Dr. Ley joined LIAI in 2007 as the founding Division Head of the Division of Inflammation Biology. 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 and returned to Freie Universität Berlin until 1994, when he joined the faculty of the University of Virginia. From 2001-2007, he was director of the Robert M Berne Cardiovascular Research Center at the University of Virginia.
Klaus Ley, M.D., and his team study inflammation as 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. Dr Ley has investigated the roles of adhesion molecules in acute and chronic inflammation with the ultimate goal to develop methods to control inflammation. One application is in atherosclerosis, the disease of the vessel wall that underlies heart attacks and strokes. Dr. Ley’s team is working on developing a vaccine against atherosclerosis. They have developed a vaccine that is effective in mice and are now aiming at translating this to a vaccine for humans.
From The Lab
Harvards Springer get $51.5M from pharmas, others, from latest startup
Bright minds battling dark diseases
San Diego's top scientists talk about emerging discoveries
Top killer of women often unrecognized
Leukocyte arrest: biomechanics and molecular mechanisms of _2 integrin activation
CCR5+T-bet+FoxP3+ effector CD4 T cells drive atherosclerosis
Integrin-based therapuetics: biological basis, clinical use and new drugs
G_i2 and G_i3 differentially regulate arrenst from flow and chemotaxis in mouse neutrophils
2015 russell ross memorial lecture in vascular biology: protective autoimmunity in atherosclerosis
Gnb isoforms orchestrate a signaling pathway comprising Rac1, Plc_2, and Plc_3 leading to LFA-1 activation and neutrophil arrest in vivo
SLAT promotes TCR-mediated, Rap1-dependent LFA-1 activation and adhesion through interaction of its PH domain with Rap1
Macrophage polarization: decisions that affect health
Role of the endothelial surface layer in neutrophil recruitment
Beyond vascular inflammation-recent advances in understanding atherosclerosis
Monocyte trafficking across the vessel wall
HGF guides T cells into the heart
Vaccination to modulate atherosclerosis
SAMP1/YitFc mice develop ileitis via loss of CCL21 and defects in dendritic cell migration
Monocyte phenotypes: when local education counts
Soluble CD163 is assocaited with noninvasive measures of liver fibrosis in hepatitis C virus- and hepatitis C virus/human immunodeficiency virus-infected woman
Intravital live cell triggered imaging system reveals monocyte patrolling and macrophage migration in atherosclerotic arteries
Macrophages at the fork in the road to health or disease
Lymphocyte migration into atherosclerotic plaque
Waking up the stem cell niche: how hematopoietic stem cells generate inflammatory monocytes after stroke
Genetic deletion of platelet glycoprotein Ib alpha but not its extracellular domain protects from atherosclerosis
L-selectin deficiency decreases aortic B1a and Breg subsets and promotes atherosclerosis
Fueling the fire: src family kinases drive inflammation
The second touch hypothesis: T cell activation, homing and polarization
Macrophage inflammatory markers are associated with subclinical carotid artery disease in women with human immunodeficiency virus of hepatitis c virus infection
Atheroprotective vaccination with MHC-II restricted peptides from ApoB-100
T cells in atherosclerosis
Dysregulated NOD2 predisposes SAMP1/YitFc mice to chronic intestinal inflammation
Myeloid cells in atherosclerosis: a delicate balance of anti-inflammatory and proinflammatory mechanisms
Leukocytes talking to VE-cadherin
The PSGL-1-L-selectin signaling complex regulates neutrophil adhesion under flow
Increased atherosclerotic lesion formation and vascular leukocyte accumulation in renal impairment are mediated by interleukin 17A
Bacterial colonization facturs control specificity and stability of the gut microbiora
Neutrophil rolling at high shear: flattening, catch bond behavior, tethers and slings
The autoimmunity-associated gene PTPN22 potentiates toll-like receptor-driven, type 1 interferon-dependent immunigy
Increased cholesterol content in gammadelta (γδ) T lymphocytes differentially reguates their activationIncreased cholesterol content in gammadelta (γδ) T lymphocytes differentially reguates their activation
Quantitative dynamic footprinting microscopy
Dynamic T cell-APC interactions sustain chronic inflammation in atherosclerosis
Interleukin-17 ssignaling in inflammatory cells, kupffer, and hepatic stellate cells exacerabtes liver fibrosis in mice
Eliminating or blocking 12/15-lipoxygenase reduces neutrophil recruitment in mouse models of acute lung injury
Regulated accumulation of desmosterol integrates macrophage lipid metabolism and inflammatory responses
Inactivation of heparan sulfate 2-O-sulfotransferase accentuates neutrophil infiltration during acute inflammation in mice
Slings' enable neutrophil rolling at high shear
Global metabolic inhinitors of sialyl- and fucosyltransferases remodel the glycome
Transforming growth factor-β: transforming plaque to stability
Severe impairment of leukocyte recruitment in ppGalNAcT-1 deficient mice
Distinct roles for talin-1 and kindlin-3 in LFA-1 extension and affinity regulation
Protective role for myeloid specific KLF2 in atherosclerosis
