Dr. Stuart Weisberg Named 2020 Louis V. Gerstner Jr. Scholar
Stuart Weisberg, MD, PhD, assistant professor of pathology and cell biology, has been appointed to a three year term as a Louis V. Gerstner Jr. scholar effective July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2023.
Each year since 2008, the Louis V. Gerstner Jr. Scholars Program has supported tenure-track physicians who conduct research that has the promise to bring new treatments to patients. The fund provides a stipend of $75,000 per year, for up to three years, to support the awardees’ research projects. Scholars are nominated by a committee of distinguished research faculty and selected by the VP&S dean.
Dr. Weisberg studies how anatomy and organ microenvironment specify immune cell phenotype and function in health and disease. Prompted by his experience with pancreatic disease cases as a pathology resident, Stuart began working to define the unique immune microenvironment within the human pancreas and elucidate how it mediates normal pancreatic immunosurveillance as well as immunopathology.
Stuart and his team set up a system for the viable extraction of pancreatic immune cells from human organ donors and patients with pancreatic disease for high-resolution immunophenotypic, transcriptomic and functional analysis. In parallel, he performs multispectral staining of pancreas tissue sections to examine the spatial interrelationships between these pancreatic immune cells and their position within the tissue microenvironment. His studies now are focusing on mechanisms of pancreatic inflammation and how obesity and type 2 diabetes alter the pancreatic immune landscape to increase risk for pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer.
As an MD/PhD student, Stuart’s doctoral work in the lab of Drs. Anthony Ferrante and Rudolph Leibel revealed that obesity is associated with accumulation of adipose tissue macrophages. His doctoral studies were among the first to provide detailed phenotypic and functional analysis of adipose tissue macrophages and establish a role for macrophages in mediating inflammation and insulin resistance in obese individuals. He then completed both post-doctoral and clinical training in Pathology at Columbia.
Congratulations to Dr. Weisberg on this outstanding achievement.