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About Drew Weissman, MD, PhD

Drew Weissman, MD, PhD

Roberts Family Professor in Vaccine Research


Drew Weissman, MD, PhD, is the inaugural Roberts Family Professor in Vaccine Research and Professor in the Department of Medicine and Director of Vaccine Research in the Infectious Diseases Division at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.  He received his graduate degrees from Boston University School of Medicine. Dr. Weissman, and his research colleague Katalin Karikó, discovered a novel nucleoside-modified mRNA platform that bypasses adverse immunologic response. The result of decades-long dedication and research, this platform now serves as the basis for the burgeoning research of targeted therapeutics for some of the world’s most devastating diseases. This research outcome paved the way for the first mRNA vaccines, being the critical backbone to the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines. They continue to develop other vaccines that induce potent antibody and T cell responses with mRNA–based vaccines. Dr. Weissman’s lab also develops methods to replace genetically deficient proteins, edit the genome, and specifically target cells and organs with mRNA-LNPs, including lung, heart, brain, CD4+ cells, all T cells and bone marrow stem cells.

Dr. Weissman is the recipient of multiple accolades in medicine and research, including the NIH Merit Award, NIH Special Achievement Award, the 50th Rosenstiel Award for Distinguished Work in Medical Science and the Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award which he shares with Dr. Karikó.