Thursday, April 5, 2018 – Reynolds Alumni Ctr.

2012 Distinguished Researcher Award: Gary Weisman

Gary Weisman

Gary Weisman, professor of Biochemistry, has been with MU for more than 20 years.

“Dr. Gary Weisman has been a seminal pioneer in a very important field of biomedical research, the study of purinergic receptors,” said Gerald Hazelbauer, professor and chair of MU Biochemistry. “The field grew from experimental observations, including his own, that initially met substantial skepticism. Yet this field has become an area of immense impact in human health and disease. He is now one of the most influential investigators in this rapidly growing biomedical field, one that is contributing directly to the potential treatment of pathological inflammation including neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, the insidious heart and circulatory condition of atherosclerosis, cystic fibrosis and specific pathologies of the salivary gland.”

“Dr. Weisman was the first to clone and functionally express the nucleotide P2Y2 and P2Y4 receptors that are potential therapeutic targets for cystic fibrosis,” wrote Terrance Egan, professor of Pharmacological & Physiological Sciences at Saint Louis University. “He has published numerous papers that provide detailed mechanistic descriptions of the properties of these receptors, and he has made significant contributions to the pharmacopoeia of purinergic drugs. At the same time, his work focuses on the ultimate goal of all biomedical research, which is study of the causes and treatment of disease. To this end, he investigated the role of nucleotides in tumor necrosis, intimal hyperplasia, apoptosis of primary neurons and Sjцgren’s disease. These contributions are well recognized by his peers.”

Dr. Simon Robson, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, said Weisman is well known in the international scientific community: “Dr. Weisman has, throughout the entirety of his career, been invited to give numerous lectures at conferences and meetings throughout the country and the world. In the past few years, he has traveled all over the country, including Texas, Virginia, South Carolina and Florida, as well as internationally – to places such as Taiwan and Brazil.”

Not only does his laboratory serve as a site for discovery, but it functions as a teaching environment, which is critical to maintaining a strong graduate program.

—W. Gibson Wood, professor and director of Graduate Studies, University of Minnesota Medical School