DR. DAVID WEAVER
The David L. Weaver Endowed Lectures in Biophysics and Computational Biology lectureship is dedicated to the memory of David L. Weaver, a prominent biophysics researcher and professor at Tufts University.
Dr. Weaver made significant contributions to the understanding of protein folding. He was impressed with the research and faculty at the UC Davis Genome Center, where he was planning to spend his sabbatical year 2006-2007.
Dr. Weaver focused his early research on high-energy physics, studying photon production and elementary particles. After spending a year and a half as a NATO Fellow at the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN), in Geneva, Switzerland, he returned to Tufts and began to think about how he could apply his physics background to problems in biology. While he continued to make significant contributions in high-energy physics, for which he received tenure at Tufts in 1969, Dr. Weaver's interests continued to shift towards some of the key unsolved problems in biology. At the University of Rome, Italy, as a visiting CNN Fellow at the Frascati National Laboratory, he became more and more interested in applying his mathematical skills to gain a better understanding of molecular dynamics. He visited Dr. Martin Karplus at Harvard during a sabbatical in 1972, and they began a collaboration that culminated in a paper about a then theoretical diffusion-collision model for protein folding (Nature, 1976). The Diffusion-Collision Model was ahead of its time because the data needed to test it were not available when it was published in 1976. But by the mid-1990s experimental studies had shown that the model did indeed describe the folding mechanism of many proteins. The field has been completely transformed in recent years because of its assumed importance for understanding the large number of protein sequences available from genome projects, says Karplus, and because of the realization that misfolding can lead to a wide range of human diseases.
Dr. Weaver received grants from NASA, NATO, Bruker Optics, and the NIH to establish computer facilities at Tufts where he continued to work with students, Dr. Karplus and other collaborators to improve his understanding of important biophysical problems. He was a regular visitor at labs overseas and in the United States, and he authored or co-authored a number of significant scientific publications.
He held degrees in Chemistry from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and in Physical Chemistry from Iowa State University. A Fellow of the American Physical Society, Dr Weaver also served as the chair of the Tufts Department of Physics and Astronomy from 1989 to 2002. He was born in Albany, NY, on April 18th, 1937.
David Weaver possessed an easy manner, a sense of fairness, curiosity and an enjoyment of life that was evident in his teaching and relations with colleagues. All who knew him will miss his kind and cheerful humor, his smile and his generous spirit.
Previous Lectures:2007, Professor Martin Karplus, Laboratoire de Chimie Biophysique, ISIS, Universite Louis Pasteur and Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Harvard University (http://www.chem.harvard.edu/research/faculty/martin_karplus.php), (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Karplus) "How Proteins Work: Insights from Simulations". Opening remarks by Dirk Laukien, Ph.D., Senior Scientific Fellow, Bruker Optics (http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=121496&p=irol-govBio&ID=176929), "Unfolding David Weaver's Contributions at Bruker Optics"
2008, Professor Christopher Dobson, John Humphrey Plummer Professor of Chemical and Structural Biology, Master of St. Johns College, Cambridge University, United Kingdom (http://www.ch.cam.ac.uk/staff/cmd.html). "Life on the Edge: The Nature and Origins of Protein Misfolding Diseases". Invited guest speaker, Professor Rohit Pappu, Washington University (http://engineering.wustl.edu/facultybio.aspx?faculty=193), "A Student's Remembrance of David Weaver".
2009, Professor Gregory Petsko, Gyula and Katica Tauber Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Chemistry, Brandeis University, Adjunct Professor, Department of Neurology and Center for Neurological Diseases, Harvard Medical School (http://www.rose.brandeis.edu/PRLab/). "Structural Neurology: Understanding, Treating and Preventing Neurodegenerative Diseases".
2010, Professor Susan Lindquist, Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard Department of Biology, MIT (http://web.wi.mit.edu/lindquist/pub/). "Protein Folding Driving the Evolution of Genomes".
2011, Professor John Kuriyan, Chancellor's Professor, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology and Department of Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley (http://jkweb.berkeley.edu/). "Molecular Mechanisms in Signal Transduction by Tyrosine Kinases".
2012, Professor Cheryl Arrowsmith, Structure Genomic Consortium, Department of Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto (http://medbio.utoronto.ca/faculty/arrowsmith.html). “Structural and Chemical Biology of Epigenetic Regulators”.
2013, Professor Joanna Aizenberg, Harvard University, School of Engineering and Applied Science (http://aizenberglab.seas.harvard.edu/index.php?&wh=1680x861x1680x1050http://). "Novel Biomimetic 'Spiny' Surfaces in Medical Applications".