Mark L. Weiss, PhD

Weiss joined the faculty at Kansas State University in 1991. He is co-discoverer of mesenchymal stromal cells within umbilical cord Wharton’s jelly, is the Director of the Midwest Institute for Comparative Stem Cell Biotechnology, Coordinator of the Stem Cell Certificate program (MS certificate program) and is a member of the Terry C. Johnson Center for Basic Cancer Research.

Weiss’ research focus is on stem cell biotechnology. His lab successfully produced various stem cell lines such as rat embryonic stem cells and cells derived from umbilical cord or other tissues with the intent of using this technology to advance cellular therapy and regenerative medicine. His lab is focused upon producing promising cellular therapeutics for regenerative medicine. For example, mesenchymal stromal cells have been tested in a variety of rodent preclinical disease models including neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, heart disease such as myocardial infarction, and cancer. Based upon the immune properties of Wharton’ s jelly derived mesenchymal stromal cells, the lab is working towards clinical trials with colleagues at Kansas State University, the University of Kansas and University of Minnesota.

In addition, the Weiss lab focuses upon the mechanisms of pluripotency in rat embryonic stem cells. In this area the focus is to efficiently produce new rat models of human disease using gene targeting in rat embryonic stem cells. Till date, the lab has produced chimeric rats using the techniques described by our collaborator, Dr. Qilong Ying (USC), and a variety of tools for quality control and validation.