Dr. Daniel Weiss

Professor, Medicine – Pulmonary

I have had a longstanding interest in lung repair and regeneration after injury, notably gene and cell therapy approaches for lung diseases. This has included developing novel techniques with which to investigate and enhance lung gene and cell therapies. Published work in cell therapy approaches for lung diseases has included several benchmark publications that have included the first ever trial of cell therapy for COPD. As such, I view myself as a translational scientist whose work spans from benchtop to clinical trials. I have also instituted a biennial meeting held at the University of Vermont, Stem Cells and Cell Therapies in Lung Biology and Diseases, that is widely viewed by the NIH, FDA, and non-profit Respiratory Disease Foundations as the major meeting in the field. My overall goal is to provide a firm scientific basis for clinical application of cell therapies in lung diseases. I have been funded by the NIH, DOD, non-profit Respiratory Disease Foundations, and by industry sources since 1995. Current work in the laboratory is focused in four major areas: 1) Bioengineering approaches for development of functional lung tissue ex vivo; 2) Immunomodulation of lung inflammation by mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs); 3) Development of cell therapy-based approaches for lung disease; 4) Stem cell medical tourism.

Perspectives on One-Health Regenerative Medicine

Sunday, September 8, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM


Stem Cell Medical Tourism: Unauthorized use of unproven and potentially stem cell-based therapies is a growing problem globally for human clinical medicine. While there has been increased actions taken by the US FDA and other regulatory agencies, much remains to be done. This is paralleled by increased use of unauthorized and unproven cell-based therapies in veterinary clinical medicine. Stem cell medical tourism will be explored and opportunities for increased regulatory oversight in veterinary clinical medicine discussed.



Current Advances in Lung Regenerative Medicine

Tuesday, September 10, 9:00 AM – 9:30 AM

There has been a rapid explosion in regenerative medicine approaches for lung diseases and critical illnesses. Pre-clinical studies increasingly demonstrate that exogenously administered cells, predominantly mesenchymal stem (stromal) cells (MSCs), can have significant beneficial effects on inflammatory and immune responses affecting repair and remodeling after lung injury. This has led to a steadily growing number of clinical trials of cell therapy approaches for a range of pulmonary diseases and critical illnesses including acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), bronchopulmonary dysplasia, COPD, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, pulmonary hypertension, and sepsis/septic shock. In parallel, there has been a surge in studies investigating the use of artificial and biologic matrices as a framework for ex vivo lung and airway bioengineering. These studies have been further paralleled by significant increases in understanding the molecular and cellular events by which stem and/or progenitor cells resident in the lung participate in both lung development and in repair and remodeling after lung injury and by which ESCs and iPS cells can be induced to acquire functional airway and alveolar epithelial phenotypes. This is clearly an exciting time for this rapidly moving field.