Michael J. Klag, M.D., M.P.H.

  • Former Dean, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • Professor of Medicine


General Internal Medicine

Research Interests

Hypertension; Renal failure; Precursors Study; Kidney disease; Cardiovascular; Epidemiology; Genetic markers; Health policy and management ...read more


The Johns Hopkins Hospital (Main Entrance)

Appointment Phone: 410-955-9434
1800 Orleans St.
Sheikh Zayed Tower
Baltimore, MD 21287
The Johns Hopkins Hospital (Main Entrance) - Google Maps

Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center (now called Levi Watkins, Jr., M.D., Outpatient Center)

Appointment Phone: 410-955-9434
601 N. Caroline St.
Baltimore, MD 21287
Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center (now called Levi Watkins, Jr., M.D., Outpatient Center) - Google Maps


Dr. Michael J. Klag is a professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He holds joint appointments in epidemiology and in health policy and management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. His areas of clinical expertise include general internal medicine. 

Dr. Klag served as the dean of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health from 2005 to 2017.

He is an internist and epidemiologist who earned his medical degree at the University of Pennsylvania and his master’s in public health degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health. For eight years, he was director of the Division of General Internal Medicine and was the first vice dean for clinical investigation at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, where he instituted new policies and procedures for oversight of human subject research.

Dr. Klag is a world-renowned kidney disease epidemiologist whose scientific contributions have been in the prevention and epidemiology of kidney disease, hypertension and cardiovascular disease. He was one of the earliest investigators to apply epidemiologic methods to the study of kidney disease. In doing so, he and his collaborators were able to first determine that the U.S. was in the midst of an epidemic of end-stage kidney disease, determine the incidence of kidney disease, and publish the risk of developing kidney disease associated with blood pressure, diabetes, race, socioeconomic status and other factors. These findings are considered landmark contributions.

He directs one of the longest running longitudinal studies in existence, the Precursors Study, which began in 1946. Results of that study demonstrated that serum cholesterol measured at age 22 years predicts cardiovascular disease in midlife. This work had a profound impact on the policy related to cholesterol screening in young people. He has also shown that health behaviors and other factors lead to the development of hypertension, and that differences in risk of hypertension in urban and non-urban societies can be explained by differences in health behaviors.

Dr. Klag is the author of more than 200 publications and was the Editor-in-Chief of the Johns Hopkins Family Health Book.

...read more


  • Former Dean, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • Professor of Medicine

Departments / Divisions

Centers & Institutes

Research & Publications

Selected Publications

View all on PubMed

Astor BC, Eustace JA, Klag MJ, Powe NR, Longenecker JC, Fink NE, Marcovina SM, Coresh J. “Race-specific association of lipoprotein(a) with vascular access interventions in hemodialysis patients: The CHOICE Study.” Kidn Internatl. 2002;61(3):1115-1123

Berenholtz SM, Pronovost PJ, Mullany D, Garrett E, Ness PM, Dorman T, Klag MJ. “Predictors of transfusion for spinal surgery in Maryland, 1997-2000.” Transfusion. 2002;42:183-9

Houston TK, Meoni LA, Ford DE, Brancati FL, Cooper LA, Levine DM, Liang K-Y, Klag MJ. “Sports ability in young men and incidence of cardiovascular disease.” Am J Medicine. 2002;112:689-695.

Chang PP, Ford DE, Meoni LA, Wang N-Y, Klag MJ. “Anger in young men and subsequent premature cardiovascular disease: The Precursors Study.” Arch Intern Med. 2002;162:901-906.

Klag MJ, Wang NY, Meoni LA, Brancati FL, Cooper L, Liang KY, Young JH, Ford DE. Coffee Intake and Risk of Hypertension: The Johns Hopkins Precursors Study. Arch Intern Med 2002;162:657-662.

Activities & Honors


  • James D. Bruce Memorial Award, American College of Physicians, 2013
  • Champion of Public Health Award, 2004
  • David M. Levine Excellence in Mentoring Award, 2003
  • Raine Visiting Professor, The University of Western Australia, 1999
  • Fellow, American College of Physicians, 1997
  • Delta Omega National Public Health Honorary Society, Alpha Chapter, 1993
  • Established Investigator, American Heart Association, 1991 - 1996

Professional Activities

  • Vice Dean for Clinical Investigation, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 2001 - 2005
  • Interim Physician-in-Chief, Johns Hopkins Hospital, 2000 - 2001
  • Interim Director, Department of Medicine, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 2000 - 2001
  • Interim Director, The Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology, and Clinical Research, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, 1996 - 1997
  • Associate Director for General Medicine, Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 1996 - 2001
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