Kai W. Wucherpfennig, MD, PhD
Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School
Office phone: 617-632-3086
Website: Wucherpfennig Lab
Preferred contact method: email
Area of Research
Innovative Research in T cell Biology and Cancer Immunology
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
450 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
Dr. Wucherpfennig received his MD in 1986 and his PhD in 1987 from the University of Goettingen, Germany. He completed research fellowships at Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University. In 1995, he joined DFCI, where he is principally involved in basic laboratory research that focuses on T cell immunology and the role of T cells in cancer immunology.
Transformative RO1, NIH Director's Transformative Research Award Program, 2012
- Elected as Fellow, American Society for the Advancement of Science, 2009
- Elected as Member Henry Kunkel Society, Rockefeller University, 2007
- Elected as Member of American Society for Clinical Investigation, 2006
- Langheinrich Prize, University of Berlin, 1995
- Harry Weaver Neuroscience Scholar, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, 1992
ResearchInnovative Research in T cell Biology and Cancer Immunology
Recent work has shown that T cells play a central role in controlling tumor growth. We study the molecular mechanisms that control T cell receptor recognition of tumor antigens and subsequent signaling events that determine the fate of tumor-infiltrating T cells. We are particularly interested in the signaling and transcriptional networks that inhibit T cell function in the tumor microenvironment. Insights into these molecular switches may be useful for enhancing cytotoxic T cell function against cancers.
- Xu C, Gagnon E, Call ME, Schnell JR, Schwieters CD, Carman CV, Chou JJ, Wucherpfennig KW. Regulation of T cell Receptor Activation by Dynamic Membrane Binding of the CD3epsilon Cytoplasmic Tyrosine-Based Motif. Cell 2008, 135:702-13.
- Anders A-K, Call MJ, Schulze M-SED, Fowler KD, Schubert DA, Seth NP, Sundberg EJ, Wucherpfennig KW. HLA-DM captures partially empty HLA-DR molecules for catalyzed removal of peptide. Nat. Immunol. 2011; 12: 54-61.
- Pos W, Sethi DK, Call MJ, Schulze M-SED, Anders AK, Pyrdol J, Wucherpfennig KW. Crystal structure of the HLA-DM - HLA-DR1 complex defines mechanisms for rapid peptide selection. Cell 2012; 151: 1557-1568.
- Gagnon E, Schubert DA, Gordo S, Chu HH, Wucherpfennig KW. Local changes in the lipid microenvironment of TCR microclusters regulate membrane binding by the CD3 epsilon cytoplasmic domain. J. Exp. Med. 2012; 209: 2423-2439.
- Schubert DA, Gordo S, Sabatino JJ, Vardhana S, Gagnon E, Sethi DK, Seth NP, Choudhuri K, Reijonen H, Nepom GT, Evavold BD, Dustin ML, Wucherpfennig KW. Self-reactive human CD4 T cell clones form unusual immunological synapses. J. Exp. Med. 2012; 209: 335-352.
- Sethi, Dhruv, PhD
- Zhou, Penghui, PhD
- Pos, Wouter, PhD
- Harvey, Christopher, PhD
- Shaffer, Don, PhD
- Moffett, Howell, PhD