Suzanne Ostrand-Rosenberg, professor emerita, recognized for most-cited paper
The Journal of Immunology reports that UMBC professor emerita Suzanne Ostrand-Rosenberg has written its most-cited paper of 2018 and 2019—an achievement highlighting the impact and quality of research from her lab group, which includes undergraduates, graduate students, and postdocs. The journal is the flagship, peer-reviewed publication of the American Association of Immunologists (AAI).
With over 100 citations since its publication in January 2018, Ostrand-Rosenberg’s review article is already making a significant impact on other research teams in the field of cancer immunotherapy, which aims to activate the body’s own immune system to attack an individual’s cancer. In the last decade, immunotherapy has seen huge advances as an effective form of cancer treatment for some patients, driven in part by Ostrand-Rosenberg’s work.
Ostrand-Rosenberg is a professor emerita of biological sciences and was the lead author on the 2018 paper co-authored with her longtime colleague Catherine Fenselau at University of Maryland, College Park. The paper describes current research on myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC), much of it completed in Ostrand-Rosenberg’s lab at UMBC. These cells accumulate in most individuals with cancer and suppress the immune system, frequently preventing immunotherapies from working.
Over the years, “My lab has been instrumental in identifying MDSC as potent inhibitors of the immune system and in discovering the mechanisms they use to inactivate the immune system,” Ostrand-Rosenberg says. With all the progress that has been made, she adds, “It's exciting times in the field!”
The AAIrecognized Ostrand-Rosenberg as a Distinguished Fellow in 2020 for her dedication to immunology research and to mentoring emerging scientists. She also received an AAI Excellence in Mentoring Award in 2013. This new honor for the most-cited paper is another indication of Ostrand-Rosenberg’s impact.
“I was particularly excited and gratified by the announcement” given the journal’s stature in the field, Ostrand-Rosenberg says. “The AAI has worldwide membership and I believe is the preeminent society in the world for immunologists—Tony Fauci is a longtime member.”
Although she retired from UMBC in 2018, Rosenberg quickly realized she didn’t want to step away from the bench completely. She resides in Park City, Utah and conducts research with the University of Utah School of Medicine and University of Utah Veteran Affairs Medical Center. Her legacy extends beyond her own research findings, however.
"Dr. Ostrand-Rosenberg's path-breaking work has had and will continue to have an impact on cancer immunotherapy,” shares Phil Farabaugh, professor and chair of biological sciences. “In addition, she inspired hundreds of UMBC students who worked closely with her. Many of them are continuing research inspired by her. That will be a big part of her lasting contribution to the field."
Congratulations, Dr. Ostrand-Rosenberg!
Thumbnail image by Marlayna Demond '11 for UMBC
Posted: July 27, 2021, 3:09 PM