Dr. Susan Kaech is a Professor and Director of the NOMIS Center for Immunobiology and Microbial Pathogenesis at the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences, at which she holds the NOMIS Foundation Chair. Her research focuses on how memory T cells are produced during infection and vaccination, how they function, and why they can fail to induce long-term immunity, particularly during chronic disease or cancer. Her lab has been a leader in using genetic and molecular tools to identify the genes and signaling molecules involved in generating two specific types of memory T cells: CD4 and CD8. She and her team have discovered several gene networks and cytokines that shape how memory T cells develop during viral infection. Dr. Kaech is especially interested in how T cells are metabolically regulated, and her work seeks to learn how T cell behavior is suppressed by tumors in order to create better immunotherapies for cancer.
Dr. Kaech was at Yale University from 2014-2018 as an Assistant and subsequently Full Professor of Immunobiology and relocated to the Salk Institute in 2018. She was an undergraduate at the University of Washington and earned her Ph.D. at Stanford University, and is a winner of a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Early Career Scientist award.