Lewis L. Lanier, PhD

Lewis L. Lanier, PhD

American Cancer Society Professor; and Chair, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, UCSF
Leader, Cancer, Immunity, and Microenvironment Program, UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

J. Michael Bishop, MD, Distinguished Professor in Microbiology and Immunology, UCSF


Phone: (415) 514-0829 (voice)
Box 0414, UCSF
San Francisco, CA 94143-0414

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Cancer Center Membership

Program Member » Cancer, Immunity, and Microenvironment

Research Summary

I have studied natural killer (NK) cells in humans and mice since 1981. My lab has identified many of the activating and inhibitory NK receptors, their ligands, and signaling pathways and defined their role in innate and adaptive immune responses to pathogens and cancer.


Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State U., Blacksburg, VA, B.S. (honors), 1975, Microbiology
Univ. North Carolina - Chapel Hill, NC, Ph.D., 1978, Immunology
Univ. North Carolina - Chapel Hill, NC, Postdoc, 1978-79, Immunology
Univ. New Mexico Med Sch, Albuquerque, NM, Postdoc, 1979-81, Immunology

Professional Experience

  • 1981-1988
    Senior Research Scientist, Becton Dickinson Monoclonal Center, Inc.
  • 1988-1990
    Associate Research Director, Becton Dickinson Immunocytometry Systems
  • 1991-1992
    Senior Scientific Staff, Department of Immunology, DNAX Research Institute
  • 1993-1996
    Associate Director, Department of Human Immunology, DNAX Research Institute
  • 1997-1999
    Director, Department of Immunobiology, DNAX Research Institute
  • 1999-present
    Professor, Department of Microbiology & Immunology and Cancer Research Institute, University of California, San Francisco
  • 2003-2010
    Vice Chair, Department of Microbiology & Immunology, University of California, San Francisco
  • 2010
    Chair, Department of Microbiology & Immunology, University of California, San Francisco

Honors & Awards

  • 1971
    Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Freshman Science Scholarship
  • 1978-1979
    National Research Service Award Fellowship, University of North Carolina School of Medicine at Chapel Hill Cancer Research Center
  • 1979-1981
    Damon Runyon - Walter Winchell Cancer Fund Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • 2001
    American Association of Immunologists Distinguished Service Award
  • 2002
    William B Coley Award for Distinguished Research in Basic and Tumor Immunology, Cancer Research Institute, New York
  • 2003
    American Cancer Society Research Professorship
  • 2005
    American Society for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics Rose Payne Award
  • 2006
    NIH Merit Grant Award
  • 2010
    Member, National Academy of Sciences
  • 2011
    Member, National Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • 2011
    Fellow, American Academy of Microbiology

