Kenneth Murphy, MD, PhD

Professor, Pathology and Immunology
Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Room 7766, CSRB
Office: (314) 362-2009
Lab: (314) 362-2004
Website  |  Pub Med Search
HHMI website


Selecting the correct immune response to pathogens – development of dendritic cells and lymphocyte subsets

My laboratory examines how specialized lineages of the immune system develop to anticipate various types of infections and to generate the correct quality of immune response. Our initial focus examined the basis of CD4 T cell development into the function helper subsets, such as TH1, TH2, TH17, and so on.  Our work defined the physiological basis of instructive differentiation that occurs in response to pathogens and defined the signaling pathways and transcriptional circuits involved.  Our early discovery that dendritic cells and macrophages determined the direction of T cell differentiation, by their production of cytokines such as IL-12, led us to examine how myeloid cells evolved to be the decision makers for T cell differentiation in immunity.  We are currently focused on defining the developmental basis for dendritic cell diversification into the functional subsets that control induction of the various types of lymphocyte effector responses.  This work has practical implications for improved immunotherapy, including vaccine design.  Ongoing projects can be found by reading our recently published work and review articles.  

Selected Publications

  1. Hildner K, Edelson BT, Purtha WE, Diamond M, Matsushita H, Kohyama M, Calderon B, Schraml BU, Unanue ER, Diamond MS, Schreiber RD, Murphy TL, Murphy KM. (2008) Batf3 deficiency reveals a critical role for CD8alpha+ dendritic cells in cytotoxic T cell immunity. Science ;322(5904):1097-100. PMCID:PMC2756611
  2. Kohyama M, Ise W, Edelson BT, Wilker PR, Hildner K, Mejia C, Frazier WA, Murphy TL, Murphy KM. (2009) Role for Spi-C in the development of red pulp macrophages and splenic iron homeostasis. Nature ;457(7227):318-21. PMCID:PMC2756102
  3. Schraml BU, Hildner K, Ise W, Lee WL, Smith WA, Solomon B, Sahota G, Sim J, Mukasa R, Cemerski S, Hatton RD, Stormo GD, Weaver CT, Russell JH, Murphy TL, Murphy KM. (2009) The AP-1 transcription factor Batf controls T(H)17 differentiation. Nature ;460(7253):405-9. PMCID:PMC2716014
  4. Ise W, Kohyama M, Nutsch KM, Lee HM, Suri A, Unanue ER, Murphy TL, Murphy KM. (2010) CTLA-4 suppresses the pathogenicity of self antigen-specific T cells by cell-intrinsic and cell-extrinsic mechanisms. Nat.Immunol.11(2):129-35. PMCID:PMC3235641
  5. Ise W, Kohyama M, Schraml BU, Zhang T, Schwer B, Basu U, Alt FW, Tang J, Oltz EM, Murphy TL, Murphy KM. (2011) The transcription factor BATF controls the global regulators of class-switch recombination in both B cells and T cells. Nat.Immunol.12(6):536-43. PMCID:PMC3117275
  6. Satpathy AT, Wu X, Albring JC, Murphy KM. (2012) Re(de)fining the dendritic cell lineage. Nat.Immunol.13(12):1145-54. PMCID:PMC3644874
  7. Tussiwand R, Lee WL, Murphy TL, Mashayekhi M, Wumesh KC, Albring JC, Satpathy AT, Rotondo JA, Edelson BT, Kretzer NM, Wu X, Weiss LA, Glasmacher E, Li P, Liao W, Behnke M, Lam SS, Aurthur CT, Leonard WJ, Singh H, Stallings CL, Sibley LD, Schreiber RD, Murphy KM. (2012) Compensatory dendritic cell development mediated by BATF-IRF interactions. Nature ;490(7421):502-7. PMCID:PMC3482832
  8. Murphy TL, Tussiwand R, Murphy KM. (2013) Specificity through cooperation: BATF-IRF interactions control immune-regulatory networks. Nat.Rev.Immunol.13(7):499-509. PMID:23787991
  9. Satpathy AT, Briseno CG, Lee JS, Ng D, Manieri NA, KC W, Wu X, Thomas SR, Lee WL, Turkoz M, McDonald KG, Meredith MM, Song C, Guidos CJ, Newberry RD, Ouyang W, Murphy TL, Stappenbeck TS, Gommerman JL, Nussenzweig MC, Colonna M, Kopan R, Murphy KM. (2013) Notch2-dependent classical dendritic cells orchestrate intestinal immunity to attaching-and-effacing bacterial pathogens. Nat.Immunol.14(9):937-48. PMCID:PMC3788683
  10. Haldar M, Kohyama M, So AY, KC W, Wu X, Briseno CG, Satpathy AT, Kretzer NM, Arase H, Rajasekaran NS, Wang L, Egawa T, Igarashi K, Baltimore D, Murphy TL, Murphy KM. (2014) Heme-mediated SPI-C induction promotes monocyte differentiation into iron-recycling macrophages. Cell ;156(6):1223-34. PMCID:PMC4010949
  11. Wumesh KC, Satpathy AT, Rapaport AS, Briseno CG, Wu X, Albring JC, Russler-Germain EV, Kretzer NM, Durai V, Persaud SP, Edelson BT, Loschko J, Cella M, Allen PM, Nussenzweig MC, Colonna M, Sleckman BP, Murphy TL, Murphy KM. (2014) L-Myc expression by dendritic cells is required for optimal T-cell priming. Nature ;507(7491):243-7. PMCID:PMC3954917

DBBS Graduate Program Affiliation

Current Trainees

Graduate Students

Postdoctoral Fellows

Vivek Durai – MD, PhD

Roxane Tussiwand, PhD

Gary Grajales – MD, PhD

Arifumi Iwata, MD, PhD

Carlos Briseno – PhD


Xiaodi Wu – MD, PhD

CP Resident

Nicole Kretzer – MD, PhD

Malay Haldar, M.D.

Past Trainees

Graduate Students



Wumesh KC – MD, PhD

Robert Lindsley, MD, PhD

Piotr Kulesza

Ansu Satpathy – MD, PhD

Michelle Hurchla, PhD

Wenjun Ouyang, PhD

Winnie Lee – PhD

John Sedy, PhD

Sheila H. Ranganath

Mi Cai – PhD

Lisa Berenson, PhD

Susanne J. Szabo, PhD

Mona Mashekhi – MD, PhD

Chen Chen, PhD

Cynthia Wenner

Jennier Gill – MD, PhD

Mehmet Guler, MD

Jianfei Yang, MD, PhD

Barbara Schraml – PhD

Chyi-Song Hsieh, MD, PhD

Mei-xia Zhou

Peter Wilker, PhD

Nills Jacobson, MD, PhD

Maryam Afkarian

Postdoctoral Fellows


Chang Liu, MD, PhD

Ellen Langer, PhD

Shinichiro Kagami, MD, PhD

Jörn Albring, MD, PhD

Kai Hildner, MD, PhD

Norihiko Watanabe, MD, PhD

Michelle Sandau, PhD

Maya Gavrieli, PhD

Helene Asnagli, PhD

Brian Edelson, MD, PhD

Naruhisa Ota, MD, PhD

Laura Carter, PhD

Masako Kohyama-Ise, PhD

John David Farrar, MD, PhD

Jae Youl Cho, PhD

Wataru Ise, PhD

James Gorham, MD, PhD

Marc Cleveland


Department of Pathology and Immunology
Campus Box 8118
660 South Euclid Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63110
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