Nikolaos Sgourakis

University of Pennsylvania

Associate Professor


My research focuses on understanding the intricate molecular mechanisms that determine the vast repertoire of peptide antigens displayed by the proteins of the Major Histocompatibility Complex for immune surveillance by T cells and Natural Killer cells.

Research Areas

Antigen Processing and Presentation; Immuno-oncology; T cell Immune Responses; Immune Evasion Mechanisms; Cytokine Engineering; Synthetic Biology; Protein Dynamics; Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy; Computational Structural Biology; Machine Learning


The Sgourakis Lab investigates the processes that enable adaptive immune responses against infectious diseases and cancer. Our lab's principal efforts focus on mechanistic, structural and functional studies of protein complexes, with emphasis on the development of an iterative experimental / computational approach. To gain an atomic-detail description of these processes and to characterize novel therapeutic targets, we integrate cutting-edge structural biology methods from Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, complementary biophysical and biochemical techniques, computational modeling and functional immunoassays. Our efforts are done in close collaboration with several groups within the vibrant immunology and immuno-oncology communities at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania.