Susan Kaech is the NOMIS Foundation Chair and director of the NOMIS Center for Immunobiology and Microbial Pathogenesis at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies (La Jolla, US). She co-led the Marmosets as a Model System of Aging and Neurodegeneration project.
Born in the US, Kaech received a BS from the University of Washington (Seattle, US) in 1993 and a PhD from Stanford University (Stanford, US) in 1999. She has served as the Waldemar Von Zedtwitz Professor of Immunobiology at Yale University (New Haven, US). She is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards including the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Early Career Scientist award, the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the Edward Mallinckrodt Jr. award and the Burroughs-Wellcome Foundation award. She has been named an investigator of the American Asthma Foundation and the Cancer Research Institute.
Kaech is investigating how immune cells—called T cells—remember infectious agents our bodies have previously encountered in order to mount a more rapid response the next time we’re exposed to them. She and her team discovered numerous genetic pathways and signals that operate in T cells to promote the development of long-term immunity. More recently, her lab is studying how immune cell activities can be influenced by metabolic changes, particularly within cancer. This work is opening up an entirely new way of thinking about how immunosuppression can occur in tumors.