Walter T Klimecki, DVM, PhD

Associate Professor, Pharmacology and Toxicology
Interim Department Head, Pharmacology and Toxicology
Associate Head, Pharmacology and Toxicology
Assistant Professor, Public Health
Assistant Professor, Medicine - (Research Scholar Track)
Associate Professor, BIO5 Institute
Associate Professor, Genetics - GIDP
Adjunct Associate Professor, Nursing
Phone Number: 
(520) 626-7470
Professional Bio: 

Dr. Klimecki's research over the years has focused on the study of a carcinogenic environmental toxicant, arsenic.  He has contributed both to an understanding of its carcinogenic mechanism of action, as well as human population-level determinants of individual variability in susceptibility to arsenic toxicity. The publications from human studies that he has led directly speak to the importance of his membership in the Arizona Cancer Center.  His work has defined both genetic and non-genetic determinants of “safe” and “risky” metabolism phenotypes in arsenic-exposed human populations.  These metabolic phenotypes have been repeatedly shown in epidemiology studies to impact cancer risk resulting from arsenic exposure.  

Dr. Klimecki's laboratory also studies the mechanistic underpinnings of arsenic carcinogenesis. His research group has recently published a seminal observation describing the ability of non-cytotoxic concentrations of arsenic to impair mitochondrial energy production, and alter fundamental cellular metabolism.  They went on to relate this induction of the Warburg effect to the ability of arsenic to effect malignant transformation of lung epithelial cells.  Their work depended on active collaborations with Cancer Center members (Bernard Futscher), as well as Cancer Center core facilities.  In the true spirit of Center programs, Dr. Klimecki's work benefits, and benefits from, the synergy created under the umbrella of the University of Arizona Cancer Center.

Research Information

Research Program: 
Cancer Biology
Selected Publications: 

Professional Information

Positions and Honors: 
2015-Present   Department Head (Interim), Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Arizona
2013-Present   Associate Department Head, Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Arizona
2012-Present   Associate Professor of Pharmacology/Toxicology, University of Arizona
2008-Present   Co-Director: Integrative Health Sciences Facility Core, Southwest Environmental Health  Sciences Center, University of Arizona
2006-Present   Professor of Pharmacology/Toxicology, University of Arizona
2004-Present   Research Assistant Professor of Medicine, College of Medicine, Univ. of Arizona
2000-Present   Associate Research Scientist, Arizona Respiratory Center, University of Arizona
1997-2000      Section Manager, Genotyping Assays, Motorola Biosciences, Phoenix, Arizona
Other Experience and Professional Memberships/Affiliations: 
Member        Society of Toxicology, Vice President, Metals Specialty Section
Member        Mountain West Regional Society of Toxicology
Member        International Society of Environmental Epidemiology
2015             NIH Special Emphasis Panel (P50 in Health Disparities) ZRG1 HDM S 50
2015             NCI Special Emphasis Panel (XCA1-SRB-L (J1)
2010             Scientific Organizing Committee, “Arsenic 2010” Biennial Meeting, Tainan City, Taiwan
2009             NIH Study Section Member, ZAT1 SM
2008             NIH Special Emphasis Panel for RFA-HL-08-008
2007, 2008   NIH Study Section Member, ZAT1 SM
2005             NIH Study Section Member, ZRG1-CFS
2002, 2005   Study Section, Genome Canada
1999-2005    NIH Study Section Member, ZRG1-SSS-L, (SBIR,STTR, Drug Development)
1994-1996    NRSA Post-doctoral fellowship, National Cancer Institute, NIH

Academic Information

Post Doctoral: 
University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
Medical School: 
DVM, Ohio State University
Undergraduate School: 
Ohio State University