A photo of Stephen Waggoner.

Assistant Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics


About Me


Stephen Waggoner, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Center for Autoimmune Genomics and Etiology (CAGE) within the Division of Rheumatology at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center within the UC Department of Pediatrics. Dr. Waggoner received his PhD from the University of Virginia, conducted postdoctoral research at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and joined the faculty at Cincinnati Children’s in 2013. He has garnered international recognition for his discovery that natural killer (NK) cells play a crucial regulatory role during persistent virus infection involving suppression of virus-specific T cell responses. His lab continues to explore the relevance of this phenomenon to chronic infection, vaccine efficacy, autoimmune disease, and age-associated immune dysfunction.

Research Interests

Viral immunology; natural killer cells; immunoregulation; vaccines; autoimmunity; immune dysfunction in aging.

Academic Affiliation

Assistant Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

My Education

BA: St. Mary's College of Maryland, St. Mary's City, MD, 2000.

PhD: University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, 2007.

Post Doc: University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA.

My Publications

Pokrovskii M, Hall JA, Ochayon DE, Yi R, Chaimowitz NS, Seelamneni H, Carriero N, Watters A, Waggoner SN, Littman DR, Bonneau R, Miraldi ER. Characterization of Transcriptional Regulatory Networks that Promote and Restrict Identities and Functions of Intestinal Innate Lymphoid Cells. Immunity. 2019;51(1):185-197.

Rydyznski CE, Cranert SA, Zhou JQ, Xu H, Kleinstein SH, Singh H, Waggoner SN. Affinity maturation is impaired by natural killer cell suppression of germinal centers. Cell Reports. 2018;24(13):3367-3538.

Hatfield SD, Daniels KA, O’Donnell CL, Waggoner SN, Welsh RM. Weak vaccinia virus-induced NK cell regulation of CD4 T cells is associated with reduced NK cell differentiation and cytolytic activity. Virology. 2018;519:131-144.

Huaijian G, Cranert SA, Lu Y, Zhong M, Zhang S, Chen J, Li R, Mahl SE, Wu N, Davidson D, Waggoner SN, Veillette A. Deletion of Slam locus in mice reveals inhibitory role of SLAM family in NK cell responses regulated by cytokines and LFA-1. Journal of Experimental Medicine. 2016;213(10):2187-2207.

Rydyznski C, Daniels KA, Karmele EP, Brooks TR, Mahl SE, Moran MT, Li C, Sutiwisesak R, Welsh RM, Waggoner SN. Generation of cellular immune memory and B-cell immunity are impaired by natural killer cells. Nature Communications. 2015;6:6375.

Waggoner SN, Daniels KA, Welsh RM. Therapeutic depletion of natural killer cells controls persistent infection. Journal of Virology. 2014; 88(4):1953-60.

Cornberg M, Kenney LL, Chen AT, Waggoner SN, Kim SK, Dienes HP, Welsh RM, Selin LK. Clonal exhaustion as a mechanism to protect against severe immuno-pathology and death from an overwhelming CD8 T cell response. Frontiers in Immunology. 2013; 4:475.

Waggoner SN, Cornberg M, Selin LK, Welsh RM. Natural killer cells act as rheostats modulating anti-viral T cells. Nature. 2011; 481(7381):394-398.
This paper is “Faculty of 1000 recommended.”

Rathinam VA, Jiang Z, Waggoner SN, Sharma S, Cole LE, Waggoner L, Vanaja SK, Monks BG, Ganesan S, Latz E, Hornung V, Vogel SN,  Szomolanyi-Tsuda E, Fitzgerald KA. The AIM2 inflammasome is essential for host defense against cytosolic bacteria and DNA viruses. Nature Immunology. 2010; 11(5):395-402.
This paper is “Faculty of 1000 recommended.”

Waggoner SN, Taniguchi RT, Mathew PA, Kumar V, Welsh RM. Absence of mouse 2B4 promotes NK cell–mediated killing of activated CD8+ T cells, leading to prolonged viral persistence and altered pathogenesis. Journal of Clinical Investigation. 2010; 120(6): 1925-38.