David B. Weiner, Ph.D.

faculty photo
Emeritus Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Department: Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Graduate Group Affiliations

Contact information
The Wistar Institute
3601 Spruce St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Office: 215-898-0381
B.S. (Biology)
SUNY at Stony Brook, NY, 1978.
M.S. (Biology)
University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, 1985.
Ph.D. (Developmental Biology Graduate Program)
University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, 1986.
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Description of Research Expertise

Research Interests
DNA vaccines for infectious diseases or cancers, T cell immunity, Active immunization.

Key words: DNA Vaccines, HIV, T cells, humoral immunity., Electroporation, Gene adjuvants, Vaccines.

Description of Research
Dr. Weiner’s research focus is in the area of Molecular Immunology. His group has focused extensively on the development of gene-based vaccines, immune therapies and molecular interventions for the treatment of human and animal disease. His laboratory is one of the founders of the field of DNA vaccines, and importantly, was the first to move DNA vaccines to human clinical studies establishing their initial safety and immunogenicity opening up this area for clinical development. First study in HIV immune therapy conducted in 1995, and first immune therapy for cancer (CTCL) in 1995. The first DNA trial in normal healthy HIV+ patients occurred in 1997.

Other clinical trials of DNA, conducted in collaboration with the HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN) are: HVTN 070, study of DNA vaccine against HIB including cytokine genes, and HVTN 080, study of DNA vaccine for HIV by adaptive electroporation with IL12. In 2009, collaboration with a biotechnology company resulted in VGX 3100, a study of a DNA vaccine for cervical cancer and immune therapy.

His group was the first to show that a DNA based approach could impact an HIV model challenge in nonhuman primates. Based on these accomplishments Dr. Weiner contributed to the initial ‘Points to Consider’ guidance document for the FDA on moving gene based approaches through the Clinic. He has created many new technologies for treatment of human disease and has been awarded more than 50 patents on his laboratory’s work. His lab is instrumental in the recent resurgence of interest in the DNA vaccine field due to the lab and collaborators developing new vectors and delivery approaches that improved their immune potency in humans. He is very active in teaching and training of students and fellows and junior faculty. He chairs the popular Gene Therapy and Vaccines Program at the University of Pennsylvania, and co directs the Tumor Virology Program of the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania.

Rotation Projects
Enhancing DNA vaccines for HIV and other pathogens through the use of plasmid encoded immune-modulatory molecules. Direction of the in vivo immune response to DNA Vaccines through the use of cytokine engineering. Active immunization as an approach to HIV immune therapy. Immune responses to DNA vaccines for Dengue, Influenza, Tuberculosis, Malaria, and Hepatitis C and tumor antigens.

Lab personnel:
Bernadette Ferraro - Postdoctoral Fellow
Muthumani Karuppiah - Assistant Professor-Research
Jewell Walters - Postdoctoral Fellow
Daniel Villarreal - PhD Student
Megan Wise - PhD Student
Seleeke Flingai - PhD Student
Emma Reuschel - PhD Student
Veronica Scott - Postdoctoral Fellow
Jaemi Chu - Research Technician
Colleen Tingey - Research Technician
Michael Merva - Lab Manager

Selected Publications

Morrow Matthew P, Yan Jian, Pankhong Panyupa, Shedlock Devon J, Lewis Mark G, Talbott Kendra, Toporovski Roberta, Khan Amir S, Sardesai Niranjan Y, Weiner David B: IL-28B/IFN-lambda3 Drives Granzyme B Loading and Significantly Increases CTL Killing Activity in Macaques. Molecular therapy : the journal of the American Society of Gene Therapy 18(9): 1714-23, Sep 2010.

Morrow Matthew P, Yan Jian, Pankhong Panyupa, Ferraro Bernadette, Lewis Mark G, Khan Amir S, Sardesai Niranjan Y, Weiner David B: Unique Th1/Th2 Phenotypes Induced During Priming and Memory Phases Using IL-12 or IL-28B Vaccine Adjuvants in rhesus macaques. Clinical and vaccine immunology : CVI Aug 2010.

Hirao Lauren A, Wu Ling, Satishchandran Abhishek, Khan Amir S, Draghia-Akli Ruxandra, Finnefrock Adam C, Bett Andrew J, Betts Michael R, Casimiro Danilo R, Sardesai Niranjan Y, Kim J Joseph, Shiver John W, Weiner David B: Comparative analysis of immune responses induced by vaccination with SIV antigens by recombinant Ad5 vector or plasmid DNA in rhesus macaques. Molecular therapy : the journal of the American Society of Gene Therapy 18(8): 1568-76, Aug 2010.

Shedlock Devon J, Talbott Kendra T, Morrow Matthew P, Ferraro Bernadette, Hokey David A, Muthumani Karuppiah, Weiner David B: Ki-67 staining for determination of rhesus macaque T cell proliferative responses ex vivo. Cytometry. Part A : the journal of the International Society for Analytical Cytology 77(3): 275-84, Mar 2010.

Muthumani Karrupiah, Lambert Vance M, Kawalekar Omkar, Heller Richard, Kim J Joseph, Weiner David B, Ugen Kenneth E: Anti-cancer activity of the HIV accessory molecule viral protein R (Vpr): Delivery as a DNA expression plasmid or biologically active peptides. Vaccine 28(8): 2005-10, Feb 2010.

Kraynyak Kimberly A, Kutzler Michele A, Cisper Neil J, Khan Amir S, Draghia-Akli Ruxandra, Sardesal Niranjan Y, Lewis Mark G, Yan Jian, Weiner David B: Systemic immunization with CCL27/CTACK modulates immune responses at mucosal sites in mice and macaques. Vaccine 28(8): 1942-51, Feb 2010.

Kutzler M A, Kraynyak K A, Nagle S J, Parkinson R M, Zharikova D, Chattergoon M, Maguire H, Muthumani K, Ugen K, Weiner D B: Plasmids encoding the mucosal chemokines CCL27 and CCL28 are effective adjuvants in eliciting antigen-specific immunity in vivo. Gene therapy 17(1): 72-82, Jan 2010.

Thiboutot Michelle M, Kannan Senthil, Kawalekar Omkar U, Shedlock Devon J, Khan Amir S, Sarangan Gopalsamy, Srikanth Padma, Weiner David B, Muthumani Karuppiah: Chikungunya: a potentially emerging epidemic? PLoS neglected tropical diseases 4(4): e623, 2010.

Ramanathan Mathura P, Kuo Yuan-Chia, Selling Bernard H, Li Qianjun, Sardesai Niranjan Y, Kim J Joseph, Weiner David B: Development of a novel DNA SynCon tetravalent dengue vaccine that elicits immune responses against four serotypes. Vaccine 27(46): 6444-53, Oct 2009.

Pankhong Panyupa, Weiner David B, Ramanathan Mathura P, Nisalak Ananda, Kalayanarooj Siripen, Nimmannitya Suchitra, Attatippaholkun Watcharee: Molecular genetic relationship of the 3' untranslated region among Thai dengue-3 virus, Bangkok isolates, during 1973-2000. DNA and cell biology 28(10): 481-91, Oct 2009.

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Last updated: 01/23/2017
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