Dr. Ophir Klein has been appointed Chair of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Center for Craniofacial Anomalies, and Director of the Craniofacial Clinic, effective July 1, 2013. The appointment was announced today by Dr. Deborah Greenspan, Chair of the Department of Orofacial Sciences. Dr. Klein succeeds Dr. Karin Vargervik, who is widely recognized for her contributions to the management of craniofacial anomalies.
Dr. Ophir Klein is Associate Professor in the Departments of Orofacial Sciences and Pediatrics and the Institutes for Human Genetics and Regeneration Medicine, UCSF. He is also the Director of the UCSF Program in Craniofacial and Mesenchymal Biology. He was educated at the University of California, Berkeley, where he earned a BA degree in Spanish Literature. He subsequently attended Yale University School of Medicine, where he received a PhD in Genetics and an MD degree. He then completed residencies at Yale-New Haven Hospital in Pediatrics and at UCSF in Clinical Genetics. He is board certified in Pediatrics and Clinical Genetics and his clinical practice is at the UCSF Center for Craniofacial Anomalies.
Dr. Klein has received several honors, including a Culpeper Scholarship, a New Faculty Award and a Physician Scientist Award from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, a Basil O’Connor Award from the March of Dimes, a New Innovator Award from the NIH, election to the Society for Pediatric Research and the American Society for Clinical Investigation, and the UCSF Graduate Students’ Association Outstanding Faculty Mentorship Award.
Dr. Klein's research focuses on three main areas. The first area involves understanding the processes underlying craniofacial and dental development. His lab uses mouse models to study the mechanisms responsible for the normal and abnormal development of teeth, facial skeleton and other organs, as well as the regeneration of these organs. A second major area of investigation involves studying the function of Sprouty genes, which are antagonists of receptor-kinase signaling. Dr. Klein and his colleagues are working to understand the roles of these genes in embryonic development, adult homeostasis, embryonic stem cells, and cancer. A third focus is on the stem cells that renew the lining of the intestine, oral cavity, and other organs.
Dr. Greenspan said, of Dr. Klein's new roles: "UCSF is fortunate that Dr. Klein has accepted the position, for he is one of the emerging leaders in this field worldwide, an outstanding scientist, clinician and teacher."