Immune defense requires the capacity to respond to ever-changing pathogens and cancers while remaining tolerant to self. The Koh lab focuses on understanding the design principles in immune development that allow flexibility in cellular fate and function, and how these mechanisms are subverted in human disease. A major emphasis is to identify determinants that allow thymic epithelia to ectopically express thousands of tissue-specific self-antigens (e.g. insulin) to promote tolerance against harmful self-reactive T cells and prevent autoimmunity (e.g. diabetes). Another focus is to understand how T cells acquire competence to deploy diverse arrays of effector functions, and how this plasticity relates to leukemogenesis. We employ a broad, interdisciplinary approach combining genetics, genomics, biochemistry and proteomics, with particular investment in developing multi-omics methods to interrogate chromatin accessibility, gene expression, and cell-surface proteins from the same single cell. Elucidating how cellular plasticity is programmed in development, and dysregulated in disease, will avail novel therapeutic avenues for human disorders.
Postdoc - Chromatin Remodeling
PhD - Immunology
University of California, Los Angeles
BS - Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology
AIRE in context: Leveraging chromatin plasticity to trigger ectopic gene expression.
AIRE in context: Leveraging chromatin plasticity to trigger ectopic gene expression. Immunol Rev. 2022 01; 305(1):59-76.
Rapid chromatin repression by Aire provides precise control of immune tolerance.
Rapid chromatin repression by Aire provides precise control of immune tolerance. Nat Immunol. 2018 02; 19(2):162-172.
Global relevance of Aire binding to hypomethylated lysine-4 of histone-3.
Global relevance of Aire binding to hypomethylated lysine-4 of histone-3. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Jul 20; 107(29):13016-21.
Aire employs a histone-binding module to mediate immunological tolerance, linking chromatin regulation with organ-specific autoimmunity.
Aire employs a histone-binding module to mediate immunological tolerance, linking chromatin regulation with organ-specific autoimmunity. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 Oct 14; 105(41):15878-83.
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Fellow
2011 - 2014
Certificate of Excellence and Distinction in Teaching
2006 - 2007
NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award
2006 - 2008