Stephen K. Anderson, Ph.D.

Stephen K. Anderson, Ph.D.

  • Center for Cancer Research
  • National Cancer Institute
Cancer Innovation Laboratory


The human KIR and murine Ly49 receptors for class I MHC play an important role in the development and function of natural killer (NK) cells. A major focus of the Anderson lab is unraveling the mechanisms controlling the stochastic process whereby class I receptors are expressed by subsets of NK cells. The discovery of probabilistic promoter switches in the separately evolved KIR and Ly49 gene families has produced a novel paradigm for the selective activation of genes. This paradigm has important implications for the control of stem cell fate, and the possibility of modifying differentiation outcomes in various systems.

Areas of Expertise

Molecular Genetics
Transcriptional Regulation
Murine Ly9 Class I MHC Receptors
Human KIR Class I MHC Receptors
NK Cell Biology


Selected Key Publications

Identification of an elaborate NK-specific system regulating HLA-C expression

Li H, Ivarsson MA, Walker-Sperling VE, Subleski J, Johnson JK, Wright PW, Carrington M, Björkström NK, McVicar DW, Anderson SK.
PLoS Genetics. 14: e1007163, 2018. [ Journal Article ]

Activating Receptor Signals Drive Receptor Diversity in Developing Natural Killer Cells

Freund J, May RM, Yang E, Li H, McCullen M, Zhang B, Lenvik T, Cichocki F, Anderson SK, Kambayashi T.
PLoS Biol. 14(8): e1002526, 2016.

Identification of a KIR antisense lncRNA expressed by progenitor cells

Wright PW, Huehn A, Cichocki F, Li H, Sharma N, Dang H, Lenvik TR, Woll P, Kaufman D, Miller JS, Anderson SK.
Genes Immun. 14: 427-33, 2013. [ Journal Article ]

Differential Activation of the Transcription Factor IRF1 Underlies the Distinct Immune Responses Elicited by Type I and Type III Interferons.

Forero A, Ozarkar S, Li H, Lee CH, Hemann EA, Nadjsombati MS, Hendricks MR, So L, Green R, Roy CN, Sarkar SN, von Moltke J, Anderson SK, Gale M Jr, Savan R
Immunity. 51(3): 451-64, 2019. [ Journal Article ]

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Senior Scientist (Contr.)
Hongchuan Li, Ph.D.
Post Baccalaureate Fellow
Erik Anderson
Research Associate III (Contr.)
Paul Wright


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