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  • Dr. Andrew P. Makrigiannis, Ph.D.


Professor and Head, Department of Microbiology and Immunology


Dalhousie University

Research Interests:

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.

Involvement with BHCRI to date:

Dr. Makrigiannis is a BHCRI Senior Scientist.


(902) 494-2736




Sir Charles Tupper Medical Building, Dalhousie University, 5850 College Street, P.O. Box 15000, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada B3H 4R2


Wight A, Yang D, Ioshikhes I, Makrigiannis AP. Nucleosome Presence at AML-1 Binding Sites Inversely Correlates with Ly49 Expression: Revelations from an Informatics Analysis of Nucleosomes and Immune Cell Transcription Factors. PLoS Comput Biol. 2016 Apr 28;12(4):e1004894.

Leon L, Felker AM, Kay VR, Tu MM, Makrigiannis AP, Croy BA. Ly49 knockdown in mice results in aberrant uterine crypt formation and impaired blastocyst implantation. Placenta. 2016 Mar;39:147-50.

Mahmoud AB, Tu MM, Wight A, Zein HS, Rahim MM, Lee SH, Sekhon HS, Brown EG, Makrigiannis AP. Influenza Virus Targets Class I MHC-Educated NK Cells for Immunoevasion. PLoS Pathog. 2016 Feb 29;12(2):e1005446.

Messaoudi S, He Y, Gutsol A, Wight A, Hebert RL, Vilmundarson RO, Makrigiannis AP, Chalmers J, Hamet P, Tremblay J, McPherson R, Stewart AFR, Touyz RM, and Nemer M. Endothelial Gata5 transcription factor regulates blood pressure. Nature Communications. 2015 Nov; 6:8835.

Rahim MM and Makrigiannis AP. Ly49 receptors: evolution, genetic diversity, and impact on immunity. Immunol. Reviews. 2015 Sept; 267(1):137-147. (invited review)

Chen P, Aguilar OA, Rahim MM, Allan DS, Fine JH, Kirkham CL, Ma J, Tanaka M, Tu MM, Wight A, Kartsogiannis V, Gillespie MT, Makrigiannis AP*, and Carlyle JR*. Genetic investigation of MHC-independent missing-self recognition by mouse NK Cells using an in vivo bone marrow transplantation model. J. Immunol. 2015 Mar; 194(6):2909-18 *co-corresponding authors

Rahim MM, Chen P, Mottashed AN, Mahmoud, AB, Thomas MJ, Zhu Q, Brooks CG, Kartsogiannis V, Gillespie MT, Carlyle JR*, and Makrigiannis AP*. The mouse NKR-P1B:Clr-b recognition system is a negative regulator of innate immune responses. Blood. 2015 Jan; 125(14):2217-27. *co-corresponding authors

Wei H, Nash WT, Makrigiannis AP, and Brown MG. Impaired NK-cell education diminishes resistance to murine CMV infection. Eur. J. Immunol. 2014 Nov; 44(11):3273-82.

Lima PD, Tu MM, Rahim MM, Peng AR, Anne Croy B, and Makrigiannis AP. Ly49 receptors activate angiogenic mouse DBA+ uterine natural killer cells. Cell. Mol. Immunol. 2014 Sep; 11(5):467-76.

Tu MM, Mahmoud AB, Wight A, Mottashed A, BĂ©langer S, Rahim MM, Abou-Samra E, and Makrigiannis AP. Ly49 family receptors are required for cancer immunosurveillance mediated by natural killer cells. Cancer Res. 2014 Jul; 74(14):3684-94.

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