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Wistar’s David B. Weiner, Ph.D., Awarded Prestigious Scientific Achievement Award from Life Sciences Pennsylvania

PHILADELPHIA — (Feb. 15, 2019) — David B. Weiner, Ph.D., executive vice president, director of the Vaccine & Immunotherapy Center, and the W.W. Smith Charitable Trust Professor in Cancer Research at The Wistar Institute, has been named the recipient of this year’s Scientific Achievement Award from Life Sciences Pennsylvania. The organization, with its more than 800-member companies, has a single mission to make Pennsylvania a hub of innovation by creating a business and public policy environment that fosters life sciences growth and success.

“Our Scientific Achievement Award recognizes a scientist in the Pennsylvania life sciences community who has demonstrated outstanding achievement by advancing scientific knowledge, innovation, and/or patient care,” said Christopher P. Molineaux, president & CEO of Life Sciences PA. “We can’t think of a better honoree this year than David – considered a founder of the field of synthetic DNA vaccines with more than 30 years of research contributions and scientific influence.”

At Wistar, Weiner directs a translational research laboratory in the area of novel synthetic nucleic acid technologies. His lab’s accomplishments include the first in human studies of DNA vaccines and DNA-encoded monoclonal antibodies for treating and preventing cancer and emerging infectious diseases, clinically important advances in gene expression, optimization and DNA delivery. His lab developed the first clinically efficacious DNA vaccine and has moved synthetic DNA vaccines for Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), HIV, Ebola, and Zika through development into clinical studies. Weiner is igniting collaboration to also explore combination therapies for ovarian, prostate, and other cancers.

The Weiner Lab has published more than 400 papers, chapters and reviews. Weiner has received multiple awards and honors, including the National Institutes of Health Director’s Transformative Research Award, the Vaccine Industry Excellence Award for Best Academic Research Team, and his lab was named among the Top 20 Translational Research Laboratories of the Year by Nature Biotechnology. He is president of the International Society for Vaccines (ISV) and is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was named one of the nation’s top 40 most influential Vaccine Scientists in 2014.

“Since his arrival at Wistar, David has tremendously expanded our research enterprise in infectious diseases and cancer, bringing to clinical testing next generation technologies for vaccine and immunotherapy development,” said Dario C. Altieri, M.D., president and CEO of The Wistar Institute and director of its Cancer Center. “Working in seamless partnership with academia, industry and philanthropic foundations, David is redefining concepts of biomedical innovation and scientific preeminence that will benefit millions.”


The Wistar Institute is an international leader in biomedical research with special expertise in cancer, immunology, infectious disease research, and vaccine development. Founded in 1892 as the first independent nonprofit biomedical research institute in the United States, Wistar has held the prestigious Cancer Center designation from the National Cancer Institute since 1972. The Institute works actively to ensure that research advances move from the laboratory to the clinic as quickly as possible.

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