Univ. of Colorado Sch. of Med.
Ross Kedl, Ph.D. (AAI ’02), University of Colorado School of Medicine, is being honored with a 2022 AAI Distinguished Service Award. He provided outstanding service to AAI as chair and member of the AAI Committee on Public Affairs (CPA; chair, 2019–2021, member, 2015–2019).
Dr. Kedl served as the CPA chair during a unique and tumultuous time when immunology widely became an everyday topic of conversation. The COVID-19 pandemic began in the middle of his term, and his knowledge and leadership contributed to a wide range of AAI policy efforts, including as chair of a CPA-sponsored session at Virtual IMMUNOLOGY2021™ entitled “The U.S. COVID-19 Response: Successes, Failures, and Ongoing Challenges.” Other pandemic-related CPA activities during his tenure as chair included responding to a Congressional white paper developed by Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Ranking Member Lamar Alexander on preparing for the next pandemic (and ending the current one); issuing an AAI statement on the dangers of pursuing natural immunity as a public health strategy for defeating COVID-19; developing an AAI handout entitled “COVID-19: Your Questions Answered”; and submitting congressional testimony that carefully described the key role of the immune system in understanding and defeating COVID-19.
In addition to his service as both a member and chair of the CPA, Kedl has served AAI in numerous other capacities. He has participated as a member of the Membership Committee, a lecturer at the AAI Advanced Course in Immunology, and an associate editor for The Journal of Immunology. He has contributed to the annual meetings as a major symposium speaker and abstract programming chair. He has been previously recognized by AAI as a recipient of the Lustgarten-eBioscience Memorial Award (currently the Lustgarten-Thermo Fisher Scientific Memorial Award), which is presented to advance the career of mid-career scientists who submit an abstract to the annual meeting in the area of immune regulation.
Dr. Kedl received his Ph.D. in pathobiology from the University of Minnesota Medical School under the supervision of Matthew F. Mescher (AAI ’79; d. 2021) and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of John Kappler, DFAAI (AAI ’74) and Philippa Marrack, DFAAI (AAI ’74), both HHMI investigators at the National Jewish Medical and Research Center. He then worked at 3M Pharmaceuticals in the small molecule immune response modifier program and as an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Minnesota. More recently, he moved to the University of Colorado Anschutz School of Medicine and has worked his way up the ranks from an assistant professor. He is currently a professor of immunology and microbiology.
Dr. Kedl investigates the signals that transition the immune response from innate to adaptive cellular responses. The innate immune response pathways, and their interaction with the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptor-ligand family, impact T cell expansion, effector function, and T cell memory. These findings have significance for the development of vaccines targeting chronic infections and cancer. Kedl has been honored as a recipient of numerous awards, including the Hellen Wohlberg and Herman Lambert Fellowship in Cancer Biology, the Dean’s Mentoring Award, and the COVID-19 Resilience Award for Outstanding Research Collaboration from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. He has served the immunology community as a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant reviewer and as a member of the NIH Blue Ribbon Panel: Strategic Plan for Research on Vaccine Adjuvants. A frequently invited speaker, Kedl has presented the Walter F. Enz Memorial Lecture at the University of Kansas and numerous invited talks domestically and abroad.