Neutrophilic granulocytes modulate invariant NKT cell function in mice and humans
Regulation of neutrophil function by adenosine
Protein kinase C-θ is required for murine neutrophil recruitment and adhesion strengthening under flow
Accelerated atherosclerosis in apoe-/- mice heterozygous for the insulin receptor and the insulin receptor substrate-1
NR4A1 (Nur77) deletion polarizes macrophages toward an inflammatory phenotype and increases atherosclerosis
B-cell aortic homing and atheroprotection depend on Id3
SAMP1/YitFc mouse strain: A spontaneous model of Chron's disease-like ileitis
Leukocyte ligands for endothelial selectins: specialized glycoconjugates that mediate rolling and signaling under flow
How dendritic cells shape atherosclerosis
CD63 positions CD62P for rolling
Small molecule-mediated activation of the integrin CD11b/CD18 reduces inflammatory disease
Monocyte and macrophage dynamics during atherogenesis
Flow cytometry analysis of immune cells within murine aortas
Rap1a activation by CalDAG-GEFI and p38 MAPK is involved in E-selectin-dependent slow leukocyte rolling
Live cell imaging of paxillin in rolling neutrophils by dual-color quantitative dynamic footprinting
Adam 17-dependent shedding limits early neutrophil influx but does not alter early monocyte recruitment to inflammatory sites
Protein tyrosine kinases in neutrophil activation and recruitment
Mycophenolate mofetil decreases atherosclerotic lesion size by depression of aortic T lymphocyte and IL-17-mediated macrophage accumulation
Protein kinase C isoforms in neutrophil adhesion and activation
Cell protrusions and tethers: a unified approach
Prevention, but not cure of type 1 diabetes by FTY720 in NOD/LtJ mice despite effective modulation of blood T cells
Sequential immune responses: the weapons of immunity
Protection from spetic peritonitis by rapid neutrophil recruitment through omental high endothelial venules
M1 and M2 microphages: the chicken and the egg of immunity
Interleukin-27 receptor limits atherosclerosis in Ldlr-/- mice
Neutrophil arrest by LFA-1 activation
High refractive index silicone gels for simultaneous total internal reflection flourescence and traction force microscopy of adherent cells
Biomechanics of leukocyte rolling
In 2008, I graduated from the German University in Cairo with a B.Sc. degree in Pharmacy and Biotechnology. Then, I moved to the University of Ulm in Germany to perform my master’s thesis project and I obtained a M.Sc. degree in the beginning of 2011. In September 2014, I obtained my Ph.D. in Immunology from Theodor Kocher Institute, University of Bern, Switzerland. My research mainly focused on the mechanism of T cell extravasation across the blood-brain barrier. I began working as a postdoc in the Ley laboratory at La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology in May 2015.
My research is focused on how CD4+ T cells adhere and roll under high shear during inflammation. Rolling is primarily mediated by the interaction of endothelial P-selectin-to-P-selectin glycoprotein ligand (PSGL)-1 expressed in T cells. Under high shear, tethers and slings formed by T cells become essential to support rolling. I am interested in understanding how tethers and slings function in stabilizing T cell rolling and how their formation is regulated.
I hope to implement the knowledge and skills acquired during basic science research toward a better understanding of human diseases.
Fnu Pramod Akula Bala, Ph.D,
I did two years of post-doctoral training in France in the field of Neuropharmacology. Then, I moved to the US and worked as a computational biologist/post-doctoral researcher at the University of North Dakota.
My research areas mainly include drug, biomarker and vaccine discovery for immunological disorders.
Pursuing career in drug and pharmaceutical research.
I graduated from medical school in 2010 (Berlin, Germany) and worked as resident in the Department of Internal Medicine (Nephrology, Rheumatology) until 2015, when I joined Klaus Ley’s lab at the La Jolla Institute as a postdoc.
I am interested in monocyte patrolling and macrophage polarization in disease. A technical focus is intravital microscopy to study leukocyte behaviour in vivo.
Zhichao Fan, Ph.D.
I graduated from Soochow University, China in 2008 with a B.S. degree in Biotechnology. I then obtained my Ph.D. in Biomedical Optics and Chemical Biology from the Fudan University, China in 2013. I began working as a postdoc in the Ley laboratory at the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology in August 2013.
Research Focus: My research projects are focused on the mechanisms of leukocyte rolling and arrest during inflammation in the microcirculation. I am interested in understanding the mechanism of integrin activation happen underline leukocyte arrest. I exploited microfluidics with molecularly defined surfaces and high resolution three-color total internal reflection microscopy to imaging the molecular dynamics during leukocyte rolling and arrest under high resolution in vitro, and using intravital microscopy to study leukocyte rolling and arrest in vivo.
I plan to pursue a career in scientific research focused on molecular mechanism involved in integrin activation, leukocyte adhesion and developing advanced optical imaging techniques.
