Jon B. Klein, M.D., Ph.D.

Jon B. Klein, M.D., Ph.D., is the University of Louisville’s interim executive vice president for research and innovation. In his role, Klein oversees the university’s Office of Research and Innovation and research enterprise, including research development and administration, industry engagement, innovation, entrepreneurship and the translation of university discoveries to achieve their greatest societal impact.

Klein is an accomplished clinician, researcher and innovator, and has worked to build infrastructure at UofL that supports others in moving new ideas out of the lab, field or studio and into the world. As both an endowed researcher and director of the university’s Clinical Translational Sciences Institute, Klein is passionate about the role that knowledge creation can play in helping to solve problems, advance equity, create community and improve the way we work and live.

Klein is a Professor of Medicine and holds UofL’s Bucks for Brains James Graham Brown Foundation Chair in Proteomics — the first such chair in America dedicated to the rapidly expanding field. He is also a professor in the Department of Medicine and the Departments of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Microbiology and Immunology, as well as director of U of L’s Core Proteomics Laboratory. Proteomics, or the study of proteins and how they are expressed in the human body, is becoming critically important to researchers because it provides insight into the fundamental causes of many diseases. Klein founded UofL’s Core Proteomics Laboratory and the Clinical Proteomics Program which is one of the first three core proteomics laboratories in the U.S.

Klein, who was named "one of the 50 most influential people in genomic technology" by Genomic Technology magazine, studies how genetic variations and other factors alter the body’s proteins in ways that may cause disease. By finding the underlying mechanisms for disease, researchers can gain insight into new avenues for treatment. 

Klein joined UofL in 1985 and practiced nephrology care for patients with kidney disease for 39 years. He has published more than 240 peer-reviewed articles and is principal investigator for research projects in pediatric clinical proteomics and studies examining the mechanisms behind diseases ranging from diabetes to age-related macular degeneration. The funds from his endowed chair have allowed him to focus on the application of proteomic methods to the discovery of disease biomarkers that will become the clinical tests of the future. These biomarker tests allow physicians to predict the development of disease and take preemptive action. Since 2005, Klein’s research group has filed seven patents relating to disease biomarkers and several more patents are in preparation. 

Klein earned his M.D. at the University of Texas Medical Branch and completed his residency in Internal Medicine at Kansas University Medical Center. He completed a fellowship in nephrology and earned his Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from UofL.