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Dean’s Corner

About Dean Klag

Dean Klag

Alma Maters

  • Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health

    MPH '87

  • Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

    General Internal Medicine Fellowship '87

  • State University of New York Upstate Medical Center

    Residency and Chief Residency, Internal Medicine '82

  • University of Pennsylvania

    M.D. '78

  • Juniata College

    B.S. Biology '74
    magna cum laude

Dean Michael J. Klag, MD, MPH ’87, is a global leader in public health and medicine. He has served on the Johns Hopkins faculty for three decades and has authored over 200 publications. His scientific contributions have been in the epidemiology of kidney disease, hypertension and cardiovascular disease. He has also been a relentless advocate for issues ranging from autism research to road safety.

Since taking the helm of the Bloomberg School on September 1, 2005, Dean Klag has continued to elevate the school as one of the most influential institutions in the world.


Global Leader Image

Global Leader

Under his leadership as Dean, the Bloomberg School has maintained its No. 1 rank among schools of public health in the U.S. The School has also experienced continued growth: More than 10 new centers and institutes and 12 endowed chairs have been established. He has hosted timely symposia on major global health issues including gun violence, the Ebola epidemic, measles and the refugee crisis. A key moment: Former President Bill Clinton paid a visit in 2014 during the Open Town Hall on Prescription Drug Abuse.


2015 - 2016

Kicked-off the Centennial celebrations that connect 100 years of groundbreaking public health to the promise of new advances for the next century. Created the Centennial Scholars Program to emphasize the School’s top fundraising priority—increasing student scholarship support.

Celebrated with the Bloomberg School community and its East Baltimore neighbors at the Centennial Fun Festival and participated in the worldwide 100 Dinners initiative, among other events.



Visited Cuba on the “Public Health in Action Trip” to support ongoing international public health diplomacy, accompanied by the Bloomberg School’s Health Advisory Board and Nobel Laureate Peter Agre, who has directed the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute and served on the School’s faculty since 2008.



Joined the Board of Trustees for the David and Lucile Packard Foundation to support women and children’s health.



Established China’s first DrPH Program in Health Care Management and Leadership in collaboration with Tsinghua University, and with support from the Capital Healthcare Group.



Launched a 5-year endeavor between the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit (JH-IIRU) and Bloomberg Philanthropies: the $125 Million Global Road Safety Program.



Began a collaborative MPH degree program in Jaipur, India in cooperation with the Indian Institute of Health Management Research (IIHMR). Expanded the collaboration with Universitat Pompeu Fabra to form a new public policy center in Barcelona, Spain.



Linked the China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) with the Bloomberg School to offer an MBA/MPH dual-degree program.



Signed a 10-year agreement with the Health Authority—Abu Dhabi (HAAD) to develop research, educational and public health programs in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

Dean Klag - Abu Dhabi



In memory of his late first wife Wendy Schagen Klag, Dean Klag founded the Wendy Klag Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities in 2013. With CDC and NIH funding, the Center has helped build the largest epidemiologically based studies of autism in the country, and it contributed to the official U.S. prevalence estimates and information on genetic and environmental risk factors.



Hosted a day of reflection after the death of Freddie Gray and spearheaded the Engaging Baltimore initiative, an institution-wide effort to strengthen the School’s commitment to improve the city’s health and well-being.

Engaging Baltimore - Dean Klag



Increased funding for the Student Outreach Resource Center (SOURCE) to expand community collaborations. In the past decade, SOURCE has matched nearly 9,000 student volunteers with Baltimore partners on hundreds of community-based initiatives.



Shared his family’s experience with autism in the short film, “Childhood Interrupted: Unraveling the Mysteries of Autism.”



Launched the Tobacco-Free Campus Initiative.



Established a partnership between Coursera and the Bloomberg School to offer free online classes taught by Johns Hopkins experts.



Liaised between Red Cross leadership and local, state and federal agencies during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina—one of the deadliest natural disasters that hit the U.S.—within days of becoming dean of the Bloomberg School.



Received the Champion of Public Health Award from the Tulane (University) School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.


2001 - 2005

Served as vice dean for clinical investigation in the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. In that newly created position, 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 to protect human rights.

Internist and Epidemiologist

Internist & Epidemiologist

Dean Klag’s career as an internist and epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins University spans the Bloomberg School, the School of Nursing and School of Medicine, where he also served as the David M. Levine Professor of Medicine in 2005.

He is known internationally for his research associating the risk of developing kidney disease with blood pressure, diabetes, race, socioeconomic status and other determinants. His work has also shown that differences in health behaviors can explain the differences in risk of hypertension in urban and non-urban societies.



Earned the 2013 James D. Bruce Memorial Award from the American College of Physicians for contributions in preventive medicine


2000 - 2001

Served as interim physician-in-chief of the Johns Hopkins Hospital and interim director of the Department of Medicine in the School of Medicine.


1996 - 1999

Served as editor-in-chief of the Johns Hopkins Family Health Book.

Johns Hopkins Family Health Book


1996 - 1997

Served as interim director of the Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology and Clinical Research, which he helped found in 1989.


1995 - 2005

Led the first study to assess the incidence of end-stage renal disease and to quantitate the risk of developing chronic kidney failure associated with blood pressure and other factors.


1994 - 2002

Directed the Division of General Internal Medicine in the School of Medicine.


1988 - 2011

Directed the Johns Hopkins Precursors Study, a prospective study of Johns Hopkins medical students that began in 1946 that continues to follow participants. Results demonstrated that serum cholesterol measured at age 22 predicts cardiovascular disease in midlife. This seminal contribution to the understanding of how health in young adulthood influences disease later in life impacted policy related to cholesterol screening in young people


1982 - 1984

Served in the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service.