Faculty Bio

Dr_Klassen-003.jpgLynell W. Klassen, M.D.

Academic Office:
986350 Nebraska Medical Center
Omaha, NE  68198-6350

Practice Locations:
University of Nebraska Medical Center
Omaha VA Medical Center
Village Pointe

1967    Tabor College, Hillsboro, Kansas
1968    University of Kansas, Lawrence
1969    B.A. Tabor College
1973    M.D. University of Kansas School of Medicine, Kansas City
1974    Intern, Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine,  University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City
1975    Resident, Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
1977    Clinical and Research Associate, Arthritis and Rheumatism Branch, NIAMDD, National Institutes of 
            Health, Bethesda, MD
1978    Chief Resident, Department of Medicine, University of  Iowa Hospitals and Clinics

Current Hospital and Academic Appointments:
Robert L. Grissom Professor of Internal Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, UNMC   
Biographical Sketch:

Dr. Klassen received his M.D. from the University of Kansas School of Medicine and completed his residency at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.  Following a fellowship at the Arthritis and Rheumatism Branch of the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Klassen returned to the University of Iowa as chief resident, fellow-associate and assistant professor.  He came to UNMC in 1982 and has served as founder and chief of the Division of Rheumatology and Immunology, VA chief of Rheumatology, vice-chair of Medicine and VA Associate Chief of Staff/Research.  Dr. Klassen recently completed 9 years as the Henry J. Lehnhoff Professor and Chair of the Department of Internal Medicine (2005-2014).  At UNMC, he initiated the Experimental Immunology Laboratory, co-directed the Bone Marrow Transplant Program, and founded the HIV Clinic.    

Dr. Klassen has a long-standing interest in understanding the mechanisms of autoimmune disease. 

He has been continuously funded from 1976, by the NIH and/or the VA to perform basic and translational research in cellular and molecular immunology.  He has been the recipient of a ten-year NIH Method to Extend Research In Time (M.E.R.I.T.) grant awarded for innovative research in the pathophysiology of autoimmune reactions and served on the NIH NIAAA National Advisory Council.  He has been involved with multiple national educational programs for the American College of Rheumatology and the American College of Physicians (ACP) and is currently director of the ACP Midwest Internal Medicine Board Review Course.  He was named a Master of the ACP in 2011.  Dr. Klassen maintains an active clinical practice in rheumatology and immunodeficiency at UNMC and the Nebraska Western Iowa VA Health Care System

Research Interests/Current Research:

Pathogenesis of autoimmunity and immunodeficiency

Selected Publications/Current Publications:

