Prof. Michael T. Kleinman

Contact Information

University of California, Irvine
Mail Code: 1830
Irvine, CA 92697-1830

Michael Kleinman <x>

(949) 824-4765

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 [Ph.D. in Environmental Health Sciences from New York University, NY]. 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 allegenicity of the near-source particles is 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.

Prior to joining the faculty at UCI in 1982, he was the Director of the Aerosol Exposure and Analytical Laboratory at Rancho Los Amigos Hospital in Downey, CA. Dr. Kleinman was also a Physical Scientist at the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission Health and Safety Laboratory (now the DOE Environmental Measurements Laboratory) in New York and has published approximately 100 peer-reviewed articles in the fields of environmental health sciences, atmospheric chemistry and radiochemistry, transport and fate of airborne contaminants in tropospheric and stratospheric air, apportionment and identification of sources of air pollution, and the effects of air pollution on health. Dr. Kleinman is the current chair of the California Air Quality Advisory Committee, a member of the U.S. EPA Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee and also chairs the Executive Committee for the U.C. Toxic Substances Research and Teaching Program.

Research Interests: 
  • Inhalation toxicology
  • Oxidative stress
  • Cardiopulmonary diseases
Selected Honors and Awards: 
University Extension Teacher of the Year (2001).
National Academy of Science - Co-Principal Investigator , Strategies for Protection of Deployed Forces from Chemical and Biological Weapons (1998-2000).
UCI Committee of 1000 Award for Research (1997)