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2016 Distinguished Scientist - Klaus F. Ley, MD, FAHA

Klaus F. Ley, MD, FAHAKlaus F. Ley, MD, FAHA, is the Professor and Head of the Division of Inflammation Biology at the La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology in La Jolla, California.

Dr. Ley received his medical degree from Julius-Maximilians-Universität, Würzburg, Germany. He has a post-doctoral degree in Physiology from Freie Universität in Berlin, Germany and a post-doctoral degree in Bioengineering from the University of California, San Diego.

Dr. Ley’s research interest is focused on myeloid cells, specifically neutrophil and monocyte recruitment. Since 1980, he has published more than 200 original papers in peer-reviewed journals including Nature and Science.

In 1991, Dr. Ley discovered that L-selectin was involved in leukocyte rolling in vivo. In 2007, his lab discovered a fundamental new signaling mechanism in neutrophils that appears to be very important in neutrophil recruitment. For his work on neutrophils and monocytes, Dr. Ley received the 2008 Bonazinga Award, the highest award of the Society for Leukocyte Biology, and the 2010 Malpighi Award, the highest award of the European Society for Microcirculation and Vascular Biology.

Dr. Ley’s research in atherosclerosis started in 1997, when his lab discovered that P-selectin mediated rolling not only in venules, but also in inflamed arteries. His work is focused on the role of monocyte-derived cells in atherosclerosis. In 2001, his lab discovered CCL5 and CXCL1 as monocyte arrest chemokines relevant to atherosclerosis (Apoe-/- mouse model). Next, the lab investigated the role of platelets in promoting monocyte interactions with the vessel wall, which resulted in a publication in Nature Medicine in 2003. In 2006, the lab developed and published a method to measure the leukocyte content of the aortic wall by flow cytometry, a method that is now used by many labs around the world.