Professor Ulf Klein

Professor of Immunology and Haemato-oncology

(+44) 0113 3433621

Summary: I lead the LICAP Molecular Haematology group.

Location: Level 6, Wellcome Trust Brenner Building

Teaching Commitments: Teaching of post-graduate students and supervision of PhD students.

Overview

Ulf Klein is Professor of Immunology and Haemato-oncology in the Experimental Haematology Section of LICAP.

Professor Klein studied Biology at the University of Cologne, Germany. He performed both his Diploma in Biology (1993) and PhD thesis in Genetics (1998) in the Institute for Genetics, University of Cologne, under supervision of Professor Klaus Rajewsky in the group of Dr. Ralf K├╝ppers. In 1999, Dr. Klein moved to the laboratory of Professor Riccardo Dalla-Favera at the Institute of Cancer Genetics of Columbia University in New York City for his postdoctoral research, supported by EMBO and HFSP fellowships. He stayed at Columbia as an Associate Research Scientist from 2003 onwards. In 2009, Dr. Klein accepted an offer from Columbia for a position as Assistant Professor of Pathology & Cell Biology and Microbiology & Immunology in the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center. He was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2016. Dr. Klein was appointed as Professor in Immunology and Haemato-oncology, University of Leeds, where he started in January 2017.

The goal of Dr. Klein’s research is to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of mature B-cell differentiation and to understand how these mechanisms are disrupted in B-cell disorders. Dr. Klein has been working on the molecular basis of B-cell differentiation in health and disease throughout his scientific career. The work he performed during his Diploma and PhD thesis at the University of Cologne on the phenotypic and molecular characterization of human B cells contributed to the identification of a commonly used phenotypic marker, CD27, for the identification of antigen-experienced B cells. His work at Columbia University on the gene expression profile analysis of normal and transformed B lymphocytes provided novel insights into the cellular derivation of B-cell malignancies and on the mechanisms of B-cell differentiation and transformation. The insights gained from these studies led to the generation of conditional transgenic mouse models designed to elucidate the in vivo functions of the transcription factor interferon regulatory factor 4 (IRF4) in late B-cell differentiation and the chromosome 13q14 tumor suppressor locus in the pathogenesis of chronic lymphocytic leukemia. In his own laboratory, Dr. Klein continued with the investigation of the molecular mechanisms of B-cell development and transformation, with a particular focus on the germinal center reaction and the differentiation of memory and plasma cells. These studies provided new and unexpected insights into the roles of IRF4 and the nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) signaling cascade during B-cell development that have relevance for the understanding of B-cell malignancies where these factors are aberrantly activated.