Gene and stem cell therapies for lung diseases.
Dr. Weiss finished his Ph.D. in Pharmacology in 1987 and subsequently received his M.D. (1988) from the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine/City University of New York. He performed internship and residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan Medical Center followed by Pulmonary and Critical Care Fellowship at the University of Washington. Dr. Weiss was subsequently on faculty at the University of Washington before recruitment to the University of Vermont in 2001. Dr. Weiss is currently an Associate Professor in the Pulmonary and Critical Care Division of the Department of Medicine at the University of Vermont College of Medicine as well as in the CMB Program.
Laboratory activities are focused on longstanding interests in gene and cell therapy approaches for lung diseases. In particular this has included developing novel techniques with which to investigate and enhance lung gene and cell therapies. Our recent published work in cell therapy approaches for lung diseases has included several benchmark publications that have helped define whether exogenous cells can engraft in the lung. I am also the local PI of the first ever clinical trial of MSC administration in patients with COPD. As such, I view myself as a translational scientist whose work spans from benchtop to clinical trials. We have also instituted a biennial meeting held at the University of Vermont, Stem Cells and Cell Therapies in Lung Biology and Diseases, that is widely viewed by the NIH, FDA, and non-profit Respiratory Disease Foundations as the major meeting in the field. My overall goal is to provide a firm scientific basis for subsequent clinical application of cell therapies in lung diseases. I have been funded by the NIH and by non-profit Respiratory Disease Foundations since 1995. Most notably we received an ARRA award from the NIH Direcotr’s Office to investigate ex vivo lung tissue bioengineering.
Current work in the laboratory is focused in two major areas: 1) Immunomodulation of lung inflammation by mesenchymal stem cells and; 2) Use of bioengineering approaches for development of functional lung tissue ex vivo. The laboratory is funded and highly active. Current personnel include a 3 post-doctoral associates , three technicians, and two undergraduate students. We have vigorous and active collaborations with both internal (Vermont Lung Center, Environmental Pathology, Stem Cell Core) and and number of external academic laboratories and biotechnology companies.
Expression of CFTR-positive cells in airway epithelium of CFTR-KO mice following transplantation with wild type stromal marrow cells
Brown JK, Hogan BLM, Randell SH, Stripp B, Weiss DJ. Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research: An Official ATS Research Policy Statement. Am J Resp Crit Care Med, 173:1-3. 2006
Loi R, Beckett T, Goncz KK, Suratt BT, Weiss DJ. Limited restoration of cystic fibrosis lung epithelium in vivo with adult marrow derived cells American J Resp Crit Care Med, 173:171-179. 2006.
Wang G, Bunnell BA, Painter RG, Tom S, Lanson NA, Spees JL, Bertucci D, Peister A, Weiss DJ, Valentine VG, Prockop DJ, Kolls JK. Adult Stem Cells from Bone Marrow Stroma Differentiate into Airway Epithelial Cells: Potential Therapy for Cystic Fibrosis. Manuscript in Press. Proc Natl Acad Sci. 2004
Trotman W, Beckett T, Goncz KK, Beatty BG, Weiss DJ. Dual Y-Chromosome Painting and In Situ Cell Specific Immunofluorescence Staining in Lung Tissue: An Improved Method of Identifying Donor Marrow Cells in Lung Following Bone Marrow Transplantation. Histochemistry and Cell Biology. 121:73-79 2004.
Finck CM and Weiss DJ. Embryonic stem cells and repair of lung injury. Molecular Therapy 2010; 18: 460-461
Panoskaltsis-Mortari A and Weiss DJ. Breathing new life into lung transplantation therapy. Molecular Therapy 2010; 18: 1581-1583.
* indicates equal contribution
Career Investigator Award, American Lung Association (2003-2005)
Venture Project Award, Tulane National Primate Resource Center (2004-2005)
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