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

Connors J, Joyner D, Mege N, Cusimano G, Bell M, Marcy J, Taramangalam B, Lin P, Tam Y, Lin P, Weissman D, Kutzler M, Alameh MG, Haddad E.: Lipid nanoparticles (LNP) induce activation and maturation of antigen presenting cells in young and aged individuals. Res Sq Nov 2022.

Gatechompol S, Kittanamongkolchai W, Ketloy C, Prompetchara E, Thitithanyanont A, Jongkaewwattana A, Buranapraditkun S, Alameh MG, Ubolyam S, Sophonphan J, Apornpong T, Kerr S, Kamarulzaman A, Siwamogsatham S, Kroon E, Puthanakit T, Patarakul K, Palaga T, Wijagkanalan W, Carpenter A, Hong L, Weissman D, Ruxrungtham K; ChulaVAC-001 study team.: Safety and immunogenicity of a prefusion non-stabilized spike protein mRNA COVID-19 vaccine: a phase I trial. Nat Microbiol Nov 2022.

Sittplangkoon C, Alameh MG, Weissman D, Lin PJC, Tam YK, Prompetchara E, Palaga T.: mRNA vaccine with unmodified uridine induces robust type I interferon-dependent anti-tumor immunity in a melanoma model. Front Immunol 13: 983000, Oct 2022.

Li D, Martinez DR, Schäfer A, Chen H, Barr M, Sutherland LL, Lee E, Parks R, Mielke D, Edwards W, Newman A, Bock KW, Minai M, Nagata BM, Gagne M, Douek DC, DeMarco CT, Denny TN, Oguin TH 3rd, Brown A, Rountree W, Wang Y, Mansouri K, Edwards RJ, Ferrari G, Sempowski GD, Eaton A, Tang J, Cain DW, Santra S, Pardi N, Weissman D, Tomai MA, Fox CB, Moore IN, Andersen H, Lewis MG, Golding H, Seder R, Khurana S, Baric RS, Montefiori DC, Saunders KO, Haynes BF.: Breadth of SARS-CoV-2 neutralization and protection induced by a nanoparticle vaccine. Nat Commun 13: 6309, Oct 2022.

Takanohashi A, Alameh MG, Woidill S, Hacker J, Davis B, Helman G, Gavazzi F, Adang L, D'Aiello R, Winters P, Cordova D, Khandaker T, Ni H, Tam Y, Lin P, Weissman D, Shults J, Vanderver A.: SARS-CoV-2 mRNA-based vaccines in the Aicardi Goutières Syndrome. Mol Genet Metab 137: 320-327, Oct 2022.

Hajnik RL, Plante JA, Liang Y, Alameh MG, Tang J, Bonam SR, Zhong C, Adam A, Scharton D, Rafael GH, Liu Y, Hazell NC, Sun J, Soong L, Shi PY, Wang T, Walker DH, Sun J, Weissman D, Weaver SC, Plante KS, Hu H.: Dual spike and nucleocapsid mRNA vaccination confer protection against SARS-CoV-2 Omicron and Delta variants in preclinical models. Sci Transl Med 14: eabq1945, Sep 2022.

Jitthamstaporn S, Inthong R, Audomsun D, Chanasit S, Thanasarnthungcharoen C, Lin PJC, Weissman D, Pardi N, Jacquet A.: Nucleoside-modified mRNA vaccines yield robust blocking antibody responses against major house dust mite allergens. Allergy Sep 2022.

Patel SK, Billingsley MM, Frazee C, Han X, Swingle KL, Qin J, Alameh MG, Wang K, Weissman D, Mitchell MJ.: Hydroxycholesterol substitution in ionizable lipid nanoparticles for mRNA delivery to T cells. J Control Release Jul 2022.

Tang J, Zeng C, Cox TM, Li C, Son YM, Cheon IS, Wu Y, Behl S, Taylor JJ, Chakraborty R, Johnson AJ, Schiavo DN, Utz JP, Reisenauer JS, Midthun DE, Mullon JJ, Edell ES, Alameh MG, Borish L, Teague WG, Kaplan MH, Weissman D, Kern R, Hu H, Vassallo R, Liu SL, Sun J.: Respiratory mucosal immunity against SARS-CoV-2 following mRNA vaccination. Sci Immunol eadd4853: 1-8, Jul 2022.

Xue L, Gong N, Shepherd SJ, Xiong X, Liao X, Han X, Zhao G, Song C, Huang X, Zhang H, Padilla MS, Qin J, Shi Y, Alameh MG, Pochan DJ, Wang K, Long F, Weissman D, Mitchell MJ.: Rational Design of Bisphosphonate Lipid-like Materials for mRNA Delivery to the Bone Microenvironment. J Am Chem Soc. 144: :9926-9937, Jun 2022.

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Last updated: 11/28/2022
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