Kenneth Oestreich

Kenneth Oestreich

Kenneth Oestreich recognized with international award

Kenneth Oestreich, an assistant professor at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, was honored as this year’s Pfizer-Showell Travel Award winner for the annual meeting of the American Association of Immunologists. The prize pays for Oestreich to attend the Immunology 2015 conference, to be held in New Orleans, Louisiana in May.

“The conference is a great place to meet leaders in the field and to discuss our research,” said Oestreich, also an assistant professor of biomedical sciences and pathobiology at the Virginia–Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. “I’m very excited and honored to attend the meeting.”

Oestreich, as the award recipient, will also present his research during a symposium. He and his team recently discovered that two key immune system cell types, once thought to be fully independent, actually depend upon internal and external factors to maintain their identities. If conditions shift, the two cell types can morph into one another to bolster the body’s immune system. Oestreich continues to study how to encourage better and stronger immune system cell responses to help vaccines become more effective.

The Pfizer-Showell Travel Award was established in 1999 to acknowledge the accomplished work, as well as the potential, of a young scientist. Oestreich and his research will be recognized during an awards presentation at the conference.

“This award recognizes the professional promise of an early career investigator,” said Michael Friedlander, executive director of the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute. “This is a well-deserved honor in recognition of Ken and the powerful start he has already made to his independent research career.”

by Ashley WennersHerron