Dr. David L. Wiest, an immunologist, is a professor of the scientific staff at Fox Chase Cancer Center. In addition to his role as co-leader of the Keystone Program in Blood Stems and Cancer, he is also co-leadedr of the Immune Cell development and Host Defence program. His laboratory studies aspects of the body’s chemical signaling network, which guides cells through their growth stages and initiates or halts various activities. Wiest’s research focuses on the development and function of T-cell receptors, which enable those immune cells recognize and lock onto viruses, bacteria and other invaders. T cells coordinate the body’s immune response. An assembly of proteins called the T-cell antigen receptor (TCR) complex not only controls the behavior of mature T cells but also guides their development in the thymus. Wiest’s laboratory studies how the TCR controls T-cell development, how those receptors are activated, how those signals result in genetic changes and how those changes in gene expression alter the behavior of the developing cells. By understanding control of normal T cell growth, he hopes to learn how those growth controls are perturbed in certain blood cancers, including lymphoid cancers. Wiest earned his B.S. in microbiology at Pennsylvania State University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and his Ph.D. in immunology at Duke University, Where he held a Merit Scholarship and received Duke’s Norman F. Conant Research Award. He then completed a four-year fellowship at the National Caner Institute’s experimental immunology branch before coming to Fox Chase in 1995.