Michael T. Kleinman

Michael T. Kleinman

Professor, Environmental Toxicology
Co-Director of the Air Pollution Health Effects Laboratory
Adjunct Professor in College of Medicine
University of California, Irvine

Michael T. Kleinman is UC Irvine Professor of Environmental Toxicology and Co-Director of the Air Pollution Health Effects Laboratory in the Department of Community and Environmental Medicine, Adjunct Professor in College of Medicine. He received a Ph.D. in Environmental Health Sciences from New York University. 

Professor Kleinman brings to the ORU expertise in the health effects of air pollution on animals and humans, as well as the development of analytical techniques for assessing biological and physiological responses to exposure to environmental contaminants and for determining concentrations of important chemical species in air. Environmental pollutants represent important potential causes of preventable neurological, cardiological, and pulmonary diseases. 

The research in Dr. Kleinman’s laboratory uses immunological and molecular methods to examine the mechanisms by which toxic agents affect the lung and heart. Current studies include the effects of ambient particles on blood pressure and heart rate in sensitive animal models. Other studies examine the link between asthma and environmental exposures to ambient particles near real-world pollutant sources, such as freeways in Los Angeles. Research focuses on mechanisms of cardiopulmonary injury following inhalation of toxic compounds. State-of-the-art methods are used to evaluate the roles of free radicals and oxidative stress in sensitive human volunteers and laboratory animals. In vitro methods are used to evaluate specific mechanisms. 

Dr. Kleinman's current studies involve the inhalation exposures to manufactured and combustion-generated nanomaterials fine and coarse particles using state-of-the-art field exposure systems and real-time physiological monitoring methods. Recent findings demonstrate that fine and ultrafine particles near heavily trafficked roads increase the risk of developing airway allergies but this allergenic potential is attenuated at greater distances downwind of the source. The chemical and physical changes in the aerosol responsible for the heightened allergenicity of the near-source particles are an important focus of Dr. Kleinman’s research. Biological mechanisms related to oxidative stress have been identified after particulate matter exposure, and Dr. Kleinman’s team is also pursuing how these mechanisms affect pathological and physiological changes in the heart and lungs. 

Other interests include analytical and atmospheric chemistry, environmental sampling and analysis, and the application of mathematical and statistical methods to environmental and occupational assessments of exposure and risk.

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Last Updated: 1/6/2016