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Walter T. Klimecki, DVM, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Arizona. Dr. Klimecki holds joint appointments in the College of Medicine, the College of Public Health, and the Arizona Respiratory Center. He is a Full Member of the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center (SWEHSC) where, together with BIO5 director Martinez and BIO5 Statistics Consulting Service director Billheimer, he leads the Integrative Health Sciences (IHS) Center at SWEHSC. The IHS is a translational research support core at SWEHSC, focused on lowering the “activation energy” for translational research.Dr. Klimecki’s research focuses on the toxicology of metals in the environment, an issue particularly relevant in our mining-intensive state. His research work has encompassed a wide range of experimental approaches, from epidemiological studies of arsenic-exposed human populations, to laboratory models including cell culture and rodents. Using cutting edge genetics tools, Dr. Klimecki’s group recently published the first report of an association between human ancestry and response to environmental toxicants. In this provocative work, his group found that individuals whose genomes were comprised of DNA with its origins in the indigenous American populations processed ingested arsenic in a less harmful manner than did individuals whose genomes had their origins in Europe. Using laboratory models his group made ground-breaking discoveries of the impact of arsenic exposure on a process known as autophagy, in which cells digest parts of their own machinery in a sort of “cash for clunkers” arrangement. The ability of arsenic to perturb this process is only now being appreciated by the toxicology community, thanks to the work of the Klimecki Lab. Dr. Klimecki was recently elected as a Vice President-elect to the Metals Specialty Section of the Society of Toxicology, the preeminent scientific toxicology organization in the world. Dr. Klimecki’s research is highly collaborative: his grants and publications have included many BIO5 members, including BIO5 director Fernando Martinez, and BIO5 members Donata Vercelli, Dean Billheimer, and Marilyn Halonen.

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Courses
  • RRBAP
    Rigor and Reproducibility: Bridging Academia and Pharma

  • NP
    Nursing Pharmacology

  • CB
    Computation in Biomedicine

  • PP
    Pharmacogenetics/Pharmacogenomics

  • IH
    Immunology and Hematology

  • IPTR
    Introduction to Pharmacology and Toxicology Research

  • PII
    Pharmacology II

  • GP
    Genomics and Proteomics

  • CCST
    Cellular Communications and Signal Transduction

  • APPM
    Applied Pharmacogenomics and Precision Medicine

  • DDM
    Drug Disposition and Metabolism

  • GST
    General and Systems Toxicology

  • IMAPPS
    Individualized Medicine: Applied Pharmacogenetics for Pharmacy Students

  • CSBP
    Case Studies in Biochemical Pharmacology

  • CSP
    Case Studies in Pharmacology

Grants
  • Funding agency logo
    Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center

    Co-Investigator (COI)

    2018

    $7.3M
    Active
  • Funding agency logo
    Hazardous Waste Risk and Remediation in the US Southwest

    Co-Investigator (COI)

    2015

    $3.0M
  • Funding agency logo
    UA Environmental Health Transformative Research Undergrad Experience (EHTRUE)

    Principal Investigator (PI)

    2015

    $540.0K
  • Funding agency logo
    Arsenic Carcinogenicity: Metabolic Disruption Leads to Loss of PTEN Function

    Principal Investigator (PI)

    2014

    $151.5K
  • Funding agency logo
    NSMDS: Molecular Design, Synthesis and Characterization of Green Glycolipid Surfactants

    Co-Investigator (COI)

    2013

    $4.5M
  • Funding agency logo
    Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center

    Co-Investigator (COI)

    2012

    $8.3M
  • Funding agency logo
    The Unfolded Protein Response: Mechanism of Inorganic Arsenic Resistance

    Principal Investigator (PI)

    2012

    $48.5K
  • Funding agency logo
    The Unfold Protein Response: Mechanism of Inorganic Arsenic Resistance

    Principal Investigator (PI)

    2011

    $50.0K
  • Funding agency logo
    Hazardous Waste Risk and Remediation in the Southwest

    Co-Investigator (COI)

    2010

    $14.2M
News
  • Researchers Study Toenails as Marker for Arsenic Exposure

    2011

  • Answering the Question: ‘Which Drug Therapy Is Right for Me?’

