Drew Weissman, M.D., Ph.D.

faculty photo
Professor of Medicine
Department: Medicine
Graduate Group Affiliations

Contact information
522 Johnson Pavilion
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6073
Office: (215) 614-0291
Fax: (215) 349-5111
B.A., M.A. (Biochemistry/Enzymology)
Brandeis University, 1981.
M.D. Ph.D. (Immunology/Microbiology)
Boston University, 1987.
Permanent link

Description of Research Expertise

Dr. Weissman's laboratory focuses on the study of RNA and innate immune system biology and the application of these findings to vaccine research and gene therapy. There are three main projects in his laboratory. The first project began through the use of mRNA encoding antigen as a delivery system to load dendritic cells to promote broad immune responses as part of a vaccine. This project has expanded to include basic studies of RNA immunogenicity and translation and the development of applications for gene therapy. The second project develops new HIV envelope immunogens that can induce broad responses and cross-reactive neutralizing antibodies. The third project continues previous studies that identified a protein found on DC, macrophages, and epithelial cells that binds HIV envelope with high affinity. The main focus of this project is testing whether this and related molecules function in vivo to promote HIV genital tract infection.

Selected Publications

Weissman Drew: mRNA transcript therapy. Expert review of vaccines Page: 1-17, Oct 2014.

Pardi N, Kariko K, Hogan M, Muramatsu H, Hoxie JA, Weissman D: Generating an Anti-HIV Vaccine Using Nucleoside-modified mRNA Encoding Envelope. AIDS research and human retroviruses 30 Suppl 1: A249, Oct 2014.

Gandhi NR, Brust JCM, Moodley P, Weissman D, Heo M, Ning Y, Moll AP, Friedland GH, Sturm AW, Shah NS: Minimal diversity of drug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains, South Africa. Emerging infectious diseases 20(3): 426-33, Mar 2014.

Zhou Y, Ni H, Balint K, Sanzari JK, Dentchev T, Diffenderfer ES, Wilson JM, Cengel KA, Weissman D: Ionizing radiation selectively reduces skin regulatory T cells and alters immune function. PloS one 9(6): e100800, 2014.

Lump E, Castellano LM, Meier C, Seeliger J, Erwin N, Sperlich B, Stürzel CM, Usmani S, Hammond RM, von Einem J, Gerold G, Kreppel F, Bravo-Rodriguez K, Pietschmann T, Holmes VM, Palesch D, Ziraf O, Weissman D, Sowislok A, Wettig B, Kirchhoff F, Weil T, Klärner F-G, Schrader T, Bitan G, Sanchez-Garcia E, Winter R, Shorter J, Münch J: A molecular tweezer antagonizes seminal amyloids and HIV infection. eLife In press, 2014.

Li, M, Holmes, V, Ni, H, Sanzari, JK, Romero-Weaver, AL, Lin, L, Carabe-Fernandez, A, Diffenderfer, ES, Kennedy, AR, Weissman, D: Broad-spectrum antibiotic and G-CSF as countermeasures for impaired control of bacterial infection during spaceflight and SPE exposure. PLOS One in press, 2014.

Castellano LM, Bart S, Holmes V, Weissman D, Shorter J: Repurposing Hsp104 to antagonize seminal amyloid and counter HIV infection. Nature Nanotechnology In press, 2014.

Castellano LM, Bart S, Holmes V, Weissman D, Shorter J: Harnessing Hsp104 to antagonize seminal amyloid and counter HIV infection. POLS Pathogens In press, 2014.

Li M, Holmes V, Zhou Y, Ni H, Sanzari JK, Kennedy AR, Weissman D: Hindlimb suspension and SPE-like radiation impairs clearance of bacterial infections. PloS one 9(1): e85665, 2014.

Ravimohan S, Tamuhla N, Steenhoff AP, Letlhogile R, Makutu DK, Nfanyana K, Rantleru T, Tierney A, Nkakana K, Schwartz AB, Gross R, Macgregor RR, Bellamy SL, Frank I, Weissman D, Bisson GP: Early immunologic failure is associated with early mortality among advanced HIV-infected adults initiating antiretroviral therapy with active tuberculosis. The Journal of Infectious Diseases 208(11): 1784-93, Dec 2013.

back to top
Last updated: 05/07/2015
The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania