Nucleoside Modified mRNA-LNP Therapeutics

Meeting Date and Time
Virtual via Webex
Drew Weissman, M.D., Ph.D.
DCP Immunology Interest Group (IIG) Seminar
Major Program
Cancer Immunoprevention Network
Cancer Prevention-Interception Targeted Agent Discovery Program
PREVENT Cancer Preclinical Drug Development Program
Research Group
Chemopreventive Agent Development

Date Posted/Aired
Presented By Drew Weissman, M.D., Ph.D.
Category DCP Immunology Interest Group (IIG) Seminar Series


Drew Weissman, M.D., Ph.D.

Drew Weissman, M.D., Ph.D.
Roberts Family Professor in Vaccine Research
Professor of Medicine
Director of Vaccine Research in the Infectious Disease Division
Director of the Penn Institute for RNA Innovation
Perelman School of Medicine
University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Weissman earned his M.D. and Ph.D. in immunology and microbiology in 1987 at Boston University School of Medicine. Dr. Weissman is a physician-scientist and pioneer in the science of immunology. His major contributions to the scientific field include the identification of the mechanism by which RNA activates the innate immune system and the discovery that naturally occurring modified nucleosides were the mechanism used by the cell to distinguish foreign RNA from self RNA. In collaboration with Dr. Katalin Karikó, he conducted groundbreaking research to identify the additional molecule, pseudouridine, that enables therapeutic use of messenger RNA (mRNA). Their discovery has far-reaching implications for potential treatment of infectious diseases, autoimmune disorders, cancers, and other debilitating conditions. The nucleoside-modified mRNA-lipid nanoparticle vaccine platform Dr. Weissman’s lab created is used in the first 2 approved COVID-19 vaccines by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna. He and his lab team continue to conduct basic science research to understand and develop new nucleoside-modified mRNA platforms. For his transformative accomplishments as a researcher, he was named a TIME magazine Hero of the Year in 2021 and has received many accolades and honors, including the 2021 Lasker~DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award, the Princess Asturias Award (2021), the 2022 Japan Prize, the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences (2022) and, most notably along with Dr. Katalin Karikó, the 2023 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.


Shizuko Sei, M.D.
Co-Chief, Program Officer, Contracting Officer Representative
Chemopreventive Agent Development Research Group
NCI Division of Cancer Prevention

Wosene Asefa
Program Support Assistant 
Breast and Gynecologic Cancer Research Group
NCI Division of Cancer Prevention