Honors & Awards

  • Postdoctoral Travel Award, Skippy Frank (Stanford Immunology Program) (2019)
  • Fellowship, Stanford Maternal and Child Health Research Institut (MCHRI) (2018-2020)
  • Postdoctoral Travel Award, Skippy Frank (Stanford Immunology Program) (2018)
  • Young Investigator Scientific Award, The Transplantation Society (2018)
  • Fellowship, Transplant and Tissue Engineering Center of Excellence leadership group (TTE) (2017-2019)

Professional Education

  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Southampton, Immunology (2017)
  • Master of Science, Univeriste Pierre et Marie Curie (UPMC/Paris VI), Microbiology and Immunology (2012)
  • Bachelor of Science, Universite Paris Descartes (Paris V), Biomedical Sciences (2010)


All Publications

  • Natural killer cells as modulators of alloimmune responses CURRENT OPINION IN ORGAN TRANSPLANTATION Mbiribindi, B., Harden, J. T., Pena, J. K., Krams, S. M. 2019; 24 (1): 37?41
  • Spatial Clustering of Receptors and Signaling Molecules Regulates NK Cell Response to Peptide Repertoire Changes Frontiers in Immunology Mbiribindi, B., Mukherjee, S., Wellington, D., Das, J., Khakoo, S. I. 2019: 1-11

    View details for DOI 10.3389/fimmu.2019.00605

  • NK Cell Recognition of Peptides Encoded by EBV Latent Cycle Proteins Mbiribindi, B., Moreno, C., Esquivel, C. O., Martinez, O. M., Krams, S. M. LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS. 2018: S283
  • KIR2DS2 recognizes conserved peptides derived from viral helicases in the context of HLA-C. Science immunology Naiyer, M. M., Cassidy, S. A., Magri, A., Cowton, V., Chen, K., Mansour, S., Kranidioti, H., Mbirbindi, B., Rettman, P., Harris, S., Fanning, L. J., Mulder, A., Claas, F. H., Davidson, A. D., Patel, A. H., Purbhoo, M. A., Khakoo, S. I. 2017; 2 (15)


    Killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIRs) are rapidly evolving species-specific natural killer (NK) cell receptors associated with protection against multiple different human viral infections. We report that the activating receptor KIR2DS2 directly recognizes viral peptides derived from conserved regions of flaviviral superfamily 2 RNA helicases in the context of major histocompatibility complex class I. We started by documenting that peptide LNPSVAATL from the hepatitis C virus (HCV) helicase binds HLA-C*0102, leading to NK cell activation through engagement of KIR2DS2. Although this region is highly conserved across HCV isolates, the sequence is not present in other flaviviral helicases. Embarking on a search for a conserved target of KIR2DS2, we show that HLA-C*0102 presents a different highly conserved peptide from the helicase motif 1b region of related flaviviruses, including dengue, Zika, yellow fever, and Japanese encephalitis viruses, to KIR2DS2. In contrast to LNPSVAATL from HCV, these flaviviral peptides all contain an "MCHAT" motif, which is present in 61 of 63 flaviviruses. Despite the difference in the peptide sequences, we show that KIR2DS2 recognizes endogenously presented helicase peptides and that KIR2DS2 is sufficient to inhibit HCV and dengue virus replication in the context of HLA-C*0102. Targeting short, but highly conserved, viral peptides provide nonrearranging innate immune receptors with an efficient mechanism to recognize multiple, highly variable, pathogenic RNA viruses.

