Profile for Jennifer Klein

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Jennifer Klein

University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

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Specialty area(s)

molecular biophysics, cell biology, molecular biology, biochemistry, mathematical biology

Current courses at UWL

Bio 105 General Biology

Bio 315 Cell Biology

Bio 435/535 Molecular Biology

BIO 449/549 Advanced Microscopy and Biological Imaging

Bio 460/560 Modern Genomics

Bio 460/560 Biophysics

Bio 491 Biology Capstone


National Institutes of Health NRSA Postdoctoral Training in the Biology of Aging (2010)

      University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

Doctor of Philosophy in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics (2008)

       University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

       Dissertation Title: Myosin Structural Dynamics

Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry (2002)

       College of Saint Benedict, Saint Joseph, Minnesota


Professional history

University of Wisconsin-La Crosse (2012-Present)

St. Olaf College, Minnesota (2010-2012, Visiting Professor)

University of St. Thomas, Minnesota (2008-2010, Visiting Professor)

Minnesota Supercomputing Institute Fellow (2002)

Research and publishing

There is an abundance of research activity happening all of the time in Dr. Klein's lab.  Peruse the links below to find out more about each project.

Molecular Mechanisms of Muscle Aging

FoxP3 Epigenetics and Immunotherapy for Food Allergy

Research Sailing Expedition in the Spanish Virgin Islands



Daniel Walgenbach, Cade Armstrong, College of Science & Health and Jacob Kailing, College of Science & Health, all Biochemistry (ASBMB Cert) BS; Alex Steil, Biology (Cell and Molecular Concentration); and Jennifer Klein, Biology, Biology; co-authored the article "The calmodulin redox sensor controls myogenesis" in PLOS ONE published on Sept. 17 by Public Library of Science (PLOS). Muscle aging is accompanied by blunted muscle regeneration in response to injury and disuse. Oxidative stress likely underlies this diminished response, but muscle redox sensors that act in regeneration have not yet been characterized. Students in Molecular Biology Lab (Bio 436) contributed to using the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing system to introduce a single amino acid substitution M109Q that mimics oxidation of methionine to methionine sulfoxide in one or both alleles of the CALM1 gene, one of three genes encoding the muscle regulatory protein calmodulin, in C2C12 mouse myoblasts. When signaled to undergo myogenesis, mutated myoblasts failed to differentiate into myotubes. Students in Advanced Microscopy (Bio 449/549) found that although early myogenic regulatory factors were present, cells with the CALM1 M109Q mutation in one or both alleles were unable to withdraw from the cell cycle and failed to express late myogenic factors. We have shown that a single oxidative modification to a redox-sensitive muscle regulatory protein can halt myogenesis, suggesting a molecular target for mitigating the impact of oxidative stress in age-related muscle degeneration. Research was funded by the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Aging). Over 100 UWL students contributed to this publication! Thank you to all of those students who braved the waters of course-embedded research and found success.

Submitted on: Sept. 19, 2020



Jennifer Klein, Biology, was interviewed by IBM news on Thursday, June 18. Jennifer Klein describes her use of High Performance Computing to help design drugs to treat Covid 19.

Submitted on: June 18, 2020