Drew Weissman Parents:
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Drew Weissman is a physician and immunologist from America and he was recognized for his contributions to RNA biology. He is the inaugural Roberts Family Professor in Vaccine Research, director of the Penn Institute for RNA Innovation, and professor of medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn).
He came into the limelight after he Nobel Prize laureate renowned for his groundbreaking contributions to RNA biology.
Drew Weissman Parents: Meet his parents and learn about his family
Drew Weissman is a highly accomplished scientist who currently holds a prestigious position at the University of Pennsylvania. While we don’t know much about his parents, we do know that his mother is Italian, and his father is Jewish. This background likely had a significant influence on his life and career.
Drew’s journey began in Lexington, Massachusetts, where he grew up. He attended Brandeis University, where he earned both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in 1981, focusing on biochemistry and enzymology.
Later, he pursued further studies in immunology and microbiology, obtaining his M.D. and Ph.D. in 1987 at Boston University.
He then completed a medical residency at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and a fellowship at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), where he worked with the renowned Anthony Fauci.
In 1997, Drew Weissman established his own research laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania, where he focused on studying RNA and the innate immune system. He formed a crucial partnership with Katalin Karikó, a fellow researcher, to explore the potential of RNA technology in vaccines.
Together, they made a significant breakthrough in 2005 by introducing synthetic nucleosides to modify RNA, which prevented the body from breaking it down. This innovation laid the foundation for RNA therapeutics.
Their collaboration extended beyond the lab, leading to the founding of RNARx in 2006, a company dedicated to developing RNA therapies.
Their most significant success came in 2020 when their modified RNA technology became the basis for the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, playing a vital role in the global fight against the pandemic.
Drew Weissman’s commitment to global health is evident in his work with scientists at Thailand’s Chulalongkorn University to develop and provide COVID-19 vaccines for Thailand and neighboring low-income countries with limited vaccine access.
He has received numerous awards and honors for his groundbreaking work, including the 2023 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, the 2020 Rosenstiel Award, the Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize, and many others.
In 2022, he received the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, the Jessie Stevenson Kovalenko Medal of the NAS (National Academy of Sciences) jointly with Katalin Karikó, and the Japan Prize.
He also received the Robert Koch Prize, the Tang Prize in Biopharmaceutical Science, and the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement.
Despite his global recognition, Drew Weissman remains connected to the impact of his work through heartfelt messages from people worldwide who are grateful for the COVID-19 vaccine, which has allowed them to hug and be close to loved ones again. This shows his enduring commitment to advancing scientific research for the benefit of humanity.
He was nominated for many awards such as “The Rosenstiel Award (2020)Lasker-DeBakey, Clinical Medical Research Award (2021), VinFuture Prize (2022), Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences (2022), Harvey Prize (2023 awarded the year 2021), Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (2023)”.
He is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Currently, he is the Roberts Family Professor in Vaccine Research at the university.
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