Selected Publications

  1. O'Sullivan TE, Sun JC, Lanier LL. Natural Killer Cell Memory. Immunity. 2015 Oct 20; 43(4):634-45.
    View on PubMed
  2. Huang X, Li J, Dorta-Estremera S, Di Domizio J, Anthony SM, Watowich SS, Popkin D, Liu Z, Brohawn P, Yao Y, Schluns KS, Lanier LL, Cao W. Neutrophils Regulate Humoral Autoimmunity by Restricting Interferon-? Production via the Generation of Reactive Oxygen Species. Cell Rep. 2015 Aug 18; 12(7):1120-32.
    View on PubMed
  3. Lanier LL. NKG2D Receptor and Its Ligands in Host Defense. Cancer Immunol Res. 2015 Jun; 3(6):575-82.
    View on PubMed
  4. Nabekura T, Girard JP, Lanier LL. IL-33 Receptor ST2 Amplifies the Expansion of NK Cells and Enhances Host Defense during Mouse Cytomegalovirus Infection. J Immunol. 2015 Jun 15; 194(12):5948-52.
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  5. Lee J, Zhang T, Hwang I, Kim A, Nitschke L, Kim M, Scott JM, Kamimura Y, Lanier LL, Kim S. Epigenetic Modification and Antibody-Dependent Expansion of Memory-like NK Cells in Human Cytomegalovirus-Infected Individuals. Immunity. 2015 Mar 17; 42(3):431-42.
    View on PubMed
  6. Tanimura K, Jin H, Suenaga T, Morikami S, Arase N, Kishida K, Hirayasu K, Kohyama M, Ebina Y, Yasuda S, Horita T, Takasugi K, Ohmura K, Yamamoto K, Katayama I, Sasazuki T, Lanier LL, Atsumi T, Yamada H, Arase H. ß2-Glycoprotein I/HLA class II complexes are novel autoantigens in antiphospholipid syndrome. Blood. 2015 Apr 30; 125(18):2835-44.
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  7. Kamimura Y, Lanier LL. Homeostatic control of memory cell progenitors in the natural killer cell lineage. Cell Rep. 2015 Jan 13; 10(2):280-91.
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  8. Min-Oo G, Lanier LL. Cytomegalovirus generates long-lived antigen-specific NK cells with diminished bystander activation to heterologous infection. J Exp Med. 2014 Dec 15; 211(13):2669-80.
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  9. Nabekura T, Lanier LL. Antigen-specific expansion and differentiation of natural killer cells by alloantigen stimulation. J Exp Med. 2014 Nov 17; 211(12):2455-65.
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  10. Weinger JG, Plaisted WC, Maciejewski SM, Lanier LL, Walsh CM, Lane TE. Activating receptor NKG2D targets RAE-1-expressing allogeneic neural precursor cells in a viral model of multiple sclerosis. Stem Cells. 2014 Oct; 32(10):2690-701.
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  11. Mostafavi S, Ortiz-Lopez A, Bogue MA, Hattori K, Pop C, Koller D, Mathis D, Benoist C. Variation and genetic control of gene expression in primary immunocytes across inbred mouse strains. J Immunol. 2014 Nov 1; 193(9):4485-96.
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  12. Lanier LL. Just the FACS. J Immunol. 2014 Sep 1; 193(5):2043-4.
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  13. Crane CA, Austgen K, Haberthur K, Hofmann C, Moyes KW, Avanesyan L, Fong L, Campbell MJ, Cooper S, Oakes SA, Parsa AT, Lanier LL. Immune evasion mediated by tumor-derived lactate dehydrogenase induction of NKG2D ligands on myeloid cells in glioblastoma patients. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Sep 2; 111(35):12823-8.
    View on PubMed
  14. Min-Oo G, Bezman NA, Madera S, Sun JC, Lanier LL. Proapoptotic Bim regulates antigen-specific NK cell contraction and the generation of the memory NK cell pool after cytomegalovirus infection. J Exp Med. 2014 Jun 30; 211(7):1289-96.
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  15. Du J, Lopez-Verges S, Pitcher BN, Johnson J, Jung SH, Zhou L, Hsu K, Czuczman MS, Cheson B, Kaplan L, Lanier LL, Venstrom JM. CALGB 150905 (Alliance): rituximab broadens the antilymphoma response by activating unlicensed NK cells. Cancer Immunol Res. 2014 Sep; 2(9):878-89.
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  16. Orbelyan GA, Tang F, Sally B, Solus J, Meresse B, Ciszewski C, Grenier JC, Barreiro LB, Lanier LL, Jabri B. Human NKG2E is expressed and forms an intracytoplasmic complex with CD94 and DAP12. J Immunol. 2014 Jul 15; 193(2):610-6.
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  17. Kalinowski A, Ueki I, Min-Oo G, Ballon-Landa E, Knoff D, Galen B, Lanier LL, Nadel JA, Koff JL. EGFR activation suppresses respiratory virus-induced IRF1-dependent CXCL10 production. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2014 Jul 15; 307(2):L186-96.
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  18. Hendricks DW, Balfour HH, Dunmire SK, Schmeling DO, Hogquist KA, Lanier LL. Cutting edge: NKG2C(hi)CD57+ NK cells respond specifically to acute infection with cytomegalovirus and not Epstein-Barr virus. J Immunol. 2014 May 15; 192(10):4492-6.
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  19. Jin H, Arase N, Hirayasu K, Kohyama M, Suenaga T, Saito F, Tanimura K, Matsuoka S, Ebina K, Shi K, Toyama-Sorimachi N, Yasuda S, Horita T, Hiwa R, Takasugi K, Ohmura K, Yoshikawa H, Saito T, Atsumi T, Sasazuki T, Katayama I, Lanier LL, Arase H. Autoantibodies to IgG/HLA class II complexes are associated with rheumatoid arthritis susceptibility. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Mar 11; 111(10):3787-92.
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  20. Lanier LL. Of snowflakes and natural killer cell subsets. Nat Biotechnol. 2014 Feb; 32(2):140-2.
    View on PubMed

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