Kenneth Oestreich


Office phone: 540-526-2208

Office location: R2117

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Kenneth Oestreich, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC

Associate Professor, Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology, Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine

Associate 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

Previous Positions

  • 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