Focus on Science: Georg Weber, MD, PhD
Published November 2010
Focus on Science is a column highlighting basic scientists at the University of Cincinnati and their latest research. If you would like to suggest a basic scientist to be featured, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
A native of Bavaria, Germany, Georg Weber, MD, PhD, is a highly recognized cancer researcher and an associate professor in the James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy. Weber is the author of numerous monographs, abstracts and books including the textbook Molecular Mechanisms of Cancer, which is in use by cancer and cell biology graduate students. He has four patents issued, several patent applications pending and is the founder and CEO of the biotech company MetaMol Theranostics.
How long have you been at UC?
"I came in 2004 from Boston (Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School 1990-2000, a stint at Tufts-New England Medical Center in between).”
What is your current research focus?
"The mission of my lab is to find the molecular mechanisms behind the spread of cancer, or metastasis. Much of our focus has been on the role of a molecule called OPN (osteopontin) in breast cancer.”
How soon do you expect your findings to impact patient care?
"We hope to have a diagnostic marker for analyzing biopsies by next year. A long-term goal is the development of a drug that prevents the spread of cancer.”
What are your most recent research contributions?
"The meta-analysis of OPN as a cancer marker. We analyzed over 13,000 patients, described in 228 prior publications, for the value of OPN as a clinical indicator of cancer. We found that OPN has been associated with 34 types of cancer, is a marker for breast, cervical, colorectal, head and neck, liver, lung, ovarian and prostate cancers, as well as for sarcoma (connective tissue cancer), is a predictor of short survival in several forms of cancer and that OPN levels are markers for stage and grade, two clinical measures of cancer aggressiveness, in multiple cancers.”