The Faculty


Identification of the determinants and developmental cues that program T cell somatic plasticity, allowing cells of defined epithelial lineage to activate genes that are highly restricted to other lineages


Postdoc - Stanford University

Ph.D. Harvard University

B.S. University of California, Los Angeles

Research interests

Immune defense relies on the capacity to respond to an ever-changing spectrum of pathogens and cancers while maintaining tolerance to self. The Koh Lab focuses on understanding the design principles in immune development that allow flexibility in cellular fate and function. We employ an interdisciplinary approach combining genetics, genomics, biochemistry, proteomics, and modeling with particular emphasis on developing methods that interrogate chromatin accessibility, gene expression, and surface proteins from the same single cell. Elucidating the molecular underpinnings of cellular plasticity will provide insights into disease mechanisms and avail new therapies for human disorders.

Selected publications

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

Global relevance of Aire binding to hypomethylated lysine-4 of histone-3.
Koh, AS, Kingston RE, Benoist C, and Mathis D. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 107(29), 13016-21, 2010.

Aire employs a histone-binding module to mediate immunological tolerance, linking chromatin regulation with organ-specific autoimmunity.
Koh AS, Kuo AJ, Park SY, Cheung P, Abramson J, Bua D, Carney D, Shoelson SE, Gozani O, Kingston RE, Benoist C, and Mathis D. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 105(41), 15878-83, 2008. Highlighted in Cell, 135(5), p769, 2008, F1000Prime recommended, 2009.

T cell responses to HLA-A*0201-restricted peptides derived from human alpha fetoprotein.
Butterfield LH, Meng WS, Koh A, Vollmer CM, Ribas A, Dissette VB, Faull K, Glaspy JA, McBride WH, and Economou JS. J. Immunology, 166(8), 5300-5308, 2001.

Immune deviation and Fas-mediated deletion limit antitumor activity after multiple dendritic cell vaccinations in mice.
Ribas A, Butterfield LH, Hu B, Dissette VB, Meng WS, Koh A, Andrews KJ, Lee M, Amar SN, Glaspy JA, McBride WH, and Economou JS. Cancer Research, 60(8), 2218-2224, 2000.

Generation of T-cell immunity to a murine melanoma using MART-1-engineered dendritic cells.
Ribas A, Butterfield LH, Hu B, Dissette VB, Chen AY, Koh A, Glaspy JG, McBride WH and Economou JS. J. Immunotherapy, 23(1), 59-66, 2000.

Characterization of antitumor immunization to a defined melanoma antigen using genetically engineered murine dendritic cells.
Ribas A, Butterfield LH, McBride WH, Dissette VB, Koh A, Vollmer CM, Hu B, Chen A, Eilber FC, Andrews KJ, Glaspy JA, and Economou JS. Cancer Gene Therapy, 6(6), 523-536, 1999.

Generation of human T-cell responses to an HLA-A2.1-restricted peptide epitope derived from alpha-fetoprotein.
Butterfield LH, Koh A, Meng WS, Vollmer CM, Ribas A, Dissette VB, Lee E, Glaspy JA, McBride WH, Economou JS. Cancer Research, 59, 3134-42, 1999.

Alpha-fetoprotein specific genetic immunotherapy for hepatocellular carcinoma.
Vollmer, CM, Eilber FC, Butterfield LH, Ribas A, Dissette VB, Koh A, Montejo L, Andrews KJ, McBride WH, Glaspy JA, Economou JS. Cancer Research, 59, 3064-67, 1999.

BPHYS student

Noah Gamble