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Bruce Klein


  • Fellow
  • Fungal Kingdom: Threats & Opportunities




Bruce Klein is a medical microbiologist interested in understanding and treating fungal disease.

His research group is broadly focused on fungal pathogenesis and immunology and studies Blastomyces dermatitidis, a species of fungus endemic in Wisconsin and the Mississippi, Ohio, and Missouri river valleys that changes form depending on temperature.

The projects in his research lab address questions such as: What are the mechanisms of fungal virulence? How does the host-fungal pathogen interaction define the progression of infection and disease? How do the innate and adaptive immune systems respond to fungi, and what are the key immunological steps required for vaccine immunity to fungal pathogens?  How does the immune response to fungi go awry, resulting allergic inflammation in response to inhaled mold?


  • UW-Madison Hilldale Award for Distinguished Research in the Biological Sciences, 2011
  • Elected Fellow of AAAS, 2009
  • Sandler Asthma Foundation Senior Scholar Award, 2008
  • Hartwell Foundation Scholar, 2007
  • Elected member of AAP/ASCI, 2007
  • Burroughs Wellcome Fund Scholar in Molecular Mycology, 1996

Relevant Publications

  • Hernández-Santos N, Wiesner D, Fites J, McDermott A, Warner T, Wüthrich M, Klein BS. Lung Epithelial Cells Coordinate Innate Lymphocytes and Immunity against Pulmonary Fungal Infection. Cell Host & Microbe. 2018 Apr 11;23(4):511-522. PMCID: PMC5951304.
  • Sterkel AK, Lorenzini JL, Fites JS et. al. Fungal Mimicry of a Mammalian Aminopeptidase Disables Innate Immunity and Promotes Pathogenicity. Cell Host Microbe. 2016;19:361-74. PMCID: PMC5088612.
  • Ersland K*, Wüthrich M*, Sullivan T, Galles K, Klein BS. Fungi subvert vaccine T cell priming at the respiratory mucosa by preventing chemokine-induced influx of inflammatory monocytes. Immunity. 2012 Apr 20;36(4):680-92. PubMed PMID: 22483803 (shared first authorship)
  • Nemecek JC, Wüthrich M, Klein BS. Global control of dimorphism and virulence in fungi. Science. 2006 Apr 28;312(5773):583-8. PubMed PMID: 16645097.
  • Klein BS, Vergeront JM, Weeks RJ, Kumar UN, Mathai G, Varkey B, Kaufman L, Bradsher RW, Stoebig JF, Davis JP. Isolation of Blastomyces dermatitidis in soil associated with a large outbreak of blastomycosis in Wisconsin. N Engl J Med. 1986 Feb 27;314(9):529-34. PMID: 3945290.

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