Sabra L. Klein
Sabra L. Klein

Sabra L. Klein, PhD

  • Associate Professor

Departmental Affiliations

  • Molecular Microbiology and Immunology (Primary)
  • Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (Joint)

Center & Institute Affiliations

  • Johns Hopkins Vaccine Initiative
  • Women's Health Research Group

Contact Information

615 N. Wolfe Street
Room W2118
Baltimore, Maryland 21205

P:  410-955-8898
F:  (410) 955-0105
E: sklein2@jhu.edu


Education

PhD, Johns Hopkins University, 1998
MA, University of Georgia, 1996
MS, University of Georgia, 1994
BA, Randolph-Macon College, 1992

Overview

The overarching goal of my research program is to uncover the mechanisms mediating how males and females differ in their immune responses to viral infection and vaccination. We hypothesize that sex steroids and signaling through sex steroid receptors are critical pathways modulating immune responses to viruses. We consider how immunological, hormonal, and genetic differences between males and females affect sex differences in susceptibility to viruses, including influenza viruses. Our research indicates that females typically mount more robust immune responses than males, which can be beneficial for clearance of viruses, but also can be detrimental by causing immunopathology. Lastly, we study the mechanisms mediating altered immune responses and infectious disease pathogenesis during pregnancy, which also involves sex steroids.

Honors and honors

2016 Distinguished Alumni Award, Randolph-Macon College

2010 Society for Women’s Health Research Medtronic Award for Science Contributions

2007 Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Faculty Innovation Fund Award

2002 National Foundation for Infectious Diseases New Investigator Award

Research Interests

  • Molecular Microbiology and Immunology
  • Androgens
  • Contraceptives
  • Endocrine-Immune Interactions
  •  Estrogens
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Influenza
  • Pregnancy
  • Sex Differences
  • Vaccines
  • Viruses
  • Women's Health
  • Zika virus

Publications

This list contains recent publications from the past year, with a majority reflecting the hard work of trainees in the Klein lab.

  • Vermillion, M. S., Jei, J., Shabi, Y., Baxter, V.K., Crilly, N. P., McLane, M., Griffin, D. E., Pekosz, A., Klein, S. L., Burd, I. 2017. Intrauterine Zika virus infection of pregnant immunocompetent mice as a model of transplacental transmission and adverse perinatal outcomes. Nature Communication. In press.
  • Klein, S. L., & Flanagan, K. L. 2016. Sex differences in immune responses. Nature Reviews Immunology, 16(10), 626-38.
  • vom Steeg, L. G., Vermillion, M. S., Hall, O. J., Alam, O., McFarland, R., Chen, H., Zirkin, B., & Klein, S. L. 2016. Age and testosterone mediate influenza pathogenesis in male mice. American Journal of Physiology Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology, 311(6), L1234-L1244.
  • Hall, O. J., Limjunyawong, N., Vermillion, M. S., Wohlgemuth, N., Robinson, D. P., Pekosz, A., Mitzner, W., & Klein, S.L. 2016. Progesterone-based therapy protects against influenza by promoting lung repair and recovery in females. PLoS Pathogens, 12(9), e1005840.
  • vom Steeg, L. G. & Klein, S. L. 2016. SeXX matters in infectious disease pathogenesis. PLoS Pathogens, 12(2), e1005374. Doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1005374.