July 7-20, 2000
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Michael Weber
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Michael Weber

Weber to lead Cancer Center

By Suzanne Morris

Michael Weber was named the new director of the U.Va. Cancer Center last month. He is currently a professor of microbiology and the Weaver Professor of Oncology at U.Va.

"We are very pleased that Michael Weber has agreed to lead the University of Virginia Cancer Center. He is one of the nation's most outstanding cancer researchers. Our shared goal is to take the Cancer Center to the top five in the United States, and he is just the person to get us there," said Dr. Robert M. Carey, dean of the School of Medicine.

The former director, Dr. Charles E. "Snuffy" Myers Jr., stepped down to pursue research toward a cure for prostate cancer, which he was diagnosed with in February 1999. It is currently in remission.

Weber joined the faculty in 1983. As the associate director for development since 1987 and associate director for laboratory research since 1990, Weber has already had significant roles at the Cancer Center.

"This is an historic moment in cancer research. The knowledge about cancer cells and genes gained over the past 10 years, combined with the completion of the human genome project, means that for the first time there is realistic hope that cancer can be defeated," Weber said. "I believe the University of Virginia Cancer Center can play a major role in accelerating the discovery of new knowledge and the translation of that knowledge into treatments, diagnostics and preventives that will improve the lives of people in Virginia and throughout the nation."

Weber's research centers on understanding how the process called signal transduction controls cancer cell growth and development. His lab focuses on prostate cancer and currently has four grants from the National Institutes of Health and one from CaPCURE to support this work. Founder of the Molecular Medicine Graduate Program, Weber is a reviewer for several scientific publications and has been the editor of the journal Molecular and Cellular Biology. He chairs the Scientific Advisory Board for Argonex, a Charlottesville-based biotechnology company, and serves on the New York-based Upstate Biotechnology's Scientific Advisory Board.

Weber earned a B.S. from Haverford College and a Ph.D. in cell biology from the University of California at San Diego. He completed postdoctoral work in tumor virology at the University of California-Berkley, was a Dernham Postdoctoral Fellow of the American Cancer Society and received a MERIT award from the National Cancer Institute.


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