Irving L. Weissman, MD, Professor, Pathology, Developmental Biology, and, by courtesy, Biological Science and Neurosurgery; Virginia & D.K. Ludwig Professor for Clinical Investigation in Cancer Research; Director, Stanford Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine; Director, Ludwig Center for Cancer Stem Cell Research and Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine
Research Description: Research by Dr. Weissman on stem cells led to several fundamental discoveries and the development of new therapies relevant to diabetes mellitus, particularly type 1 diabetes. These include the isolation and transplantation of pure hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and the demonstration that, upon transplantation, pure HSCs can regenerate the entire blood and immune system in a host without causing graft vs. host disease. To make HSC transplantation a well-tolerated procedure, he led collaborations with SDRC member Judith Shizuru to develop a specific and effective antibody-based method for conditioning recipients prior to HSC transplantation without chemotherapy or radiation. His group is continuing to develop this method with the aim of offering a curative treatment to patients with blood and auto-immune disorders as well as cancer patients. To facilitate clinically-relevant preclinical studies, he has recently [SK1] developed a novel immunodeficient SCID-hu mouse that his group and others have used to verify human HSC activity. Recent studies led by Dr. Weissman have also identified and characterized candidate stem cells for neuroendocrine tumors of the pancreas, a system now being developed to investigate the physiological and pathological mechanisms underlying pancreatic endocrine cell proliferation and fate, an area of investigation highly relevant to diabetes research. As director of the Stanford Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine (SCBRM), Dr. Weissman oversees multiple research projects and efforts directly focused on diabetes research, including studies by over 20 members of the SDRC (a subset with whom he has published studies is listed below).
Selected relevant publications (Stanford DRC Members in BOLD):
1. Weissman, IL. 2015. Stem cells are units of natural selection for tissue formation, for germline development, and in cancer development. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 112:8922-8
2. Tevlin R, Seo EY, Marecic O, McArdle A, T Xinming, Zimdahl B, Malkovskly A, Sinha R, Gulati G, Li X, Wearda T, Morganti R, Lopez M, Ransom RC, Duldulao CR, Rodrigues M, Nguyen A, Januszyk M, Maan Z, Paik K, Yapa KS, Rajadas J, Wan DC, Gurtner GC, Snyder M, Beachy PA, Yang F, Goodman SB, Weissman IL, Chan CK, Longaker MT. Pharmacological rescue of diabetic skeletal stem cell niches. Science Translational Medicine. 2017; 9(372). doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aag2809
3. Chen JY, Miyanishi M, Wang SK, Yamazaki, S, Sinha, R, Kao, KS, Sahoo D, Seita J, Nakauchi H, Weissman, IL. 2016. Hoxb5 marks long-term haematopoietic stem cells revealing a homogenous perivascular niche. Nature. 530:223-227.
4. Chhabra A, Ring AM, Weiskopf K, Schnorr PJ, Gordon S, Le AC, Kwon HS, Ring NG, Volkmer J, Ho PY, Tseng S, Weissman IL*, Shizuru JA*. 2016. Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in immunocompetent hosts without radiation or chemotherapy. Sci Transl Med 8, 351(*Equal contributors to this work.)
5. Krampitz GW, George BM, Willingham SB, Volkmer JP, Weiskopf K, Jahchan N, Newman AM, Sahoo D, Zemek AJ, Yanovsky RL, Nguyen JK, Schnorr PJ, Mazur PK, Sage J, Longacre TA, Visser BC, Poultsides GA, Norton JA, Weissman IL. 2016. Identification of tumorigenic cells and therapeutic targets in pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A.113:4464-9.