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

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Roberts Family Professor in Vaccine Research
Director of Vaccine Research, Infectious Diseases Division
Director, Institute for RNA Innovation, University of Pennsylvania
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

Hayashi, CTH, Cao, Y, Clark, LC, Tripathi, AK, Zavala, F, Dwivedi, G, Knox, J, Alameh, MG, Lin, PJC, Tam, YK, Weissman, D, Kumar, N: mRNA-LNP expressing PfCSP and Pfs25 vaccine candidates targeting infection and transmission of Plasmodium falciparum (vol 7, 155, 2022). Npj Vaccines 8(1), AUG 11 2023.

Hamilton, AG, Swingle, KL, Joseph, RA, Mai, D, Gong, NQ, Billingsley, MM, Alameh, MG, Weissman, D, Sheppard, NC, June, CH, Mitchell, MJ: Ionizable Lipid Nanoparticles with Integrated Immune Checkpoint Inhibition for mRNA CAR T Cell Engineering. Advanced Healthcare Materials AUG 31 2023.

Nong, J, Glassman, PM, Myerson, JW, Zuluaga-Ramirez, V, Rodriguez-Garcia, A, Mukalel, A, Omo-Lamai, S, Walsh, LR, Zamora, ME, Gong, XJ, Wang, ZC, Bhamidipati, K, Kiseleva, RY, Villa, CH, Greineder, CF, Kasner, SE, Weissman, D, Mitchell, MJ, Muro, S, Persidsky, Y, Brenner, JS, Muzykantov, VR, Marcos-Contreras, OA: Targeted Nanocarriers Co-Opting Pulmonary Intravascular Leukocytes for Drug Delivery to the Injured Brain. Acs Nano 17(14): 13121-13136, JUL 11 2023.

Egan, KP, Awasthi, S, Tebaldi, G, Hook, LM, Naughton, AM, Fowler, BT, Beattie, M, Alameh, MG, Weissman, D, Cohen, GH, Friedman, HM: A Trivalent HSV-2 gC2, gD2, gE2 Nucleoside-Modified mRNA-LNP Vaccine Provides Outstanding Protection in Mice against Genital and Non-Genital HSV-1 Infection, Comparable to the Same Antigens Derived from HSV-1. Viruses-basel 15(7), JUL 2023.

Palanki, R, Bose, SK, Dave, A, White, BM, Berkowitz, C, Luks, V, Yaqoob, F, Han, EMY, Swingle, KL, Menon, P, Hodgson, E, Biswas, A, Billingsley, MM, Li, L, Yiping, F, Carpenter, M, Trokhan, A, Yeo, JL, Johana, N, Wan, TY, Alameh, MG, Bennett, FC, Storm, PB, Jain, R, Chan, JRY, Weissman, D, Mitchell, MJ, Peranteau, WH: Ionizable Lipid Nanoparticles for Therapeutic Base Editing of Congenital Brain Disease. Acs Nano 17(14): 13594-13610, JUL 17 2023.

Matias, J, Cui, YJ, Tang, XT, Sajid, A, Arora, G, Wu, MJ, DePonte, K, Muramatsu, H, Tam, YK, Narasimhan, S, Pardi, N, Weissman, D, Fikrig, E: Specific mRNA lipid nanoparticles and acquired resistance to ticks. Vaccine 41(34): 4996-5002, JUL 31 2023.

Chuang, YM, Alameh, MG, Abouneameh, S, Raduwan, H, Ledizet, M, Weissman, D, Fikrig, E: A mosquito AgTRIO mRNA vaccine contributes to immunity against malaria. Npj Vaccines 8(1), JUN 7 2023.

Lu, JC, Atochina-Vasserman, EN, Maurya, DS, Shalihin, MI, Zhang, DP, Chenna, SS, Adamson, J, Liu, MT, Shah, HUR, Shah, HE, Xiao, Q, Queeley, B, Ona, NA, Reagan, EK, Ni, HP, Sahoo, D, Peterca, M, Weissman, D, Percec, V: Screening Libraries to Discover Molecular Design Principles for the Targeted Delivery of mRNA with One-Component Ionizable Amphiphilic Janus Dendrimers Derived from Plant Phenolic Acids. Pharmaceutics 15(6), JUN 2023.

Prompetchara E, Ketloy C, Alameh MG, Tharakhet K, Kaewpang P, Yostrerat N, Pitakpolrat P, Buranapraditkun S, Manopwisedjaroen S, Thitithanyanont A, Jongkaewwattana A, Hunsawong T, Im-Erbsin R, Reed M, Wijagkanalan W, Patarakul K, Techawiwattanaboon T, Palaga T, Lam K, Heyes J, Weissman D, Ruxrungtham K.: Immunogenicity and protective efficacy of SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccine encoding secreted non-stabilized spike in female mice. Nat Commun 14: 2309, Apr 2023.

Furey C, Ye N, Kercher L, DeBeauchamp J, Crumpton JC, Jeevan T, Patton C, Franks J, Alameh MG, Fan SHY, Phan AT, Hunter CA, Webby RJ, Weissman D, Hensley SE.: Development of a nucleoside-modified mRNA vaccine against clade H5 highly pathogenic avian influenza virus. bioRxiv Apr 2023.

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Last updated: 09/16/2023
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