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, 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. In 2017 he was appointed as the Professor of Immunology at the University of Cambridge.
In recent years, he has contributed to the description of a new primary immunodeficiency syndrome caused by activated PI3Kδ mutations (APDS). His group has also demonstrated that PI3Kδ activity in regulatory T cells can be inhibited to unleash a potent anti-tumour response. He has published more than 100 articles and reviews in leading peer-reviewed journals and is an internationally leading authority on the role of PI3Ks in immunity, infection and cancer.