Klaus Ley, M.D.
Division Head/Professor
Center for Autoimmunity and Inflammation
"You don't cure the disease by only looking at the disease. Very often cures come out of left field."


Klaus Ley, M.D., and his team study inflammation in health and disease. One part of the lab focuses on the very basic mechanisms by which immune cells reach sites of inflammation. Another part focuses on atherosclerosis, the disease of arteries that causes heart attacks, strokes and other problems. Atherosclerosis is an inflammatory disease of the artery wall with an autoimmune component. Autoimmune means that cells of the body attack tissues of the body itself. In people without atherosclerosis, many immune cells dampen inflammation. In people with atherosclerosis, they make the disease worse. On the flipside of this, the immune system can, in principle, be modified by vaccination. 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. One key technology to understand the immune response in people is single cell RNA sequencing in immune cells from patients and healthy controls.

Featured publications

Jun 25, 2019 Elife
Circulating T cell-monocyte complexes are markers of immune perturbations
Burel JG, Pomaznoy M, Lindestam Arlehamn CS, Weiskopf D, da Silva Antunes R, Jung Y, Babor M, Schulten V, Seumois G, Greenbaum JA, Premawansa S, Premawansa G, Wijewickrama A, Vidanagama D, Gunasena B, Tippalagama R, deSilva AD, Gilman RH, Saito M, Taplitz R, Ley K, Vijayanand P, Sette A, Peters B
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Lab Members


Research Projects

From the lab

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Awards & Honors

  • 2016 Distinguished Scientist Award, American Heart Association (AHA)
  • 2015 Russell Ross Lecture of the American Heart Association (AHA)
  • 2015 Franz-Koehler Inflammation Award
  • 2015 Luis G. Melo Memorial Lecture, Queen’s University in Kingston, ON, Canada
  • 2010 Malpighi Award. Most prestigious award of the ESM
  • 2009 Surhen Lecture, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA
  • 2008 Marie T. Bonazinga Award, the highest award by the Society for Leukocyte Biology
  • 2001 Kurt Anderson Memorial Lectureship, UTMB Galveston
  • 2001 Curt A. Wiederhielm Award of the Microcirculatory Society
  • 2000 Gelber Lecturer, Baylor College of Medicine
  • 1992 Basic Medical Research Award, Smith-Kline-Beecham Foundation
  • 1986 Abbott Award: Scientific award of the European Society for Microcirculation