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

faculty photo
Roberts Family Professor in Vaccine Research
Department: Medicine
Graduate Group Affiliations

Contact information
410B Hill Pavilion
380 S University Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Office: (215) 573-8491
B.A., M.A. (Biochemistry/Enzymology)
Brandeis University, 1981.
M.D. Ph.D. (Immunology/Microbiology)
Boston University, 1987.
Permanent link
> Perelman School of Medicine   > Faculty   > Details

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

Rurik JG, Tombácz I, Yadegari A, Méndez Fernández PO, Shewale SV, Li L, Kimura T, Soliman OY, Papp TE, Tam YK, Mui BL, Albelda SM, Puré E, June CH, Aghajanian H, Weissman D, Parhiz H, Epstein JA.: CAR T cells produced in vivo to treat cardiac injury. Science 375: 91-96, Jan 2022.

Han X, Zhang H, Butowska K, Swingle KL, Alameh MG, Weissman D, Mitchell MJ.: An ionizable lipid toolbox for RNA delivery. Nat Commun 12: 7233, Dec 2021.

Alameh MG, Tombácz I, Bettini E, Lederer K, Sittplangkoon C, Wilmore JR, Gaudette BT, Soliman OY, Pine M, Hicks P, Manzoni TB, Knox JJ, Johnson JL, Laczkó D, Muramatsu H, Davis B, Meng W, Rosenfeld AM, Strohmeier S, Lin PJC, Mui BL, Tam YK, Karikó K, Jacquet A, Krammer F, Bates P, Cancro MP, Weissman D, Luning Prak ET, Allman D, Locci M, Pardi N.: Lipid nanoparticles enhance the efficacy of mRNA and protein subunit vaccines by inducing robust T follicular helper cell and humoral responses. Immunity 54: 2877-2892, Dec 2021.

Awasthi S, Knox JJ, Desmond A, Alameh MG, Gaudette BT, Lubinski JM, Naughton A, Hook LM, Egan KP, Tam YK, Pardi N, Allman D, Luning Prak ET, Cancro MP, Weissman D, Cohen GH, Friedman HM.: Trivalent nucleoside-modified mRNA vaccine yields durable memory B cell protection against genital herpes in preclinical models. J Clin Invest 131: e152310, Dec 2021.

Parhiz H, Brenner JS, Patel P, Papp TE, Shahnawaz H, Li Q, Shi R, Zamora M, Yadegari A, Marcos-Contreras OA, Natesan A, Pardi N, Shuvaev VV, Kiseleva R, Myerson J, Uhler T, Riley RS, Han X, Mitchell MJ, Lam K, Heyes J, Weissman D, Muzykantov V.: Added to pre-existing inflammation, mRNA-lipid nanoparticles induce inflammation exacerbation (IE). J Control Release Dec 2021.

Matias J, Kurokawa C, Sajid A, Narasimhan S, Arora G, Diktas H, Lynn GE, DePonte K, Pardi N, Valenzuela JG, Weissman D, Fikrig E.: Tick immunity using mRNA, DNA and protein-based Salp14 delivery strategies. Vaccine 39: 7661-7668, Dec 2021.

Zhang D, Atochina-Vasserman EN, Maurya DS, Liu M, Xiao Q, Lu J, Lauri G, Ona N, Reagan EK, Ni H, Weissman D, Percec V.: Targeted Delivery of mRNA with One-Component Ionizable Amphiphilic Janus Dendrimers. J Am Chem Soc 143: 17975-17982, Nov 2021.

Melamed JR, Hajj KA, Chaudhary N, Strelkova D, Arral ML, Pardi N, Alameh MG, Miller JB, Farbiak L, Siegwart DJ, Weissman D, Whitehead KA.: Lipid nanoparticle chemistry determines how nucleoside base modifications alter mRNA delivery. J Control Release 341: 206-214, Nov 2021.

Swingle KL, Billingsley MM, Bose SK, White B, Palanki R, Dave A, Patel SK, Gong N, Hamilton AG, Alameh MG, Weissman D, Peranteau WH, Mitchell MJ.: Amniotic fluid stabilized lipid nanoparticles for in utero intra-amniotic mRNA delivery. J Control Release 341: 616-633, Nov 2021.

Sajid A, Matias J, Arora G, Kurokawa C, DePonte K, Tang X, Lynn G, Wu MJ, Pal U, Strank NO, Pardi N, Narasimhan S, Weissman D, Fikrig E.: mRNA vaccination induces tick resistance and prevents transmission of the Lyme disease agent. Sci Transl Med 13: eabj9827, Nov 2021.

back to top
Last updated: 01/07/2022
The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania