Dr. Andrew P. Makrigiannis, Ph.D.
Professor and Head, Department of Microbiology and Immunology
Natural Killer (NK) cell and NK cell receptor genetics and function in cancer immunosurveillance and pathogen recognition.
Dr. Makrigiannis studies the role of class I major histocompatiblity complex (MHC-I) receptors (Ly49) on NK cells during anti-cancer responses. Mouse Ly49 receptors are the functional counterpart of human KIR receptors. He has discovered that cancer cells modulate their surface MHC-I levels to evade recognition by NK cells. He seeks to understand the mechanism of MHC-I modulation in cancer cells, and devise counteractive measures to make cancer cells more susceptible to NK cell-mediated killing.