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An Interdisciplinary Research Centre at the University of Cambridge


Klaus Okkenhaug became the Professor of Immunology in the Department of Pathology in October 2017. 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 Group Leader in 2003. His group investigates the role of cell signalling pathways in the immune system, with particular focus on the PI3K family of enzymes. 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. 


Key publications: 

Okkenhaug, K., A. Bilancio, G. Farjot, H. Priddle, S. Sancho, E. Peskett, W. Pearce, S. E. Meek, A. Salpekar, M. D. Waterfield, A. J. Smith, and B. Vanhaesebroeck. 2002. Impaired B and T cell antigen receptor signaling in p110delta PI 3-kinase mutant mice. Science 297:1031-1034.

Okkenhaug, K., D. T. Patton, A. Bilancio, F. Garcon, W. C. Rowan, and B. Vanhaesebroeck. 2006. The p110delta isoform of phosphoinositide 3-kinase controls clonal expansion and differentiation of Th cells. J Immunol 177:5122-5128.

Patton, D. T., O. A. Garden, W. P. Pearce, L. E. Clough, C. R. Monk, E. Leung, W. C. Rowan, S. Sancho, L. S. Walker, B. Vanhaesebroeck, and K. Okkenhaug. 2006. Cutting edge: the phosphoinositide 3-kinase p110 delta is critical for the function of CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ regulatory T cells. J Immunol 177:6598-6602.

Garcon, F., D. T. Patton, J. L. Emery, E. Hirsch, R. Rottapel, T. Sasaki, and K. Okkenhaug. 2008. CD28 provides T-cell costimulation and enhances PI3K activity at the immune synapse independently of its capacity to interact with the p85/p110 heterodimer. Blood 111:1464-1471.

Liu, D., T. Zhang, A. J. Marshall, K. Okkenhaug, B. Vanhaesebroeck, and J. E. Uzonna. 2009. The p110delta isoform of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase controls susceptibility to Leishmania major by regulating expansion and tissue homing of regulatory T cells. J Immunol 183:1921-1933.

Ramadani, F., D. J. Bolland, F. Garcon, J. L. Emery, B. Vanhaesebroeck, A. E. Corcoran, and K. Okkenhaug. 2010. The PI3K isoforms p110alpha and p110delta are essential for pre-B cell receptor signaling and B cell development. Sci Signal 3:ra60.

Soond, D. R., E. Bjorgo, K. Moltu, V. Q. Dale, D. T. Patton, K. M. Torgersen, F. Galleway, B. Twomey, J. Clark, J. S. Gaston, K. Tasken, P. Bunyard, and K. Okkenhaug. 2010. PI3K p110delta regulates T-cell cytokine production during primary and secondary immune responses in mice and humans. Blood 115:2203-2213.

Patton, D. T., M. D. Wilson, W. C. Rowan, D. R. Soond, and K. Okkenhaug. 2011. The PI3K p110δ Regulates Expression of CD38 on Regulatory T Cells. PLoS ONE 6:e17359.

Professor of Immunology
Professor Klaus  Okkenhaug

Contact Details

Department of Pathology
University of Cambridge
Tennis Court Road
Takes PhD students
Available for consultancy


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