Stephen Weiss, M.D.

Upjohn Professor of Internal Medicine and Oncology
Research Professor, Life Sciences Institute
Associate Director for Basic Science at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center


Weiss completed his B.A. and M.D. at Ohio State University before moving to Washington University to pursue his internship training. He was then recruited to the Division of Hematology/Oncology at the University of Michigan where he joined the faculty in the Department of Internal Medicine in 1982. In 1988, Weiss assumed the rank of Professor and in 1991, was named as the first recipient of the Upjohn Professorship, a title that he has held for the last 30 years. Most recently, Dr. Weiss served as Division Chief of Molecular Medicine & Genetics in the Department of Internal Medicine before joining the Life Sciences Institute as a Research Professor in 2006. In 2016, he was appointed as the Associate Director for Basic Science at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Research Interests

Transcriptional and post-translational regulation of the 3-dimensional cell-extracellular matrix interactions that underlie epithelial-mesenchymal transition programs, tumor progression, invasion, metastasis and angiogenesis.


Feinberg, T.Y., Rowe, R.G., Saunders, T.L and S.J.Weiss. Functional Roles of MT1-MMP and MT2-MMP in Early Postnatal Mammary Gland Development. Development, 2016, 143:3956-3968. PMCID: PMC5117140.

Tang, Y., Feinberg, T., Keller, E.T., Li, X-Y., and S.J. Weiss. Snail1/Slug-YAP/TAZ Complexes Control Skeletal Stem Cell Self-Renewal and Differentiation. Nature Cell Biology, 18:917-29, 2016, PMC5007193.

Ni, T., Li, X-Y, An, T., Fu, R., Rowe, R.G., Lin, Y., Scherer, A., Feinberg, T., Zheng, X., Lu, N., Guo, Q-L, Liu, X.S., Wu, Z-Q and S.J. Weiss. Snail1-Dependent p53 Repression Regulates Expansion and Activity of Tumor-Initiating Cells in Breast Cancer. Nature Cell Biology, 2016, 18:1221-1232. PMID: 27749822.

Dudley, D.T., Li, X.Y., Hu, C.Y., Kleer, C., Willis,  A.L. and S.J. Weiss.  A 3-D matrix platform for the rapid generation of therapeutic anti-human carcinoma monoclonal antibodies.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, 2014, 111:14882-7, PMC4205646.

Grande, M.T., Sanchez-Laorden, B., Lopez-Blau, C., De Frutos, D.A., Boutet, A., Arevalo, M., Rowe, R.G., Weiss, S.J., Lopez-Novoa, J. and M.A. Nieto.  Snail1-induced partial EMT drives renal fibrosis and supports targeted therapies.  Nature Medicine, 2015, In Press.

Wu, Z.-Q., Rowe, R.G., Lim, K.-C., Lin, Y., Willis, A.L., Tang, Y., Li, X.-Y., Nor, J.E., Maillard, I. and S.J. Weiss. A Snail1/Notch1 Signaling Axis Controls Embryonic Vascular Development. Nature Communications, 2014, 5:3998, PMID 24894949.

Lin, Y., Li, X-Y., Willis, A.L., Liu, C., Chen, G. and S.J. Weiss. Snail-dependent control of embryonic stem cell pluripotency and lineage commitment. Nature Communications, 2014, 5:3070, PMID 24401905.

Tang, Y., Rowe, R.G., Botvinick, E.L., Kurup, A., Putnam, A.J., Seiki, M., Weaver, V.M., Keller, E.T., Goldstein, S.A., Begun, D., Dai, J., Saunders, T.L. and S.J. Weiss. Control of mesenchymal stem cell commitment by an MT1-MMP/YAP/TAZ mechanotransduction axis. Developmental Cell, 2013, 25:402-416, PMC3736823.

Wu, Z-Q., Li, X-Y., Hu, C.Y., Ford, M., Kleer, C.G. and S.J. Weiss. Canonical Wnt Signaling Regulates Slug Activity and Links Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition with Epigenetic BRCA1 Repression. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 2012, 109:16654-9. PMC3478591.

Wu, Z.-Q., Brabletz, T., Fearon, E., Hu, C.Y., Li, X.-Y. and S.J. Weiss. The Canonical Wnt Suppressor, Axin2, Promotes Colon Carcinoma Oncogenic Activity. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 2012, 109:11312-7. PMC3396472.

Shimizu-Hirota, R., Xiong, W., Baxter, B.T., Kunkel, S.L., Maillard, I., Chen, X.-Y., Sabeh, F., Liu, R., Li, X.-Y., and S.J. Weiss. MT1-MMP-Dependent Regulation of a PI3Kδ-Nucleosome Remodeling Axis Controls Macrophage Immune Function. Genes & Development, 2012, 26:395-413. PMC3289887.

Kim, N.H., Kim, H.S., Li, X.-Y., Lee, I., Choi, H.-S., Kang, S.E., Cha, SY, Ryu, J.K., Yoon, D., Fearon, E.R., Rowe, R.G., Lee, S., Maher, C.A., *Weiss, S.J., and J.I. Yook*. A p53/miRNA-34 Axis Regulates Snail1-Dependent Cancer Cell Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition. Journal of Cell Biology, 2011, 195:417-33 (*co-senior authors) PMC3206336.

Li, X.-Y., Zhou, X., Rowe, R.G., Hu, Y., Schlaepfer, D.D., Ilic, D., Dressler, G., Park, A., Guan, J.-L. and S.J. Weiss. Snail1 Controls Epithelial-Mesenchymal Lineage Commitment in Focal Adhesion Kinase-Null Embryonic Cells. Journal of Cell Biology, 2011, 195:729-38. PMC3257570.