Koichi Kobayashi, M.D., Ph.D.

Koichi S Kobayashi, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor, MMPA
College of Medicine
Texas A&M Health Science Center
Lab website


The major goal of the laboratory is to understand the function of the innate immune system, particularly in host-pathogen recognition and disease pathophysiology. We discovered physiological function of NOD2, the strongest genetic factor of Crohn’s disease. We established an animal model for NOD2-dependent, Th1-dominant granulomatous ileitis, which is useful for drug development for Crohn’s disease because of its striking similarity to the human disease. We found that another NLR family member, NLRC5/CITA, is a transcriptional regulator of MHC class I molecules and related genes. Although CIITA has been known as a master regulator of MHC class II genes for the last two decades, a counterpart regulator of MHC class I genes had not been identified. This discovery advanced our understanding on MHC or human HLA genes, which are important in infectious disease, cancer and transplanted medicine.

Research interests

Innate Immunity, Toll-like receptor, NLR protein, Crohn’s disease, MHC gene regulation

Selected Publications

Kobayashi, K., Inohara, N., Hernandez, L. D., Galan, J. E., Nunez, G., Janeway, C. A., Medzhitov, R., and Flavell, R. A. (2002). RICK/Rip2/CARDIAK mediates signalling for receptors of the innate and adaptive immune systems, Nature 416, 194-9.

Kobayashi, K., Hernandez, L. D., Galan, J. E., Janeway, C. A., Jr., Medzhitov, R., and Flavell, R. A. (2002). IRAK-M is a negative regulator of Toll-like receptor signaling, Cell 110, 191-202.

Kobayashi, K. S., Chamaillard, M., Ogura, Y., Henegariu, O., Inohara, N., Nuñez, G., Flavell, R. A. (2005). Nod2-dependent regulation of innate and adaptive immunity in the intestinal tract, Science 307, 731-4.

Petnicki-Ocwieja T, Hrncir T, Liu YJ, Biswas A, Hudcovic T, Tlaskalova-Hogenova H, Kobayashi KS. (2009). Nod2 is required for the regulation of commensal microbiota in the intestine. Proc natl Acad Sci USA. Sep 15;106(37):15813-8. Epub 2009 Sep 1.

Meissner TB, Li A, Biswas A, Lee KH, Liu YJ, Bayir E. Iliopoulos D, van den Elsen PJ, Kobayashi KS. (2010). NLR family member NLRC5 is a transcriptional regulator of MHC class I genes. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 107 (31): 13794-9.

Biswas A, Liu YJ, Hao L, Mizoguchi A. Salzman NH, Bevins CL, Kobayashi KS. (2010). Induction and rescue of Nod2-dependent Th1-driven granulomatous inflamemation of the ileum. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 107(33):14739-44.

Meissner, T.B., Liu, Y-J., Lee, K-H., Li A., Biswas, A., van Eggermond, M.C.J.A., van den Elsen, P., Kobayashi, K.S. (2012) NLRC5 cooperates with the RFX transcription factor complex to induce MHC class I gene expression. J Immunol, 188(10):4951-8.

Biswas, A., Meissner, T.B., Kawai, T., Kobayashi, K.S. (2012) Impaired MHC Class I Expression in Mice Deficient for Nlrc5/CITA. J Immunol, 189(2):516-20

Lee, K-H., Biswas, A., Liu, Y-J., Kobayashi, K.S. (2012) Proteasomal degradation of Nod2 mediates tolerance to bacterial cell wall components. J. Biol Chem, 287(47):39800-11.

Kobayashi, K.S. and van den Elsen, P. (2012) NLRC5/MHC class I transactivator: a key regulator of class I mediated immune responses. Nat Rev Immunol, 12(12):813-20.