Takayuki Kimura, MD, Ph.D.
I graduated from the University of Tokyo in 2006 with a M.D. degree. Then I started clinical work at the University of Tokyo Hospital and National Center for Global Health and Medicine. I obtained my Ph.D. in Medicine from the University of Tokyo in 2014. I began to work as a postdoc in the Ley laboratory at the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology in May 2014.
My research projects are focused on the roles of T cell immunity in atherosclerosis. I am interested in understanding how T cell-mediated immune response plays a role in pathogenesis of atherosclerosis, and in developing immunomodulatory treatment of atherosclerosis.
I graduated from Tokyo University of Pharmacy and Life Science in 2003. I obtained my Ph.D. from Yokohama City University Graduate School of Medicine in 2009. I started postdoctoral work in the Dr. Horii’s laboratory at the Research Institute for Microbial Diseases, Osaka University from April 2009 to March 2010. I then worked as a staff scientist in the Laboratory of Adjuvant Innovation at the National Institutes of Biomedical Innovation, Health and Nutrition until August 2015 (Dr. Ishii’s laboratory). I began working as a postdoc in the Dr. Ley laboratory at the La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology in September 2015.
My research interests focus on innate immunity and vaccine adjuvant. My research project is the development and optimization of non-communicable diseases vaccine especially atherosclerosis using several adjuvants. I want to know which kind of adjuvant is required and which type of immune responses should be regulated by adjuvant for atherosclerosis vaccine.
I plan to pursue a career in scientific research focused on vaccine adjuvant to develop concepts of effective and safety vaccine against infectious and non-communicable diseases.
I graduated from Columbia University in 2009 with a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering. I performed my graduate research in the Ley laboratory, focusing on intravital microscopy of atherosclerotic arteries. In 2015, I obtained my PhD from the University of California, San Diego in Bioengineering, with a specialization in multi-scale biology. Since then I have worked at LJI in the microscopy core while continuing my work in atherosclerosis in the Ley laboratory.
My research focuses on myeloid cell phenotype and function in atherosclerosis. I am using intravital microscopy, flow cytometry, and RNA-seq to define and characterize subsets of macrophages and dendritic cells found in atherosclerotic plaques.
Career goals: I plan to pursue a career in engineering and tool development for biomedical research.
Jacqueline Miller, B.Sc
I graduated from the University of California San Diego in 2010 with a B.S. degree in Bioengineering: Pre-medical. I began working as a Research Associate in the Von Herrath laboratory at the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology in March 2011 and was promoted to the Research Associate II. In August 2013, I accepted my current position in the Ley laboratory as lab and mouse colony manager.
The research projects I assist with focus on the roles of myeloid and T cells in atherosclerosis. I am interested in understanding the mechanisms and cellular players responsible for plaque formation and how immune tolerance can be medicated through vaccination in the future treatment of heart disease.
I plan to pursue a career in clinical scientific research after obtaining a medical degree.
I graduated from UC Berkeley in 2011 with a B.S. in Bioengineering. I then obtained my M Eng. in Bioengineering from UC San Diego in 2015.
I gained industry experience in material characterization and manufacturing during my time in Northern California. I started building my industry experience in biotech shortly after graduating from UCSD. I now recently began working as a research technician in Dr. Klaus Ley’s lab at LIAI focusing primarily on lentivirus production for a genome wide screening.
I hope to further improve my molecular biology skills.
Melanie Vassallo, BS
Flow Cytometry Specialist I
I graduated from James Madison University in 2014 with B.S. degrees in both Biology and Psychology. While at JMU, I did 2 years of Behavioral Neuroscience and Psychopharmacology research. I then worked in clinical settings for a year before I moved across the country to begin working at the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology. I started working in the Ley Lab as a Flow Cytometry Specialist in January 2016.
The projects I am working on in the Ley Lab are focused on obtaining a greater understanding of the underlying immune mechanisms involved in Atherosclerosis, and developing potential treatments to prevent it.
I hope to pursue a career in medicine, and continue doing research in the realm of human disease.
Dennis Wolf, MD
I graduated from Medical School at the University of Freiburg, Germany, in 2007 and worked as a research assistant at the BakerIDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, Melbourne, from 2007 to 2008. I obtained my MD in 2011 at the University of Freiburg for my work on inflammatory leukocyte recruitment in atherosclerosis. In 2009 I started as clinical resident in cardiology at the University Heart Center in Freiburg and obtained my certificate in internal medicine. In 2014 I started as a postdoctoral fellow at the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology in October 2014.
My research interest focusses on inflammatory and immune mechanisms in cardio-metabolic disease, such as in atherosclerosis and the metabolic syndrome. In particular, I am interested in understanding how immune cells and their effector functions contribute to disease initiation and progression. Currently, I am working on the adaptive immune response in atherosclerosis to understand how particular antigens drive a beneficial or harmful T-helper cell response.
I plan to pursue a career as physician-scientist with a focus on clinical cardiology and on basic research in human cardiovascular disease.