UCSF

Weinberger receives 2013 NIH Director’s Pioneer Award

The Office of the Director of the NIH has awarded UCSF professor of biochemistry and biophysics and Gladstone investigator Leor S. Weinberger, PhD, the NIH Director's Pioneer Award. The Pioneer award supports individual scientists of exceptional creativity, who propose pioneering—and possibly transforming approaches—to major challenges in biomedical and behavioral research. The award ($5 million award over five years to develop “Evolvable Resistance-Proof Therapies”) will test Weinberger’s innovative therapy idea called therapeutic interfering particles (TIPs), which are engineered molecular parasites of viruses that can transmit and evolve along with viral pathogens. The TIP approach centers on mathematical theory developed in Weinberger’s lab which predicts that TIP-based therapies could overcome obstacles faced by current therapies, especially in resource-poor settings, and would drastically reduce disease caused by viruses such as HIV.

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About the School: The UCSF School of Pharmacy is a premier graduate-level academic organization dedicated to improving health through precise therapeutics. It succeeds through innovative research, by educating PharmD health professional and PhD science students, and by caring for the therapeutics needs of patients while exploring innovative new models of patient care. The School was founded in 1872 as the first pharmacy school in the American West. It is an integral part of UC San Francisco, a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide.