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Main Profile

Full Name and Degrees: 
Irving Weissman, M.D.
Member Role: 
Principal Investigator
Institutional affiliation: 
Stanford University
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Hub Site: 
07-Irving Weissman
research focus: 

Dr. Irving L. Weissman's research encompasses the phylogeny and developmental biology of the cells that make up the blood-forming and immune systems. His laboratory identified and isolated the blood-forming stem cell from mice, and has defined, by lineage analysis, the stages of development between the stem cells and mature progeny (granulocytes, macrophages, etc.). This required developing and cloning stromal cells of the hematolymphoid microenvironments—from the bone marrow for myeloid and B cells, and from the thymus for T cells. While the adhesion molecules and factors from these stromal cells proved important as molecules (and the genes that encode them) for myeloid and B cells, the analysis of T cell development required in vivo studies of thymic development.

In addition, the Weissman laboratory has pioneered the study of the genes and proteins involved in cell adhesion events required for lymphocyte homing to lymphoid organs in vivo, either as a normal function or as events involved in malignant leukemic metastases.

The Weissman laboratory also has a small group at Hopkins Marine Station, where they have developed a model organism for laboratory and field study of allorecognition—the invertebrate counterpart of transplantation immunity. Working with the protochordate Botryllus schlosseri (which has a chordate larval stage and an invertebrate adult form) they have identified a single major gene locus that governs rapid allorecognition, and 2-3 other loci involved in delayed allorecognition events. They are using this model to study the genes, proteins, and cells that govern protochordate allorecognition, and the effects of these genes on their population dynamics in the field.

Recent publications: 
Antibody therapy targeting the CD47 protein is effective in a model of aggressive metastatic leiomyosarcoma. Edris B, Weiskopf K, Volkmer AK, Volkmer JP, Willingham SB, Contreras-Trujillo H, Liu J, Majeti R, West RB, Fletcher JA, Beck AH, Weissman IL, van de Rijn M. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22451919?dopt=Abstract&otool=stanford Long-term outcome of patients with metastatic breast cancer treated with high-dose chemotherapy and transplantation of purified autologous hematopoietic stem cells. Müller AM, Kohrt HE, Cha S, Laport G, Klein J, Guardino AE, Johnston LJ, Stockerl-Goldstein KE, Hanania E, Juttner C, Blume KG, Negrin RS, Weissman IL, Shizuru JA. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2012; 18 (1): 125-33 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21767515?dopt=Abstract&otool=stanford The CD47-SIRPα pathway in cancer immune evasion and potential therapeutic implications. Chao MP, Weissman IL, Majeti R. Curr Opin Immunol. 2012 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22310103?dopt=Abstract&otool=stanford The Safety of Embryonic Stem Cell Therapy Relies on Teratoma Removal. Tang C, Weissman IL, Drukker M. Oncotarget. 2012 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22294556?dopt=Abstract&otool=Stanford Three differentiation states risk-stratify bladder cancer into distinct subtypes. Volkmer JP, Sahoo D, Chin RK, Ho PL, Tang C, Kurtova AV, Willingham SB, Pazhanisamy SK, Contreras-Trujillo H, Storm TA, Lotan Y, Beck AH, Chung BI, Alizadeh AA, Godoy G, Lerner SP, van de Rijn M, Shortliffe LD, Weissman IL, Chan KS. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22308455?dopt=Abstract&otool=stanford
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Irving Weissman, M.D.

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