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Thomas Klein, Ph.D.

Primary Department: COLLEGE OF MEDICINE MOLECULAR MEDICINE

Professor, COLLEGE OF MEDICINE MOLECULAR MEDICINE

Emeritus Professor, Molecular Medicine

Professor , Molecular Medicine

Professor, Interdisciplinary Oncology, College of Medicine

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Contacts
Email: tklein@health.usf.edu
Phone: (813) 974-2502
Office: MDC, 4005A
Mailing address Molecular Medicine, Box 7 12901 Bruce Downs Blvd. MDC07
Tampa, FL 33612
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Education
  • PHD, Medical Microbiology, Creighton University, Omaha, United States - 1973.
  • BS, Biology, Creighton University, USA - 1966.
 
Interdisciplinary & Emerging Signature Programs
Allergy, Immunology & Infectious Disease.
 
Academic Philosophy

training is for animals, educating is for people.

 
Research Summary

Cannabinoid-based drugs are currently being tested for use as therapeutic agents in the treatment of chronic inflammatory conditions such as multiple sclerosis, arthritis, inflammatory pain, and Alzheimers disease. It is our goal to discover what effect the drugs have on the immune system and resistance to infections and tumors. Currently, we are studying the distribution, function, and molecular biology of cannabinoid receptors on immune cells as well as the effect of these drugs on resistance to infection. In addition to our work with cannabinoids and immunity, we are also studying immune mechanisms important in vaccine development. It is becoming clear that effective public health measures to combat emerging infectious diseases must include a good vaccine program. The development of useful vaccines relies on a thorough understanding of the mechanisms of immunity to microbes. Therefore, we are investigating the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in the regulation of immune T helper cell activity important in fighting infections. One model system we are studying intensively involves the cellular immune mechanisms induced by infection with the microbe that causes Legionnaires' Disease; a fatal pneumonia of concern in immunosuppressed populations and other select populations world-wide.

 


Selected Publications

Positions Held
  • Interim Chair (Medical Microbiology and Immunology, USF College of Medicine 2003 - 2006)
  • Professor (Medical Microbiology and Immunology, College of Medicine, University of South Florida 1990 - 2006)
  • Vice Chair (Medical Microbiology and Immunology, USF College of Medicine 1989 - 2002)
  • Associate Professor (Medical Microbiology and Immunology, College of Medicine, University of South Florida 1984 - 1990)
  • Assistant Professor (Medical Microbiology and Immunology, College of Medicine, University of South Florida 1976 - 1983)
  • Postdoc (Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, College of Medicine, University of South Florida 1973 - 1975)
  • Teaching Assistant (Medical Microbiology, College of Medicine, Creighton University 1968 - 1972)

Memberships
  • Society on Neuroimmune Pharmacology ( , 2002 - Present)
  • American Association of Immunologists ( , 1990 - Present)
  • International Cannabinoid Research Society ( , 1990 - Present)
  • American Society for Microbiology ( , 1973 - Present)


Awards/Honors
  • Wybran Award (Society on Neuroimmune Pharmacology - 2008)
  • USF Million Dollar Researcher Award (University of South Florida - 2006)
  • President's Award for Faculty Excellence (University of South Florida - 2003)
  • Distingushed Scholar Award (Theodore and Venette Askounes-Ashford - 2002)
  • Professorial Excellence Award Recipient (State of Florida - 1999)
  • Alumni Merit Award (Creighton University - 1996)
  • Robert J. Grasso Award for Graduate Education (AMSGS - 1996)


Patents & Licensing
  • Cannabinoid 2 (CB2) Receptor Gene Promoter and Unique RNA Transcripts in B Cells and Uses Thereof (USF#08A026PR - 2008)
  • Catechin Adjuvants (11/419,101 - 2006)


Profile last modified on 01/21/2015