophils by dual-color quantitative dynamic footprinting. Microcirculation. 2011

Protein tyrosine kinases in neutrophil activation and recruitment. Arch Biochem Biophys. 2011

Flow cytometry analysis of immune cells within murine aortas. J Vis Exp. 2011

Cell protrusions and tethers: a unified approach. Biophys J. 2011

Protein kinase C isoforms in neutrophil adhesion and activation. Arch Immunol Ther Exp. 2011

Mycophenolate mofetil decreases atherosclerotic lesion size by depression of aortic T lymphocyte and IL-17-mediated macrophage accumulation. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2011

Prevention, but not cure of type 1 diabetes by FTY720 in NOD/LtJ mice despite effective modulation of blood T cells. Autoimmunity. 2011

Biomechanics of leukocyte rolling. Biorheology. 2011

Development of monocytes, macrophages, and dendritic cells. Science. 2010

CXC chemokine ligand 4 induces a unique transcriptome in monocyte-derived macrophages. J Immunol. 2010 

CXCL4 downregulates the atheroprotective hemoglobin receptor CD163 in human macrophages. Circ Res. 2010

ReSASC: a resampling-based algorithm to determine differential protein expression from spectral count data. Proteomics. 2010

View all publications
The link above may include papers by scientists with the same or similar name. 

staff list
upcoming seminars
    "Zinc-induced Polymerization of Receptor at the Plasma Membrane: A New Form of Regulated Signal Transduction?"
    Wednesday 05/18/16: 12:00 PM
    "Exploring the Roles of Type-2 Cytokine-producing Mucosal Mast Cells in Allergic Disorder"
    Wednesday 06/01/16: 12:00 PM
  • Malpighi Award. Most prestigious award of the ESM
  • Surhen Lecture, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA
  • Marie T. Bonazinga Award, the highest scientific prize offered by the Society for Leukocyte Biology
  • Biomedical Engineering Society, Fellow, 2005
  • Faculty of 1000, elected contributing member of Cell Biology section, 2003
  • Kurt Anderson Memorial Lectureship, UTMB Galveston, 2001
  • Curt A. Wiederhielm Award of the Microcirculatory Society, 2001
  • American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), Elected Fellow, 2001
  • Annual Gelber Lecturer, Baylor College of Medicine, 2000
  • Basic Medical Research Award, Smith-Kline-Beecham Foundation, 1992
  • Abbott Award: Scientific award of the European Society for Microcirculation, 1986
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