Professor Weir holds the Diabetes Research and Wellness Foundation Chair at the Joslin Diabetes Center. He is an investigator at the Center and serves as the section head of the Center’s Islet Transplantation and Cell Biology Department.
Professor Weir is also a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. The main goal of the Section on Islet Transplantation and cell Biology is to make islet transplantation available as a treatment for diabetes. Professor Weir’s team focuses on several areas. These include the potential of transplanting animal islets into humans to restore insulin production in people with diabetes; understanding how islet cells grow, differentiate and die; the molecular mechanisms by which beta cells make insulin and the problems that beta cells face when confronted with high glucose levels in diabetes.
At a basic level, they also investigate the phenotype and function of pancreatic beta cells in the in vivo environment, either in models of diabetes such as rats with partial pancreatectomy or glucose infusions, or with transplanted islets placed into a site such as under the kidney capsule or in alginate beads transplanted into the peritoneal cavity. Recent work has focused upon assessment of transplanted human islets, and the development of immature porcine islet tissue and various other precursor/stem cells when transplanted. Professor Weir completed his medical degree at Harvard Medical School and his residency training at University Hospital in Cleveland, OH. He trained in endocrinology at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Before joining the Joslin Diabetes Center as its medical director, Professor Weir was a Professor of Medicine at the Medical College of Virginia.
Professor Weir is the recipient of numerous honors and has served on the editorial boards of several prestigious journals, including the American Journal of Physiology and the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology, Metabolism and Transplantation. He was recently Editor-in-Chief of the journal Diabetes.