Known as a renowned medical researcher, an entrepreneur and an avid fisherman, Irving L. Weissman, M.D., will give the Florence Mahoney Lecture on Aging at 3 p.m., June 18, in Masur Auditorium, Building 10. Weissman, Director of the Stanford Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Director of the Stanford Cancer Center and Director of the Stanford Ludwig Center for Stem Cell Research, will present “Normal and Neoplastic Stem Cells.” This lecture is part of the NIH Director’s Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series.
A Professor of Pathology and Developmental Biology and, by courtesy, of Biological Sciences and Neurosurgery at Stanford University, Weissman’s research encompasses the biology and evolution of stem cells and progenitor cells, mainly blood-forming and brain-forming. He is also engaged in isolating and characterizing the rare cancer and leukemia stem cells as the only dangerous cells in these malignancies, especially with human cancers. And, he has a long-term research interest in the phylogeny and developmental biology of cells that make up the bloodforming and immune systems. Weissman’s laboratory was first to identify and isolate the bloodforming stem cell from mice, and has purified each progenitor in the stages of development between the stem cells and mature progeny (granulocytes, macrophages, etc.).
As a pioneer in the field of adult stem cell biology, Weissman co-founded three stem cell companies -- SyStemix in 1988, StemCells in 1996, and Celtrans (now Cellerant), the successor to SyStemix in 2001. He also served as a member of the founding Scientific Advisory Boards for three other companies: Amgen (1981-89), DNAX (1982-1992), and T-Cell Sciences (1988-1992).
At SyStemix he co-discovered the human hematopoietic stem cell and at StemCells, he co-discovered a human central nervous system stem cell. 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.
As for his love of fishing, Weissman comes by it naturally having been born and raised in Montana. Awarded a B.S. degree in pre-med studies from Montana State College, now Montana State University, in 1960, Weissman received his M.D. from Stanford in 1965.
Weissman is a member of the National Academy of Sciences where he chaired the Panel on the Scientific and Medical Aspects of Human Cloning. He is also a member of the Institute of Medicine, the American Association of Arts and Sciences and the American Academy of Microbiology. He received an Outstanding Investigator Award from NIH in 1986 and was President of the American Association of Immunologists in 1994.
Among his many awards are: the California Scientist of the Year Award, the Association of American Cancer Institutes Distinguished Scientist Award, the J. Allyn Taylor International Prize in Medicine, the American Diabetes Association Elliott Proctor Joslin Medal, the New York Academy of Medicine Medal for Distinguished Contributions in Biomedical Research, the Jessie Stevenson Kovalenko Medal from the National Academy of Sciences Council, the Linus Pauling Medal for Outstanding Contributions to Science from Stanford University, the “Dare to Dream” Award from the Jeffrey Modell Foundation, and honorary doctorates from Columbia University and from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.
With its 21st annual lecture, NIA honors Mrs. Florence Stephenson Mahoney (1899-2002), a woman who tirelessly campaigned for increased Federal spending for medical research and steadfastly championed for the creation of the NIA. This lecture series recognizes her contribution to the health of people worldwide. For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. A reception will immediately follow the lecture.