William Kwok, PhD
Dr. Kwok received his bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin. After completing his PhD in Biochemistry at the University of Washington in 1983, he remained in Seattle completing post-doctoral research work at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center before moving to the Virginia Mason Research Center (later renamed the Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason). Since 1988, he has been a principle investigator at the Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason.
Areas of Research
Dr. Kwok's research projects are focused on understanding the behavior of human “helper” T cells. These cells are difficult to detect and isolate using traditional methods, but can be studied effectively using tetramers: synthetic protein conjugates that can be used to directly label T cells. These novel tetramer reagents provide a new approach for studying healthy immune responses directed against viruses and other pathogens and harmful immune responses that are the underlying cause of autoimmune diseases and allergy. Detailed studies using tetramers have increased our understanding of the biochemical patterns that activate the immune system. Knowledge of this kind will be critical for developing improved vaccines and targeted therapies to combat infectious diseases, allergy and autoimmunity.
Selected Publications of Dr. Kwok's from the Last Three Years
YangJ, James EA, SandaS, GreenbaumC, Kwok WW. CD4+ T cells recognize diverse epitopes within GAD65: implications for repertoire development and diabetes monitoring. Immunology 2013 Mar;138(3):269-79. doi: 10.1111/imm.12034.
Bonvalet M, Moussu H, Wambre E, Ricarte C, Horiot S, Rimaniol C, Kwok WW, Horak F, De Beaumont O, Baron-Bodo V, Moingeon P. Allergen-specific CD4+ T cell responses in peripheral blood do not predict the early onset of clinical efficacy during grass pollen sublingual immunotherapy. Clin Exp Allergy. 2012 Dec;42(12):1745-55. doi: 10.1111/cea.12015.
Aarntzen EH, De Vries IJ, Lesterhuis WJ, Schuurhuis D, Jacobs JF, Bol K, Schreibelt G, Mus R, De Wilt JH, Haanen JB, Schadendorf D, Croockewit A, Blokx WA, Van Rossum MM, Kwok WW, Adema GJ, Punt CJ, Figdor CG. Targeting CD4(+) T-helper cells improves the induction of antitumor responses in dendritic cell-based vaccination. Cancer Res. 2013 Jan 1;73(1):19-29. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-12-1127. Epub 2012 Oct 18. Wambre E, James EA, Kwok WW.
Wambre E, James EA, Kwok WW. Characterization of CD4+ T cell subsets in allergy. Curr Opin Immunol. 2012 Dec;24(6):700-6. doi: 10.1016/j.coi.2012.07.009.
Kwok WW, Tan V, GilletteL, LittellCT, SoltisMA, LaFond RB, Yang J, James EA, DeLong JH. Frequency of epitope specific naïve CD4+ T cells correlates with immunodominance in the human memory repertoire. J Immunol. 2012 Mar 15;188(6):2537-44.
Schulze Zur Wiesch J, Ciuffreda D, Lewis-Ximenez L, Kasprowicz V, Nolan BE, Streeck H, Aneja J, Reyor LL, Allen TM, Lohse AW, McGovern B, Chung RT, Kwok WW, Kim AY, Lauer GM. Broadly directed virus-specific CD4+ T cell responses are primed during acute hepatitis C infection, but rapidly disappear from human blood with viral persistence. J Exp Med. 2012 Jan 16;209(1):61-75.
Pido-Lopez J, Kwok WW, Mitchell TJ, Heyderman RS, Williams NA. Acquisition of Pneumococci specific effector and regulatory Cd4 T Cells localising within human upper respiratory-tract mucosal lymphoid tissue. PLoS Pathog. 2011 Dec;7(12):e1002396.
Palomares O, Rückert B, Jartti T, Kücüksezer UC, Puhakka T, Gomez E, Fahrner HB, Speiser A, Jung A, Kwok WW, Kalogjera L, Akdis M, Akdis CA. Induction and maintenance of allergen-specific FOXP3(+) Treg cells in human tonsils as potential first-line organs of oral tolerance. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2012 Feb;129(2):510-20,520.e1-9.
Wambre E, DeLong JH, James EA, LaFond RE, Robinson D, Kwok WW. Differentiation stage determines pathologic and protective allergen-specific CD4+ T-cell outcomes during specific immunotherapy. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2012 Feb;129(2):544-51, 551.e1-7.
Kotturi MF, Swann JA, Peters B, Arlehamn CL, Sidney J, Kolla RV, James EA, Akondy RS, Ahmed R, Kwok WW, Buchmeier MJ, Sette A. Human CD8+ and CD4+ T cell memory to lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus infection. J Virol. 2011 Nov;85(22):11770-80. Epub 2011 Sep 7.
Raddassi K, Kent SC, Yang J, Bourcier K, Bradshaw EM, Seyfert-Margolis V, Nepom GT, Kwok WW, Hafler DA. Increased frequencies of myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein/MHC class II-binding CD4 cells in patients with multiple sclerosis. J Immunol. 2011 Jul 15;187(2):1039-46. Epub 2011 Jun 8.
James EA, Kwok WW. Autoreactive CD4+ T cells in atopic dermatitis. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2011 Jul;128(1):100-1. Epub 2011 May 26.
DeLong JH, Simpson KH, Wambre E, James EA, Robinson D, Kwok WW. Ara h 1-reactive T cells in individuals with peanut allergy. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2011 May;127(5):1211-8.
Kwok WW, Roti M, Delong JH, Tan V, Wambre E, James EA, Robinson D. Direct ex vivo analysis of allergen-specific CD4+ T cells. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2010 Jun;125(6):1407-1409.e1.
Ge X, Tan V, Bollyky PL, Standifer NE, James EA, Kwok WW. Assessment of seasonal influenza A virus-specific CD4 T-cell responses to 2009 pandemic H1N1 swine-origin influenza A virus. J Virol. 2010 Apr;84(7)3312-9.