Who We Are

Dr. Klaus Ley

We are an internationally diverse group of scientists who share a common passion: scientific discovery.  Here at AU, we blend our expertise and creativity to discover new ways to harness the power of the immune system to treat disease. If you are interested in joining our team, please email us!


Klaus Ley, M.D.
Georgia Research Alliance Bradley Turner Eminent Scholar in Immunology
Co-Director, Immunology Center of Georgia
Professor, Department of Physiology
Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University


What We Study

Translational research: We compare immune cells in the blood of people who have atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (CVD) and who do not. Depending on the cohort, CVD may be assessed by coronary angiography, CT angiography or ultrasound. We use single cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-Seq), using a version that can also show the cell surface proteins (CITE-Seq) and the sequences of the highly variable T cell receptors and B cell receptors. From this, we can assess clonal expansion, a result of breaking tolerance. Tolerance is the process by which the adaptive immune system recognizes and tolerates self. When this breaks down, the rogue T and B lymphocytes make atherosclerosis much worse and instruct other immune cells like monocytes and neutrophils to destroy the artery wall. We are mainly interested in CD4 and CD8 T cells, mechanisms of establishing and failing tolerance, and approaches to re-establish tolerance once broken. Although the focus is on atherosclerosis, the principles and mechanism we discover also apply to other autoimmune diseases like lupus, type 1 diabetes and many more. If you like bioinformatics, flow cytometry or biochemistry, this is for you.

Basic Research: We study how integrins are activated. Integrins are a large family of heterodimeric adhesion receptors. We focus on 4 of them, known as beta2 integrins. We use imaging, flow cytometry, high resolution microscopy and intravital microscopy. If you like microscopy, this is for you.


Research Team

photo of Qingkang Lyu, PhD

Qingkang Lyu, PhD

  • Utrecht University, 2021
photo of Yan Wang, PhD

Yan Wang, PhD

  • University of Amsterdam
  • The Netherlands
photo of Amir Khan, PhD. (Biomedical Science)

Amir Khan, PhD. (Biomedical Science)

  • Gachon University, South Korea, 2022
photo of Sunil Kumar, Ph.D.

Sunil Kumar, Ph.D.

  • National Centre For Cell Science (NCCS)
  • Pune, India. 2021
photo of Mohammad Oliaeimotlagh, MD MSc

Mohammad Oliaeimotlagh, MD MSc

  • Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, 2022
  • Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, 2016
photo of Mikhail Fomin, MSc

Mikhail Fomin, MSc

  • Medical University of South Carolina,
  • United States, 2020
photo of Michael Nakama, MS

Michael Nakama, MS

  • Augusta University 2018


icon Back to Ley Main          PUBMED ARTICLES square-chevron-right icon