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Jenny Ting, PhD
Jenny Ting, PhD

Jenny Ting, PhD, is the recipient of the Illinois State University Distinguished Alumni Award for her outstanding immunology research.

Jenny Ting, PhD, William Rand Kenan Distinguished Professor of Genetics and member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, is the winner of the Illinois State University Distinguished Alumni Award. The award recognizes Illinois State University alumni who have exceptional achievements, and selection of recipients is based on accomplishments in one’s chosen field. The recipient must also be recognized as a leader and have made outstanding contributions to the community.

Ting was nominated by Wesley Burks, MD, Dean of the UNC School of Medicine, Vice Chancellor for Medical Affairs, and CEO of UNC Health, along with Blossom Damania, PhD, School of Medicine Vice Dean for Research, for her groundbreaking scientific discoveries in immunology. One of her accomplishments highlighted was Ting’s work to describe how TNFα promotes proliferation of oligodendrocyte progenitors and remyelination, findings that urged further study of pro-inflammatory cytokines in diseases that affect the central nervous system. Ting’s discovery and characterization of the NLR proteins, which has enabled our understanding of the innate immune response, inflammasome formation, and downstream production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, as well as her efforts to understand the roles of NLR proteins and the microbiome in inflammatory diseases were also recognized.

Ting’s role as the Program Leader of the Immunology Program at Lineberger and position as the founding Director of the Center for Translational Immunology and co-Director of the Inflammatory Disease Institute at UNC are excellent examples of her leadership. Her many editorial appointments and role as President for the American Association of Immunologists are just a couple of examples of her service.

Ting’s nomination was also supported by former trainees and colleagues in her field – another testament to her leadership and mentorship.

Congratulations to Jenny Ting for this well-deserved recognition!

This article originally appeared in the UNC Health and UNC School of Medicine Newsroom.