The Oestreich Laboratory is located within the Biomedical Research Tower on the Ohio State University College of Medicine’s Wexner Medical Center Campus in Columbus, OH. Located in the Department of Microbial Infection and Immunity, Dr. Oestreich’s laboratory seeks to better understand the integrated roles of cytokine signals and downstream transcriptional networks in the regulation of T cell immune responses.

Source: Juan Gaertner via the British Society for Immunology

Effective immune responses to eliminate both pathogenic infection and tumorigenic cells require the differentiation and function of immune cell populations including CD4+ T helper and CD8+ cytotoxic T cells.  During such responses, CD4+ and CD8+ T cells proliferate and form armies of effector T cells that coordinate the immune response and eliminate both pathogen-infected and tumor cells, respectively. As the threat is eliminated, the number of effector T cells is reduced to avoid potential autoimmunity. During this phase, long-lived memory T cells survive to respond more quickly and robustly to repeated encounters with the same pathogenic insult. This effector-to-memory transition is required for the generation of both natural and vaccine-induced long-term immunity.

By employing cutting-edge molecular biology techniques, our team seeks to elucidate the role of environmental signals and downstream transcription factor networks in regulating both effector and memory T cell differentiation decisions. Ultimately, the overarching goal of our research is to leverage these findings for the development of novel immunotherapeutic strategies to treat human disease.