Celina G. Kleer, MD
Professor, Department of Pathology
Dr. Kleer received her medical degree from the University of Buenos Aires School of Medicine in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1993. She began her residency in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and completed her training at the University of Michigan in 1999. During her last year of training, she served as a Surgical Pathology Fellow with special interest in breast pathology under the mentorship of Dr. Harold Oberman. In 1999 she joined the faculty as an Assistant Professor, was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2005, and to full Professor with tenure in 2011. In 2007, Dr. Kleer was honored as the first Harold A. Oberman Collegiate Professor in Pathology.
Dr. Kleer’s clinical interests are in diagnostic breast pathology, and she serves as the Director of the Breast Pathology Division in the Department. In addition to her clinical duties, Dr. Kleer runs an independent research program aimed at elucidating the genetic alterations that underlie breast cancer invasion and metastasis. She has specific interest in the validation of novel genes as potential tissue biomarkers that may help guide treatment in breast cancer patients.
Dr. Kleer’s laboratory has identified that EZH2, a repressor of gene transcription, is able to transform mammary epithelial cells. EZH2 overexpression in breast cancer tissue samples is a predictor of metastasis and survival. The Kleer Lab has developed the only mouse model of EZH2 overexpression targeted to the mammary gland. In addition, her laboratory has identified and characterized a novel tumor suppressor gene for inflammatory breast cancer: CCN6 (also called WISP3). Dr. Kleer has received awards from the AACR and the International Academy of Pathology. She is on the editorial board of Human Pathology and The American Journal of Pathology, and serves as Associate Editor of BMC Cancer. She has been a permanent member of the NIH Study Section Tumor Progression and Metastasis since 2008. Dr. Kleer’s research is funded by the National Cancer Institute (NIH/NCI).
Dr. Kleer is the lead breast pathologist at UM. She is an active member of the surgical pathology staff and the Breast Care Center at the University of Michigan.
Characterization of genes that drive highly aggressive breast cancer phenotypes and development of predictive and prognostic biomarkers.