  1.  Klassen LW, Birks JW, Allen E, and Gurney CW:  Experimental Medullary Aplasia.  J Lab Clin Med 80:8-17, 1972.
  2.  Raveche ES, Klassen LW, and Steinberg AD:  Sex Differences in the Formation of Anti‑T Cell Antibodies.  Nature 263:415-416, 1976.
  3.  Klassen LW, Budman DR, Williams GW, Steinberg AD, and Gerber NL:  Efficacy of Ribavirin in the Treatment of Murine Autoimmune Disease.  Science 195:787-789, 1977.
  4.  Klassen LW, Krakauer RS, and Steinberg AD:  Selective Loss of Suppressor Cell Function in New Zealand Mice Induced by NTA.  J Immunol 119:830-837, 1977.
  5.  Klassen LW, Zarate A, Gelfand M, and Steinberg AD:  Suppressor Cell Activation by Anti‑Thy 1.2 in NZB/WF1 Mice.  J Immunol 119:2067-2072, 1977.
  6.  Goeken NE, Armitage JO, Klassen LW, Goeken JA, Ahmann GD, Gingrich RD:  Development of a Donor Pool for Unrelated Bone Marrow Transplantation at the University of Iowa.  Transfusion 22: 78-85, 1982.
  7.  West JC, Armitage JO, Mitros FA, Klassen LW:  Cytomegalovirus Cecal Erosion Causing Massive Hemorrhage in a Bone Marrow Transplant Recipient.  World Surgery 6:251‑255, 1982.
  8.  Kugler JW, Armitage JO, Helms CE, Klassen LW, Goeken NE, Ahmann GD, Gingrich RD, Johnson W, Gilchrist MJR  Legionnaires' Disease   Complicating Bone Marrow Transplantation.  Am J Med 74(2):281-288, 1983.
  9.  Armitage JO, Klassen LW, Burns CP, Ray TL, Gringrich RD, Ahmann GD, Tewfik HH, Kugler JW: Comparison of Bone Marrow Transplantation and Maintenance Chemotherapy for Patients with Acute Nonlymphoblastic Leukemia in First Complete Remission. Amer J Clin Oncol 7:273-278, 1984.
  10.  Kay HD, Petrie HT, Bierman PJ, Scribner CL, Thomas KR, and Klassen LW:  Regulation of Human Natural Killer (NK) Cell Activity:  In Vitro Effect of Transferrin.  Immunobiology 167:187-183, 1984.
  11.  O'Dell JR, McGivern JP, Kay HD, Klassen LW:  Improved survival in murine lupus as the result of selenium supplementation.  Clin Exp Imm 73:322-327, 1988.
  12.  Tuma D and Klassen L.  Immune responses to acetaldehyde-protein adducts: Role in alcoholic liver disease.  Gastroenterology 103:1969-1973, 1992.
  13.   Bierman PJ, Warkentin P, Hutchins MR and Klassen LW.  Pure Red cell aplasia following ABO mismatched marrow transplantation for chronic lymphocytic leukemia:  Response to antithymocyte globulin.  Leukemia and Lymphoma 9:169-171, 1993.
  14.  O'Dell JR, Klassen LW and Moore GF.  The use of outcome measures to evaluate clinical rheumatology curriculum changes.  J Rheumatol 20:1033-1036, 1993.
  15.  Klassen LW, Tuma DJ, Sorrell MF:  Immune mechanisms of alcohol-induced liver disease.  Hepatology 22:355-357, 1995.
  16.  Klassen LW and Thiele GM.  Immune reactivity to proteins biotransformed by alcohol metabolites.  Alcoholism:  Clin Exp Res 22(5):204S-207S, 1998.
  17.  Pavletic SZ, O'Dell JR, Pirruccello SJ, Ursick MM, Haire CE, Sharp JG, Kessinger A, Klassen LW.  Intensive immunoablation and autologous blood stem cell transplantation inpatients with refractory rheumatoid arthritis: The University of Nebraska Experience.  J Rheumatol 28(Suppl 64):13-20, 2001.
  18.  Pavletic S, Klassen L, Pope R, O'Dell J, Traynor A, Haire CE, Graziano F, Schuening F, Oyama Y, Barr W, Burt RK.  Treatment of relapse after autologous blood stem cell transplantation for severe rheumatoid arthritis.  J Rheumatol, 28(Suppl 64):28-31, 2001.
  19. Duryee MJ, Klassen LW, Jones BL, Willis MS and Thiele GM.  Increased Tumorigenicity of P815 Cells Modified with Malondialdehyde and Acetaldehyde.  Int Immunopharmacol.  8:1112-1118, 2008.
  20. Thiele GM, Duryee MJ, Dusad A, Hunter CD, Lacy, JP, Anderson DR, Wang D, O’Dell JR, Mikuls TR, Klassen LW.  Citrullinated mouse collagen administered to DBA/1J mice in the absence of adjuvant initiates arthritis.  Int Immunopharmacol 13:424-431; 2012.
  21. Dusad A, Duryee MJ, Shaw AT, Klassen LW, Anderson DR, Wang D, Ren K, Gravallese EM, O'Dell JR, Mikuls TR, Thiele GM. Induction of bone loss in DBA/1J mice immunized with citrullinated autologous mouse type II collagen in the absence of adjuvant. Immunologic Research. 58 : 51-60. 2014.
  22. Anderson DR, Duryee MJ, Shurmur SW, Um J, Bussey WD, Hunter CE, Garvin RP, Mikuls TR, Klassen LW, Thiele GM.  Unique Antibody Responses to Malondialdehyde-Acetaldehyde (MAA)-Protein Adducts Predict Coronary Artery Disease.  PLoS One. 9:1-10 (e107440). 2014
  23. Carson JS, Xiong W, Worth J, Meisinger T, Dale M, Yu F, Klassen LW, Duryee MJ; Hunter CD, Anderson DR, Thiele GM, Baxter BT. Concentrations of antibodies IgG, IgM and IgA against malondialdehyde-acetaldehyde adducts can identify patients and mice with abdominal aortic aneurysm. J. Vascular Surgery. (2014 Epub ahead of print) S0741-5214(14); 01701-01707.  2015
  24. Thiele GM, Duryee MJ, Anderson DR, Klassen LW, Mohring S, Yound KA, Benissan-Messan D, Sayles H, Dusad A, Hunter C, Sokolove J, Robinson W, O’Dell JR, Nicholas A, Tuma DJ, Mikuls TR. Malondialdehyde-Acetaldehyde Adducts (MAA) and anit-MAA Antibody in Rheumatoid Arthritis.  Arthritis and Rheumatology. (2014 Epub ahead of print) 67:645-654.  2015