    2008

  • Arsenic: Not the Same For Everyone

    2005

  • Campus Scientists to Explore Biomedical Research

    2005

  • Study to Examine Genetics of Sleep Disorders

    2004

  • Arizona Respiratory Center Receives Nearly $7 Million NIH SCOR Grant for Study of Asthma

    2002

  • Year in Review 2001: Arizona Health Sciences Center

    2001

  • Nationally Recognized Arizona Respiratory Center Campaigns Against Asthma

    2001

  • Year in Review 2001: University of Arizona Health Sciences Center

    2001

Publications (79)
Recent
  • Ex Ante Economic Evaluation of Arg389 Genetically Targeted Treatment with Bucindolol versus Empirical Treatment with Carvedilol in NYHA III/IV Heart Failure

    2021

  • Efficacy of personal pharmacogenomic testing as an educational tool in the pharmacy curriculum: A nonblinded, randomized controlled trial.

    2021

  • Biodegradability and toxicity of cellobiosides and melibiosides

    2020

  • Chronic exposure to arsenite enhances influenza virus infection in cultured cells

    2020

  • Biodegradability and toxicity of monorhamnolipid biosurfactant diastereomers.

    2019

  • Biodegradability and toxicity of monorhamnolipid biosurfactant diastereomers

    2018

  • Ex ante economic evaluation of genetic testing for the ARG389 beta1-adrenergic receptor polymorphism to support bucindolol treatment decisions in Stage III/IV heart failure

    2018

  • Fetal bovine serum induces sustained, but reversible, epithelial-mesenchymal transition in the BEAS-2B cell line

    2018

  • Economic evaluation of genetic testing for Arg389 in the management of stage III/IV heart failure.

    2018

  • Erratum.

    2016

  • Guidelines for the use and interpretation of assays for monitoring autophagy (3rd edition)

    2016

  • Response to García-Nieto et al. Comments on Beamer et al. Association of Children's Urinary CC16 Levels with Arsenic Concentrations in Multiple Environmental Media. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 521

    2016

  • Association of Children’s Urinary CC16 Levels with Arsenic Concentrations in Multiple Environmental Media

    2016

  • Culture conditions profoundly impact phenotype in BEAS-2B, a human pulmonary epithelial model

    2015

  • Multimedia Exposures to Arsenic and Lead for Children Near an Inactive Mine Tailings and Smelter Site

    2015

  • Nutrient-Gene Interaction in Arsenic Metabolism

    2014

  • Circadian polymorphisms in night owls, in bipolars, and in non-24-hour sleep cycles

    2014

  • The adaptive endoplasmic reticulum stress response to lipotoxicity in progressive human nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

    2014

  • Analyzing Patterns of Community Interest at a Legacy Mining Waste Site to Assess and Inform Environmental Health Literacy Efforts

    2014

  • Genetic variant in ACVR2B is associated with lean mass

    2014

  • Use of dust fall filters as passive samplers for metal concentrations in air for communities near contaminated mine taillings.

    2014

  • Multimedia Exposures to Arsenic and Lead for Children in a Community Near a Former Mine Tailings and Smelter Site

    2014

  • Home Water Treatment Habits and Effectiveness in a Rural Arizona Community

    2014

  • Arsenite-induced pseudo-hypoxia results in loss of anchorage-dependent growth in BEAS-2B pulmonary epithelial cells

    2014

  • Airborne metal concentrations measured using passive samplers in a community near contaminated mine tailings

    2013

  • Comparison of Inter-Home and Intra-Homes Variance of Arsenic in Children’s Urine for Households Near a Hazardous Waste Site

    2013

  • Exposure to Metals in Environmental Media Near a Mine Tailings Site

    2013

  • Arsenic exposure induces the Warburg effect in cultured human cells

    2013

  • Arsenic Exposure and Calpain-10 Polymorphisms Impair the Function of Pancreatic Beta-Cells in Humans: A Pilot Study of Risk Factors for T2DM

    2013

  • Altered arsenic disposition in experimental nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

    2012

  • Arsenite-induced autophagy is associated with proteotoxicity in human lymphoblastoid cells

    2012

  • Guidelines for the use and interpretation of assays for monitoring autophagy

    2012

  • Metals in residential soils and cumulative risk assessment in Yaqui and Mayo agricultural valleys, northern Mexico

    2012

  • Autophagy in toxicology: Self-consumption in times of stress and plenty

    2012

  • Indigenous American ancestry is associated with arsenic methylation efficiency in an admixed population of northwest Mexico

    2012

  • Association between body mass index and arsenic methylation efficiency in adult women from southwest U.S. and northwest Mexico

    2011

  • A SOCS-1 promoter variant is associated with total serum IgE levels

    2011

  • Analysis of global and absorption, distribution, metabolism, and elimination gene expression in the progressive stages of human nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

    2011

  • Arsenite exposure in human lymphoblastoid cell lines induces autophagy and coordinated induction of lysosomal genes

