Prof Stefan F T Weiss
1985 B.Sc. Biology University of Bielefeld, Germany - 1988 M.Sc. Biology Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg, Germany - 1992 PhD Biology Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg, Germany - 2002 Habilitation Biochemistry, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Germany
Phone Number: 27 11 717 6346
Email : Stefan.Weiss@wits.ac.za
Prof SFT Weiss eNCA interview “Hope on the horizon for Alzheimer’s sufferers" 7 September 2018
VoW FM Radio Show “The Science Inside” – 30 July 2018 - “Potential Nasal Spray for Alzheimers Disease”
702 FM Radio Breakfast with Bongani Bingwa: Wits breakthrough could slow down Alzheimer’s (September 2018)
Cape Talk Radio The John Maytham Show: Alzheimer’s Breakthrough (September 2018)
Academic Trust: Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Research field: Laminin Receptor Research for Therapy of Cancer and Neurodegenerative Diseases and Anti-Ageing strategies through telomerase activation
The 37 kDa/67kDa laminin receptor (LRP/LR) is a central cell surface receptor for the adhesion, migration and proliferation of numerous cancer cell types. The receptor plays an important role in metastatic cancer, neurodegenerative diseases such as Prion Disorders and Alzheimer’s Disease and viral infections. Antibodies directed against LRP/LR as well as si/shRNAs directed against LRP mRNA may represent powerful tools for the treatment of these diseases. LRP activates telomerase activity which has enormous implications for anti-cancer and anti-ageing strategies.
Cancer: We will further develop LRP/LR specific antibodies for treatment of important metastatic cancer types in South Africa such as Cervix uteri carcinoma, lung cancer, squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus, breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon and rectum cancer, pancreatic cancer, Kaposi sarcoma, stomach cancer and liver cancer. The antibodies target two key components in metastatic cancer: invasion and adhesion as well as tumor angiogenesis.
siRNA technology efficiently downregulates the expression of target genes. We will use existing siRNAs and are developing novel si/shRNAs for efficient downregulation of the LRP/LR level in major cancer types. Si/shRNAs for efficient LRP/LR downregulation act as alternative therapeutic tools for cancer treatment by inducing apoptosis and impeding telomerase activity.
Alzheimer s Disease: 1 out of 68 people in South Africa develop Alzheimer’s Disease resulting in approx. 730.000 cases. Therapeutics for this major neurodegenerative disease do not exist. We investigate the role of LRP/LR and the therapeutic potential of LRP/LR specific antibodies as well as si/shRNAs directed against LRP mRNA as powerful therapeutic agents in Alzheimer’s Disease.
Anti-Ageing: LRP/LR is enhancing telomerase activity. We are developing recombinant LRP as an alternative powerful anti-ageing drug.