Candidate for Nominations Committee – 3 Years – 2021 ICIS Leadership Election
Lydia Lynch, PhD
Associate Immunologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA and
Associate Professor in Immunology, Biochemistry, Trinity College of Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Dr Lydia Lynch received her B.Sc. degree in Cell Biology and Genetics and her PhD in Immunology in 2008 from University College Dublin. Lydia received a Newman Fellowship for her early post-doctoral studies where she and Prof Donal O Shea established the Immunology and Obesity Lab, where she discovered adipose iNKT cells and demonstrated that therapies to activate these cells could help manage obesity, diabetes and metabolic disease. Lydia then received the prestigious UNESCO-L’Oreal International Women In Science Fellowship, and an International Marie Curie Fellowship where she moved to Harvard Medical School to study innate T cells in the labs of Prof. Michael Brenner and Prof. Ulrich von Andrian in Harvard. In 2013, she became a junior faculty member at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. In 2014, Lydia started her independent lab at Harvard Medical School. She now leads an international team in immunometabolism, with a major focus on understanding the interdependence of the immune and metabolic systems, especially in the setting of obesity and cancer. Her lab has also discovered a critical role for IL-17 in the normal functions of fat, in particular in keeping us warm. At Harvard, Lydia is the Director of the Metabolic Core, and the recipient of the 2020 Early Career Mentor Award. Lydia was a recipient of the Innovation Evergreen award and an American Diabetes Association Award for projects aiming to study the role of immune system dysfunction in obesity and cardiovascular disease, and a Cancer Research Institute Award to study the effects of obesity on immunoptherapy, as well as an ERC grant and support from NIH. Lydia was selected as one of the ‘Women on Walls’ of the Royal Irish Academy, where her portrait hangs on the wall, the first female portrait in the 230 year history of the RIA. Lydia is an associate editor of Science Advances, and was named Tatler Woman of the Year for her contribution to STEM.
The Lynch Lab studies immunometabolism. One major research focus is to understand the interdependence of the immune and metabolic systems, especially in the setting of obesity and in cancer. We study immunometabolism at both the organismal and cell-intrinsic level, which is at an exciting time of convergence. Her research focuses particularly on the role of innate lymphocytes, including gd T cell, iNKT cells, MAIT cells and NK cells. Her lab has recently published on this topic in Cell Metabolism (2017, 2020), Immunity (2014, 2017), Nature Neuroscience (2016), Nature (2018) and Nature Immunology (2015, 2018 & 2019, 2021).