    View details for DOI 10.1126/sciimmunol.aal5296

    View details for PubMedID 28916719

  • Peptide selectivity discriminates NK cells from KIR2DL2-and KIR2DL3-positive individuals EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF IMMUNOLOGY Cassidy, S., Mukherjee, S., Myint, T. M., Mbiribindi, B., North, H., Traherne, J., Mulder, A., Claas, F. H., Purbhoo, M. A., Das, J., Khakoo, S. I. 2015; 45 (2): 492-500


    Natural killer cells are controlled by peptide selective inhibitory receptors for MHC class I, including the killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIRs). Despite having similar ligands, KIR2DL2 and KIR2DL3 confer different levels of protection to infectious disease. To investigate how changes in peptide repertoire may differentially affect NK cell reactivity, NK cells from KIR2DL2 and KIR2DL3 homozygous donors were tested for activity against different combinations of strong inhibitory (VAPWNSFAL), weak inhibitory (VAPWNSRAL), and antagonist peptide (VAPWNSDAL). KIR2DL3-positive NK cells were more sensitive to changes in the peptide content of MHC class I than KIR2DL2-positive NK cells. These differences were observed for the weakly inhibitory peptide VAPWNSRAL in single peptide and double peptide experiments (p < 0.01 and p < 0.03, respectively). More significant differences were observed in experiments using all three peptides (p < 0.0001). Mathematical modeling of the experimental data demonstrated that VAPWNSRAL was dominant over VAPWNSFAL in distinguishing KIR2DL3- from KIR2DL2-positive donors. Donors with different KIR genotypes have different responses to changes in the peptide bound by MHC class I. Differences in the response to the peptide content of MHC class I may be one mechanism underlying the protective effects of different KIR genes against infectious disease.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/eji.201444613

    View details for Web of Science ID 000349625400018

    View details for PubMedID 25359276

  • Synergistic inhibition of natural killer cells by the nonsignaling molecule CD94 PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Cheent, K. S., Jamil, K. M., Cassidy, S., Liu, M., Mbiribindi, B., Mulder, A., Claas, F. H., Purbhoo, M. A., Khakoo, S. I. 2013; 110 (42): 16981-16986


    Peptide selectivity is a feature of inhibitory receptors for MHC class I expressed by natural killer (NK) cells. CD94-NKG2A operates in tandem with the polymorphic killer cell Ig-like receptors (KIR) and Ly49 systems to inhibit NK cells. However, the benefits of having two distinct inhibitory receptor-ligand systems are not clear. We show that noninhibitory peptides presented by HLA-E can augment the inhibition of NKG2A(+) NK cells mediated by MHC class I signal peptides through the engagement of CD94 without a signaling partner. Thus, CD94 is a peptide-selective NK cell receptor, and NK cells can be regulated by nonsignaling interactions. We also show that KIR(+) and NKG2A(+) NK cells respond with differing stoichiometries to MHC class I down-regulation. MHC-I-bound peptide functions as a molecular rheostat controlling NK cell function. Selected peptides which in isolation do not inhibit NK cells can have different effects on KIR and NKG2A receptors. Thus, these two inhibitory systems may complement each other by having distinct responses to bound peptide and surface levels of MHC class I.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1304366110

    View details for Web of Science ID 000325634200063

    View details for PubMedID 24082146

  • A Peptide Antagonist Disrupts NK Cell Inhibitory Synapse Formation JOURNAL OF IMMUNOLOGY Borhis, G., Ahmed, P. S., Mbiribindi, B., Naiyer, M. M., Davis, D. M., Purbhoo, M. A., Khakoo, S. I. 2013; 190 (6): 2924-2930


    Productive engagement of MHC class I by inhibitory NK cell receptors depends on the peptide bound by the MHC class I molecule. Peptide:MHC complexes that bind weakly to killer cell Ig-like receptors (KIRs) can antagonize the inhibition mediated by high-affinity peptide:MHC complexes and cause NK cell activation. We show that low-affinity peptide:MHC complexes stall inhibitory signaling at the step of Src homology protein tyrosine phosphatase 1 recruitment and do not go on to form the KIR microclusters induced by high-affinity peptide:MHC, which are associated with Vav dephosphorylation and downstream signaling. Furthermore, the low-affinity peptide:MHC complexes prevented the formation of KIR microclusters by high-affinity peptide:MHC. Thus, peptide antagonism of NK cells is an active phenomenon of inhibitory synapse disruption.

    View details for DOI 10.4049/jimmunol.1201032

    View details for Web of Science ID 000315657200049

    View details for PubMedID 23382564

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