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

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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.
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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

Chaudhary N, Weissman D, Whitehead KA.: Author Correction: mRNA vaccines for infectious diseases: principles, delivery and clinical translation. Nat Rev Drug Discov Sep 2021.

Mu Z, Wiehe K, Saunders KO, Henderson R, Cain DW, Parks R, Martik D, Mansouri K, Edwards RJ, Newman A, Lu X, Xia SM, Bonsignori M, Montefiori D, Han Q, Venkatayogi S, Evangelous T, Wang Y, Rountree W, Tam Y, Barbosa C, Munir Alam S, Williams WB, Pardi N, Weissman D, Haynes BF.: Ability of nucleoside-modified mRNA to encode HIV-1 envelope trimer nanoparticles. bioRxiv Aug 2021.

Carrasco MJ, Alishetty S, Alameh MG, Said H, Wright L, Paige M, Soliman O, Weissman D, Cleveland TE 4th, Grishaev A, Buschmann MD.: Ionization and structural properties of mRNA lipid nanoparticles influence expression in intramuscular and intravascular administration. Commun Biol 4: 956, Aug 2021.

Zhang D, Atochina-Vasserman EN, Maurya DS, Huang N, Xiao Q, Ona N, Liu M, Shahnawaz H, Ni H, Kim K, Billingsley MM, Pochan DJ, Mitchell MJ, Weissman D, Percec V.: One-Component Multifunctional Sequence-Defined Ionizable Amphiphilic Janus Dendrimer Delivery Systems for mRNA. J Am Chem Soc 143: 12315-12327, Aug 2021.

Martinez DR, Schäfer A, Leist SR, De la Cruz G, West A, Atochina-Vasserman EN, Lindesmith LC, Pardi N, Parks R, Barr M, Li D, Yount B, Saunders KO, Weissman D, Haynes BF, Montgomery SA, Baric RS.: Chimeric spike mRNA vaccines protect against Sarbecovirus challenge in mice. Science 373: 991-998, Jun 2021.

Tombácz I, Laczkó D, Shahnawaz H, Muramatsu H, Natesan A, Yadegari A, Papp TE, Alameh MG, Shuvaev V, Mui BL, Tam YK, Muzykantov V, Pardi N, Weissman D, Parhiz H.: Highly efficient CD4+ T cell targeting and genetic recombination using engineered CD4+ cell-homing mRNA-LNP. Mol Ther ol Ther, Jun 2021.

Szőke D, Kovács G, Kemecsei É, Bálint L, Szoták-Ajtay K, Aradi P, Styevkóné Dinnyés A, Mui BL, Tam YK, Madden TD, Karikó K, Kataru RP, Hope MJ, Weissman D, Mehrara BJ, Pardi N, Jakus Z.: Nucleoside-modified VEGFC mRNA induces organ-specific lymphatic growth and reverses experimental lymphedema. Nat Commun 12: 3460, Jun 2021.

Mallory KL, Taylor JA, Zou X, Waghela IN, Schneider CG, Sibilo MQ, Punde NM, Perazzo LC, Savransky T, Sedegah M, Dutta S, Janse CJ, Pardi N, Lin PJC, Tam YK, Weissman D, Angov E.: Messenger RNA expressing PfCSP induces functional, protective immune responses against malaria in mice. NPJ Vaccines 6: 84, Jun 2021.

Shepherd SJ, Warzecha CC, Yadavali S, El-Mayta R, Alameh MG, Wang L, Weissman D, Wilson JM, Issadore D, Mitchell MJ.: Scalable mRNA and siRNA Lipid Nanoparticle Production Using a Parallelized Microfluidic Device. Nano Lett 21: 5671-5680, Jun 2021.

Martinez DR, Schaefer A, Leist SR, De la Cruz G, West A, Atochina-Vasserman EN, Parks R, Barr M, Li D, Yount B, Saunders KO, Weissman D, Haynes BF, Montgomery SA, Baric RS.: Chimeric spike mRNA vaccines protect against sarbecovirus challenge in mice. bioRxiv ioRxiv, May 2021.

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Last updated: 09/29/2021
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