Michael J. Klag, an internationally known expert on the epidemiology and prevention of cardiovascular and kidney disease and a Johns Hopkins faculty member since 1987, became dean of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health on September 1, 2005.
Klag previously served as the David M. Levine Professor of Medicine in the University's School of Medicine, with joint appointments in the Bloomberg School's Department of Epidemiology and Department of Health Policy and Management. He also was vice dean for clinical investigation in the School of Medicine. In that position, created in 2001, he was responsible for oversight of research involving human volunteers. He undertook a widely praised restructuring of the School's policies and procedures governing research involving human volunteers.
Klag is a 1974 graduate of Juniata College and earned his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1978. After completing residency and chief residency in internal medicine at the State University of New York Upstate Medical Center, he served in the U.S. Public Health Service. In 1984, he came to Johns Hopkins as a general internal medicine fellow and earned a Master of Public Health degree in 1987 from what was then known as the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health.
He was a founding member and interim director of the University's Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology and Clinical Research; director of the Division of General Internal Medicine in the School of Medicine; and, in 2000- 2001, interim physician-in-chief of the Johns Hopkins Hospital and interim director of the Department of Medicine in the School of Medicine. He has published more than 120 peer-reviewed articles and is a fellow of the American College of Physicians. In 1998, he was editor-in-chief of the Johns Hopkins Family Health Book.
Klag's research has centered on the prevention, epidemiology and treatment of hypertension and kidney disease. Beginning in 1988, he directed the Johns Hopkins Precursors Study, a prospective study of Johns Hopkins medical students that began in 1946 and continues to follow participants. This study has made seminal contributions to our understanding of how characteristics in young adulthood influence health and disease later in life.
Klag also has led pioneering studies in kidney disease epidemiology, including the first study to assess the incidence of end-stage renal disease and to identify blood pressure as a risk factor for the development of kidney failure. His work has laid the foundation for numerous subsequent studies.