    2010

  • Genetic association between intronic variants in AS3MT and arsenic methylation efficiency is focused on a large linkage disequilibrium cluster in chromosome 10

    2010

  • Autophagy is the predominant process induced by arsenite in human lymphoblastoid cell lines

    2010

  • Autophagy is a biological target of arsenic

    2010

  • Genetic Variation in Genes Associated with Arsenic Metabolism

    2008

  • How can biologically-based modeling of arsenic kinetics and dynamics inform the risk assessment process? - A workshop review

    2008

  • Delayed sleep phase cases and controls

    2008

  • The human IL-13 locus in neonatal CD4 sup + /sup T cells is refractory to the acquisition of a repressive chromatin architecture

    2007

  • A polymorphism in CD14 modifies the effect of farm milk consumption on allergic diseases and CD14 gene expression

    2007

  • 5-Aza-2'-deoxycytidine-mediated reductions in G9A histone methyltransferase and histone H3 K9 di-methylation levels are linked to tumor suppressor gene reactivation

    2007

  • Genetic regulation of rejection and survival following human lung transplantation by the innate immune receptor CD14

    2007

  • Developmental and genetic modulation of arsenic biotransformation: A gene by environment interaction?

    2007

  • Cross-sectional analysis of oncogenic HPV viral load and cervical intraepithelial neoplasia

    2006

  • Association between exposure to farming, allergies and genetic variation in CARD4/NOD1

    2006

  • The impact of CD14 polymorphisms on the development of soluble CD14 levels during infancy

    2006

  • Epigenetic inactivation of the HOXA gene cluster in breast cancer

    2006

  • A CD14 Polymorphism Modifies the Effect of Farm Milk Consumption on Allergic Diseases and Alters Gene Expression of CD14

    2006

  • Dietary Factors and Biomarkers Involved in the Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase Genotype-Colorectal Adenoma Pathway

    2006

  • Th2 cell-selective enhancement of human IL13 transcription by IL13-1112C T, a polymorphism associated with allergic inflammation

    2006

  • Developmentally restricted genetic determinants of human arsenic metabolism: Association between urinary methylated arsenic and CYT19 polymorphisms in children

    2005

  • Epigenetic regulation of the cell type-specific gene 14-3-3sigma

    2005

  • Opposite effects of CD14/-260 on serum IgE levels in children raised in different environments

    2005

  • Association of atopy and eczema with polymorphisms in T-cell immunoglobulin domain and mucin domain-IL-2-inducible T-cell kinase gene cluster in chromosome 5 q 33

    2005

  • Association of defensin beta-1 gene polymorphisms with asthma

    2005

  • Performance assessment of eight high-throughput PCR assays for viral load quantitation of oncogenic HPV types

    2004

  • Toll-like receptor 2 as a major gene for asthma in children of European farmers

    2004

  • Automated high-throughput sex-typing assay

    2004

  • TOLL-like receptor 10 genetic variation is associated with asthma in two independent samples

    2004

  • Toll-like receptor 6 gene (TLR6): Single-nucleotide polymorphism frequencies and preliminary association with the diagnosis of asthma

    2004

  • Longitudinal decline in lung function: Evaluation of interleukin-10 genetic polymorphisms in firefighters

    2004

  • Single-nucleotide polymorphisms in the Toll-like receptor 9 gene (TLR9): Frequencies, pairwise linkage disequilibrium, and haplotypes in three U.S. ethnic groups and exploratory case-control disease association studies

    2003

  • Genetic variation in genes associated with arsenic metabolism: Glutathione S-transferase omega 1-1 and purine nucleoside phosphorylase polymorphisms in European and indigenous Americans

    2003

  • Single nucleotide polymorphisms in innate immunity genes: Abundant variation and potential role in complex human disease

    2002

  • Single-nucleotide polymorphisms in the interleukin-10 gene: Differences in frequencies, linkage disequilibrium patterns, and haplotypes in three United States ethnic groups

    2002

  • Effects of acute and chronic arsenic exposure of human-derived keratinocytes in an in vitro human skin equivalent system: A novel model of human arsenicism

    1997

  • Arsine toxicity: Chemical and mechanistic implications

    1995

  • Inhibition of cell-mediated cytolysis and P-glycoprotein function in natural killer cells by verapamil isomers and cyclosporine a analogs

    1995

  • Analysis of multidrug resistance-associated protein (MRP) messenger RNA in normal and malignant hematopoietic cells.

    1994

  • Effects of ethanol and paraformaldehyde on RNA yield and quality.

    1994

  • P-glycoprotein expression and function in circulating blood cells from normal volunteers

    1994

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