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The research of Peter J. Wettstein, Ph.D., focuses on the characterization of non-H-2 histocompatibility genes and the regulation of T lymphocyte responses to these genes' antigenic products in mice. Dr. Wettstein also investigates environmental effects on immunoregulatory gene family evolution and selection. Additionally, he is interested in monitoring both innate and adaptive immune responses in human patients and large-animal models of organ and tissue transplantation.
Mechanisms of histocompatibility antigen immunodominance. Dr. Wettstein is working to refine the hierarchy of immunodominant antigens, to define the role of H-2-linked genes in selecting immunodominant antigens, and to evaluate the interaction of helper and cytolytic T cells specific to different classes of immunodominant antigens.
He also investigates the role of H-2-linked genes in defining the magnitude and specificity of the T cell response to histocompatibility antigens. These latter studies involve investigation into the diversity and characteristics of receptors on histocompatibility antigen-specific T cells and their relationships to the characteristics of the antigens that they are specific for.
Dr. Wettstein's research provides new data that will be important for developing new vaccines and understanding the effects of aging. His work on T cell monitoring of patients in immunotherapy trials is aimed at improving the efficacy and safety of cancer therapies, thereby contributing to better overall outcomes for patients with cancer. His study of immune responses in large-animal transplant recipients will be important for translation to human transplantation.
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