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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Bioinformatics, Biophysics

About the School: The UCSF School of Pharmacy aims to solve the most pressing health care problems and strives to ensure that each patient receives the safest, most effective treatments. Our discoveries seed the development of novel therapies, and our researchers consistently lead the nation in NIH funding. The School’s doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) degree program, with its unique emphasis on scientific thinking, prepares students to be critical thinkers and leaders in their field.