Kenneth Oestreich, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute
Assistant Professor, Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology, Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine
Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine
The research in the Oestreich Laboratory focuses on defining the mechanisms by which transcription factors contribute to cellular differentiation and function in the immune system. The formation of the immune system is entirely dependent on the ability of numerous cell types to arise from a common progenitor. Developmental transcription factors are necessary for regulating the cell-type-specific gene expression patterns dictating the phenotype of each of these unique cells. Unfortunately, mutations in these key factors often lead to their improper function, resulting in cancer and autoimmune disease. Two such examples that are studied in the laboratory are the T helper cell lineage-defining transcription factors, T-bet and Bcl-6. Aberrant activity of T-bet has been linked to numerous autoimmune diseases including type 1 diabetes, while mutations in Bcl-6 are frequently associated with the onset of lymphoma. Therefore, it is critically important to understand the molecular mechanisms by which these and other transcription factors direct cell-specific gene expression profiles.
By employing cutting-edge molecular biology techniques, the Oestreich research team seeks to elucidate the developmental and dynamic mechanisms that lead to the proper differentiation and function of individual immune cell types. Thus, the overarching goal of the research is to gain a better understanding of how developmental transcription factors regulate gene expression patterns and to use this knowledge to develop novel therapies targeting the abnormal activity of transcription factors that cause human disease.
For a more complete listing of Kenneth Oestreich's publications, visit PubMed.
Education and Training
- Emory University: Postdoctoral fellowship
- Vanderbilt University: PhD, Microbiology and Immunology
- University of Washington
Senior Postdoctoral Fellow
Awards and Honors
- Pfizer-Showell Award Recipient, American Association of Immunologists, 2015
- Article of the Month, Nature Immunology, 2012
- Developmental Immunology institutional training grant, 2008-2009
- Ruth Kirschstein institutional postdoctoral training grant recipient
- Read KA, Powell MD, McDonald PW, Oestreich KJ. (2016). IL-2, IL-7, and IL-15: Multistage regulators of CD4+ T helper cell differentiation. ISEH Experimental Hematology 44(9): 799-808.
- Read KA, Powell MD, Oestreich KJ. (2016). T follicular helper cell programming by cytokine-mediated events. Immunology.
- McDonald PW, Read KA, Baker CE, Anderson AE, Powell MD, Ballesteros-Tato A, Oestreich KJ. (2016). IL-7 signalling represses Bcl-6 and the TFH gene program. Nature Communications 7.
- Cooley ID, Read KA, Oestreich KJ. (2015). Trans-presentation of IL-15 modulates STAT5 activation and Bcl-6 expression in TH1 cells. Scientific Reports 5.
- Oestreich KJ, Read KA, Gilbertson SE, Hough KP, McDonald PW, Krishnamoorthy V, Weinmann AS. (2014). Bcl-6 directly represses the glycolysis pathway gene program. Nature Immunology 15: 957-964.
- Oestreich KJ, Weinmann AS. (2012). Master regulators or lineage-specifying? Changing views on CD4+ T cell transcription factors. Nat Rev Immunol 12: 799-804.
- Oestreich KJ, Weinmann AS. (2012). Transcriptional mechanisms that regulate T helper 1 cell differentiation. Curr Opin Immunol 24(2): 191-5.
- Oestreich KJ, Mohn SE, Weinmann AS. (2012). Molecular mechanisms that control the expression and activity of Bcl-6 in Th1 cells to regulate flexibility with a Tfh-like gene profile. Nat Immunol 13(4): 405-11.
- Oestreich KJ, Weinmann AS. (2012). Encoding stability versus flexibility: Lessons learned from examining epigenetics in T helper cell differentiation. Curr Top Microbiol Immunol 356: 145-64.
- Oestreich KJ, Weinmann AS. (2011). T-bet employs diverse regulatory mechanisms to repress transcription. Trends Immunol 33(2): 78-83.