At Pendari, we were thrilled to collaborate with a visionary leader like Dr. Drew Weissman, whose remarkable work has made such a profound impact on global health. The Penn Institute for RNA Innovation department website presents the ongoing efforts he and his team are making to continue to advance scientific medical breakthroughs.
About Drew Weissman
Drew Weissman, M.D., Ph.D., is a renowned physician and researcher at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Born on April 24, 1958, in New York City, Weissman’s curiosity for medicine and research began at a young age, eventually leading him to pursue a career in immunology and vaccinology. Dr. Weissman is best known for his groundbreaking work on messenger RNA (mRNA) technology, which has had a significant impact on the development of COVID-19 vaccines.
Dr. Weissman earned his M.D. from Boston University School of Medicine and later completed his Ph.D. in Immunology at the same institution. In 1997, he joined the University of Pennsylvania as a faculty member and has been dedicated to research and teaching ever since.
In collaboration with fellow researcher Katalin Karikó, Dr. Weissman made a transformative discovery in the early 2000s. They identified a method to modify mRNA in such a way that it could be safely introduced into cells without triggering a harmful immune response. This breakthrough laid the foundation for the development of mRNA-based vaccines and therapeutics.
When the COVID-19 pandemic emerged in late 2019, Dr. Weissman’s decades-long research on mRNA technology played a critical role in the rapid creation of effective vaccines. The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, which use the modified mRNA platform, have been instrumental in curbing the spread of the virus and saving countless lives worldwide.
Dr. Weissman has received numerous accolades for his work, including the 2021 Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award and the 2022 Breakthrough of the Year award from Science magazine. His pioneering contributions to the field of mRNA research continue to shape the future of medicine, with potential applications in treatments for cancer, genetic disorders, and other infectious diseases.
As a dedicated physician, researcher, and educator, Dr. Drew Weissman’s impact on global health is undeniable. His work on mRNA technology has revolutionized vaccine development, providing hope and resilience in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
Penn Institute For RNA Innovation
Discover the latest in RNA innovation. The University of Pennsylvania’s Penn Institute for RNA Innovation showcases groundbreaking research and developments in the field of RNA. With a modern and professional design, easy navigation, and a wealth of information, their website provides a glimpse into the future of RNA research.