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Dean Klag Honored by the National Kidney Foundation of Maryland



Michael J. Klag, MD, MPH ’87, dean of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, was recognized by the National Kidney Foundation of Maryland as “Kidney Champion” for his contributions to the prevention and epidemiology of kidney disease, hypertension and cardiovascular disease. A world-renowned kidney disease epidemiologist, Klag was one of the earliest investigators to apply epidemiologic methods to the study of kidney disease.

Klag was presented with the honor at the National Kidney Foundation of Maryland’s Santé: A Culinary Odyssey celebration, on Thursday, November 21, at the M&T Bank Stadium, in Baltimore, Md. Proceeds from the evening helped the National Kidney Foundation of Maryland to expand its patient services, education and research efforts.

Klag and his collaborators were among the first to determine the incidence of kidney disease, demonstrate that the United States was in the midst of an epidemic of end-stage kidney disease, , and  publish the risk of developing kidney disease associated with blood pressure, diabetes, race, socioeconomic status and other factors.

In addition to leading the Bloomberg School of Public Health, Klag is past chair of both the Association of Schools of Public Health and the NIH Advisory Board on Clinical Research and sits on the International Advisory Board, Centre Virchow-Villermé de Santé Publique Paris-Berlin. For eight years, he was director of the division of general internal medicine and was the first vice dean for clinical investigation at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, where he instituted new policies and procedures for oversight of human subject research.

The author of more than 200 publications and Editor-in-Chief of the Johns Hopkins Family Health Book, Klag also directed one of the longest running longitudinal studies in existence, the Precursors Study, which began in 1946 and demonstrated that serum cholesterol measured at age 22 predicts cardiovascular disease in midlife. This work had a profound impact on the policy related to cholesterol screening in young people.

He also has shown that health behaviors and other factors lead to the development of hypertension, and that differences in risk of hypertension in urban and non-urban societies can be explained by differences in health behaviors.

Klag earned his medical degree at the University of Pennsylvania and his master of public health degree from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Also honored along with Klag was Dr. Stephen Bartlett, chairman for the department of surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, senior vice president and surgeon-in-chief for the University of Maryland Medical System and immediate past president of the International Pancreas and Islet Transplant Association.

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health media contact: Tim Parsons at 410-955-7619 or