Frank Cichocki, PhD

Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Hematology, Oncology and Transplantation

Frank Cichocki

Contact Info

Office Phone 612-624-7662

Mailing Address:
420 Delaware Street SE
MMC 480
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Administrative Assistant Name
Barbara Porwit

Administrative Phone

Administrative Email

PhD, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

Bachelor's Degree, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA


Dr. Cichocki received his PhD in immunology from the University of Minnesota in 2010. He carried out his postdoctoral training at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden and returned to the University of Minnesota in 2013. Dr. Cichocki researches basic human natural killer (NK) cell biology and NK cell immunotherapy in the context of hematopoietic cell transplantation.


Natural killer cell biology

Awards & Recognition

  • University of Minnesota Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship (2009)
  • Society for Innate Immunity Scholarship (2010, 2012)
  • Frontiers in Biomedical Research Scholar (2011)
  • Frontiers in Immunology Scholarship (2014)
  • Frontiers in Biomedical Research Fellowship (2011-2012)
  • Karolinska Institute Research Grant, (2012)
  • University of Minnesota T32 Hematology Training Grant (2013-2014)


Research Summary/Interests

  • NK cell development from hematopoietic precursors
  • Transcriptional and epigenetic control of NK cell development
  • NK cells in hematopoietic cell transplantation
  • Primary immunodeficiencies

Human NK cell biology
Our group has a long-standing interest in the development and differentiation of human natural killer (NK) cells. NK cells represent a lineage of cytotoxic lymphocytes that play key roles in immunosurveillance of virally infected and transformed cells. Our current work is focused on the molecular mechanisms controlling the differentiation, expansion, signaling and function of unique, heterogeneous subsets of adaptive NK cells that arise in response to cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection in healthy individuals and CMV reactivation in hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) recipients. Our group is also actively exploring pathways important for the efficient generation of highly functional NK cells from induced pluripotent stem cells


  • Cichocki F, Valamehr B, Bjordahl R, Zhang B, Rezner B, Rogers P, Gaidarova S, Moreno SK, Tuininga K, Dougherty P, McCullar V, Howard P, Sarhan D, Taras E, Schlums H, Abbot SE, Shoemaker D, Bryceson YT, Blazar BR, Wolchko S, Cooley S, Miller JS. GSK 3 inhibition drives maturation of NK cells and enhances their antitumor activity. Cancer Res. 2017;[Epub ahead of print]
  • Sarhan D, Cichocki F, Zhang B, Yingst A, Spellman SR, Cooley S, Verneris MR, Blazar BR, Miller JS. Adaptive NK Cells with Low TIGIT Expression are Inherently Resistant to Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells. Cancer Res. 2016;76(19):5696-5706.
  • Tesi B, Schlums H, Cichocki F, Bryceson YT. Epigenetic Regulation of Adaptive NK Cell Diversification. Trends Immunol. 2016;37(7):451-461.
  • Cichocki F, Schlums H, Theorell J, Tesi B, Miller JS, Ljunggren HG, Bryceson YT. Diversification and Functional Specialization of Human NK Cell Subsets. Curr Top Microbiol Immunol. 2016;395:63-94.
  • Cichocki F, Cooley S, Davis Z, DeFor TE, Schlums H, Zhang B, Brunstein CG, Blazar BR, Wagner J, Diamond DJ, Verneris MR, Bryceson YT, Weisdorf DJ, Miller JS. CD56dimCD57+NKG2C+ NK cell expansion is associated with reduced leukemia relapse after reduced intensity HCT. Leukemia. 2016;30(2):456-463.
  • Cichocki F, Verneris MR, Cooley S, Bachanova V, Brunstein CG, Blazar BR, Wagner J, Schlums H, Bryceson YT, Weisdorf DJ, Miller JS. The Past, Present, and Future of NK Cells in Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation and Adoptive Transfer. Curr Top Microbiol Immunol. 2016;395:225-243.
  • Cichocki F, Schlums H, Li H, Stache V, Holmes T, Lenvik TR, Chiang SC, Miller JS, Meeths M, Anderson SK, Bryceson YT. Transcriptional regulation of Munc13-4 expression in cytotoxic lymphocytes is disrupted by an intronic mutation associated with a primary immunodeficiency. J. Exp. Med. 211:1079-1091 (2014)
  • Cichocki F, Sitnicka E, Bryceson YT. NK cell development and function – plasticity and redundancy unleashed. Semin. Immunol. 26:114-126 (2014)
  • Wright PW, Huehn A, Cichocki F, Li H, Sharma N, Dang H, Lenvik TR, Woll P, Kaufamn D, Miller JS, Anderson SK. Identification of a KIR antisense lncRNA expressed by progenitor cells. Genes. Immun. 14:427-433 (2013)
  • Schlums H*, Cichocki F*, Tesi B, Theorell J, Beziat V, Holmes TD, Han H, Chiang SC, Foley B, Mattsson K, Larsson S, Schaffer M, Malmberg KJ, Ljunggen HG, Miller JS, Bryceson YT. Cytomegalovirus infection drives adaptive epigenetic diversification of NK cells with altered signaling and effector function. Immunity. 2015;42(3):443-456. (* Co-1st authors)
  • Cichocki F, Schlums H, Stache V, Holmes T, Lenvik TR, Chiang SC, Miller JS, Meeths M, Anderson SK, Bryceson YT. Transcriptional regulation of Munc13-4 expression in cytotoxic lymphocytes is disrupted by an intronic mutation associated with a primary immunodeficiency. J Exp Med. 2014;211(6):1079-1091.
  • Cichocki F, Miller JS, Anderson SK, Bryceson YT. Epigenetic regulation of NK cell differentiation and effector functions. Front. Immunol. 4:55 (2012)
  • Bjorkstrom NK, Beziat V, Cichocki F, Liu L, Levine J, Larsson J, Koup S, Anderson SK, Ljunggren HG, Malmberg KJ. CD8 T cells express randomly selected KIRs with distinct specificities compared to NK cells. Blood. 120:3455-3465 (2012)
  • Cichocki F, Al-Attar A, Presnell SR, Lutz CT, Miller JS. Cutting Edge: miR181 promotes human NK cell development by regulating Notch signaling. J. Immunol. 187:6171-6175 (2011)
  • Cichocki F, Miller JS, Anderson SK. KIR transcriptional regulation: a fascinating dance of multiple promoters. J. Innate Immun. 3:242-248 (2011)
  • Cichocki F, Lenvik T, Sharma N, Yun G, Anderson SK, Miller JS. Cutting Edge: KIR antisense transcripts are processed into a 28 base PIWI-like RNA in human NK cells. J. Immunol. 185:2009-2012 (2010)
  • Cichocki F, Miller JS. In vitro development of human natural killer cells. Methods. Mol. Biol. 612:15-26 (2010)
  • Cichocki F, Hanson RJ, Lenvik T, Pitt M, McCullar V, Anderson SK, Miller JS. The transcription factor c-Myc enhances KIR gene transcription through direct binding to an upstream distal promoter element. Blood. 113:3245-3253 (2009)