Stephen J. Weiss, M.D.
E Gifford and Love Barnett Upjohn Professor of Internal Medicine and Oncology


Lab website:

Lab address:

Life Sciences Institute, Rm 5403
210 Washtenaw/SPC 2216
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Admin Assistant: Julie Stotler, kochj@umich.edu

Research Interests

The research interests of the Weiss laboratory focus on the mechanisms used by normal and neoplastic cells to remodel the 3-dimensional extracellular matrix during events ranging from cell differentiation and tissue morphogenesis to tumor cell metastasis. Current areas of emphasis include the regulation of the epithelial-mesenchymal cell transformation program by the transcription factor, Snail, and the function of the membrane-type matrix metalloproteinases during development and neoplasia.

Education & Training

1970-1973 B.A., Ohio State University, Biological Sciences/Biochemistry

1973-1977 M.D., Ohio State University, College of Medicine
1977-1978 Resident, Washington University, Department of Pathology, Barnes Hospital, St. Louis, Missouri
1978-1980 Research Fellow, The University of Michigan Medical Center, Division of Hematology and Oncology, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Honors and Awards

1976-1977 Landacre Research Award
1977 College of Medicine Award
1977 Department of Medicine Award
1977 Upjohn Achievement Award
1982 Jerome W. Conn Clinical Investigator Award for Excellence in Clinical Research
1983 Central Society for Clinical Research
1984 American Society for Clinical Investigation
1985 Central Clinical Research Club
1986-1997 Editorial Committee, American Society for Clinical Investigation
1991 Association of American Physicians
1991-present E. Gifford and Love Barnett Upjohn Chair
1993 Young Investigator Award (National), American Federation for Clinical Research
1993-2003 NIH MERIT Award
1997-2002 Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Clinical Investigation
2001-present Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences
2008-present Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science
2009 University of Michigan Distinguished Faculty Award

Recent Publications

Chun TH, Hotary KB, Sabeh F, Saltiel AR, Allen ED, Weiss SJ. A pericellular collagenase directs the 3-dimensional development of white adipose tissue. Cell, 2006 May 5;125(3):577-591. (PMID 16678100

Hotary K, Li XY, Allen E, Stevens SL, Weiss SJ. A cancer cell metalloprotease triad regulates the basement membrane transmigration program. Genes Dev, 2006 Oct 1;20(19):2673-2686.  (PMID 16983145)   PMC1578694

Yook JI, Li XY, Ota I, Hu C, Kim HS, Kim NH, Cha SY, Ryu JK, Choi YJ, Kim J, Fearon ER, Weiss SJ. A Wnt-Axin2-GSK3beta cascade regulates Snail1 activity in breast cancer cells. Nat Cell Biol, 2006 Dec; 8(12):1398-1406.  (PMID 17072303

Zhou X, Rowe RG, Hiraoka N, George JP, Wirtz D, Mosher DF, Virtanen I, Chernousov MA, Weiss SJ. Fibronectin fibrillogenesis regulates three-dimensional neovessel formation. Genes Dev, 2008 May;22(9):1231-1243.  (PMID 18451110 PMC2335318

Li XY, Ota I, Yana I, Sabeh F, Weiss SJ. Molecular dissection of the structural machinery underlying the tissue-invasive activity of membrane type-1 matrix metalloproteinase. Mol Biol Cell, 2008 Aug;19(8):3221-3233.  (PMID 18495869)   PMC2488283

Rowe RG, Li XY, Hu Y, Saunders TL, Virtanen I, Garcia de Herreros A, Becker KF, Ingvarsen S, Engelholm LH, Bommer GT, Fearon ER, Weiss SJ. Mesenchymal cells reactivate Snail1 expression to drive three-dimensional invasion programs. J Cell Biol, 2009 Feb 9;184(3):399-408. (PMID 19188491 PMC2646556

Sabeh F, Shimizu-Hirota R, Weiss SJ. Protease-dependent versus -independent cancer cell invasion programs: three-dimensional amoeboid movement revisited. J Cell Biol, 2009 Apr 6;185(1):11-19.  (PMID 19332889 PMC2700505

Sabeh F, Li XY, Saunders TL, Rowe RG, Weiss SJ. Secreted versus membrane-anchored collagenases: relative roles in fibroblast-dependent collagenolysis and invasion. J Biol Chem, 2009 Aug 21; 284(34):23001-23011.  (PMID 19542530 PMC2755707

