Andrew Koh

Assistant Professor
Research Summary
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.
Epigenetics, Single Cell Genomics, Chemical-Induced Proximity, Chromatin Remodeling, Aire, Immune Tolerance, T Cell Repertoire Selection
  • University of California, Los Angeles, BS Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology 2003
  • Harvard University, PhD Immunology 2010
  • Stanford University, Postdoc Chromatin Remodeling 2018
Biosciences Graduate Program Association
Awards & Honors
  • 2006 - 2007 Certificate of Excellence and Distinction in Teaching Harvard College
  • 2006 - 2008 NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award
  • 2011 - 2014 Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Fellow
  1. Kaiser C, Bradu A, Gamble N, Caldwell JA, Koh AS. AIRE in context: Leveraging chromatin plasticity to trigger ectopic gene expression. Immunol Rev. 2022 01; 305(1):59-76. View in: PubMed

  2. Koh AS, Miller EL, Buenrostro JD, Moskowitz DM, Wang J, Greenleaf WJ, Chang HY, Crabtree GR. Rapid chromatin repression by Aire provides precise control of immune tolerance. Nat Immunol. 2018 02; 19(2):162-172. View in: PubMed

  3. Koh AS, Kingston RE, Benoist C, Mathis D. 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. View in: PubMed

  4. Koh AS, Kuo AJ, Park SY, Cheung P, Abramson J, Bua D, Carney D, Shoelson SE, Gozani O, Kingston RE, Benoist C, Mathis D. 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. View in: PubMed