Professor Klaus Okkenhaug

Professor Klaus Okkenhaug is Head of the Division of Immunology at the Department of Pathology, University of Cambridge. He obtained his B.Sc. in Biochemistry from the University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, followed by a Ph.D. in Immunology from the University of Toronto, where he studied CD28 signalling in Rob Rottapel’s lab. In 1999, he moved to London, UK, where he joined Bart Vanhaesebroeck’s group at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research as a Postdoctoral Fellow, working on the role of the PI3Kδ in immune responses. There he generated the PI3Kδ kinase-dead knock-in mouse, which showed a key role for this PI3K isoform in B cell and T cells, as well as in preventing colitis due to the role of PI3Kδ in regulatory T cells. Klaus joined the Laboratory of Lymphocyte Signalling and Development at the Babraham Institute as a BBSRC David Phillips Fellow and Group Leader in 2003. In 2011 he was among the first cohort to be awarded a Wellcome Trust New Investigator Award. His group investigates the role of cell signalling pathways in the immune system, with particular focus on the PI3Ks.

In recent years, he has contributed to the description of a new primary immunodeficiency syndrome caused by activated PI3Kδ mutations (APDS) and his group demonstrated that deletion of PI3Kδ in regulatory T cells unleashes a potent anti-tumour response. He has published more than 80 articles and reviews in leading journals and is an internationally-leading authority on the role of PI3Ks in immunity, infection and cancer.