Feinberg T, Weiss SJ. Developmental ECM sculpting: laying it down and cutting it up. Dev Cell, 2009 Nov;17(5):584-586.  (PMID 19922863

Ota I, Li XY, Hu Y, Weiss SJ. Induction of a MT1-MMP and MT2-MMP-dependent basement membrane transmigration program in cancer cells by Snail1. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 2009 Dec 1;106(48):20318-20323.  (PMID 19915148)   PMC2787166

Lu C, Li XY, Hu Y, Rowe RG, Weiss SJ. MT1-MMP controls human mesenchymal stem cell trafficking and differentiation. Blood, 2010 Jan 14;115(2):221-229.  (PMID 19901267) PMC2808151

Kim NH, Kim HS, Kim NG, Lee I, Choi HS, Li XY, Kang SE, Cha SY, Ryu JK, Na JM, Park C, Kim K, Lee S, Gumbiner BM, Yook JI, Weiss SJ. p53 and microRNA-34 are suppressors of canonical Wnt signaling. Sci Signal, 2011;4(197):ra71.  (PMID 22045851)   PMC3447368

Kim NH, Kim HS, Li XY, Lee I, Choi HS, Kang SE, Cha SY, Ryu JK, Yoon D, Fearon ER, Rowe RG, Lee S, Maher CA, Weiss SJ, Yook JI. A p53/miRNA-34 axis regulates Snail1-dependent cancer cell epithelial-mesenchymal transition. J Cell Biol, 2011 Oct 31;195(3):417-433. (PMID 22024162)   PMC3206336

Li XY, Zhou X, Rowe RG, Hu Y, Schlaepfer DD, Ilic D, Dressler G, Park A, Guan JL, Weiss SJ. Snail1 controls epithelial-mesenchymal lineage commitment in focal adhesion kinase-null embryonic cells. J Cell Biol, 2011 Nov 28;195(5):729-738.  (PMID 22105351)   PMC3257570

Shimizu-Hirota R, Xiong W, Baxter BT, Kunkel SL, Maillard I, Chen XW, Sabeh F, Liu R, Li XY, Weiss SJ. MT1-MMP regulates the PI3Kdelta.Mi-2/NuRD-dependent control of macrophage immune function. Genes Dev, 2012 Feb 15;26(4):395-413.  (PMID 22345520)   PMC3289887

Wu ZQ, Brabletz T, Fearon E, Willis AL, Hu CY, Li XY, Weiss SJ. Canonical Wnt suppressor, Axin2, promotes colon carcinoma oncogenic activity. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 2012 Jul 10;109(28):11312-11317.  (PMID 22745173)   PMC3396472

Weiss SJ. Peroxidasin: tying the collagen-sulfilimine knot. Nat Chem Biol, 2012 Sep;8(9):740-741. (PMID 22907088) 

Wu ZQ, Li XY, Hu CY, Ford M, Kleer CG, Weiss SJ. Canonical Wnt signaling regulates Slug activity and links epithelial-mesenchymal transition with epigenetic Breast Cancer 1, Early Onset (BRCA1) repression. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 2012 Oct 9;109(41):16654-16659.  (PMID 23011797)   PMC3478591

Friedl P, Sahai E, Weiss S, Yamada KM. New dimensions in cell migration. Nat RevMol Cell Biol, 2012 Nov;13(11):743-747.  (PMID 23072889) 

Kurihara T, Shimizu-Hirota R, Shimoda M, Adachi T, Shimizu H, Weiss SJ, Itoh H, Hori S, Aikawa N, Okada Y. Neutrophil-derived matrix metalloproteinase 9 triggers acute aortic dissection. Circulation, 2012 Dec 18;126(25):3070-3080.  (PMID 23136157) 

Tang Y, Rowe RG, Botvinick EL, Kurup A, Putnam AJ, Seiki M, Weaver VM, Keller ET, Goldstein S, Dai J, Begun D, Saunders T, Weiss SJ. MT1-MMP-Dependent Control of Skeletal Stem Cell Commitment via a beta1-Integrin/YAP/TAZ Signaling Axis. Dev Cell, 2013 May 14. (PMID 23685250).

Wolf K, te Lindert M, Krause M, Alexander S, te Riet J, Willis, AL, Hoffman, RM, Figdor CG, Weiss SJ, and Friedl P.  Physical limits of cell migration: control by ECM space and nuclear deformation and tuning by proteolysis and traction force.  J Cell Biol.  Accepted April 2013.

Other Links

Postdoctoral Research Training Program,


Updated 5/7/13