Kaech, director of the NOMIS Center for Immunobiology and Microbial Pathogenesis, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She shares the honor with some of the world’s most accomplished leaders from science and technology, business, public affairs, education, the humanities, and the arts. Kaech and the new class of nearly 270 members will be inducted at a formal ceremony on September 30, 2023, at the Academy’s headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Kaech, who holds the NOMIS Chair, is an immunologist who has contributed significantly to the understanding of how long-term immunity forms. Specifically, she helped establish the modern understanding of how and when memory T cells form. Memory T cells are critical for maintaining long-term immunity during acute and chronic infections and can be suppressed in cancer. Kaech identified several genes and signaling molecules critical for memory T cell generation during immune responses. She also helped establish the field of cancer immunometabolism by discovering that the metabolic interplay between tumor and immune cells, as well as changes in nutrient availability, can lead to metabolic immune suppression in tumors. Her findings have solidified the framework for understanding how memory T cells form during infection and may lead to new therapeutic interventions for cancer in the future.
Kaech is also a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and has received numerous awards, including a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Early Career Scientist award, the National Institutes of Health Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the Burroughs-Wellcome Fund Career Award in the Biosciences, and the Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell Cancer Research Fellowship, among others. She was also recently elected to the American Association of Immunologists Council, which serves as the largest and most influential organization to advance the knowledge of immunology and medical research in the country.