Irving Weissman named to new endowed professorship

Irving Weissman

Irving L. Weissman, MD, has been named the Virginia and D.K. Ludwig Professor for Clinical Investigation in Cancer Research. He is also the director of the Stanford Institute for Cancer/Stem Cell Biology and Medicine.

Weissman was the first to isolate an adult stem cell in 1988 when he isolated a blood-forming stem cell in mice. He later isolated the blood-forming stem cell in humans; isolated the human neuronal stem cell, and recently isolated the leukemia stem cell in a type of human myeloid leukemia. His main focus for the past several years has been the purification, biology, transplantation and evolution of stem cells.

Weissman obtained his MD in 1965 from Stanford in the five-year medical curriculum, during which he did research at Oxford University. He was appointed research associate at Stanford in 1967 and later became a faculty member in pathology and in developmental biology.

He has received numerous awards and honors including the Kovalenko Medal of the National Academy of Sciences, the De Villiers Award of the Leukemia Society of America and the 2002 California Scientist of the Year from the California Science Center.

The Virginia and D.K. Ludwig Professorship for Clinical Investigation in Cancer Research was established by the Virginia and D.K. Ludwig Fund for Cancer Research (Inter Vivos) to support medical research focused on understanding and eradicating cancer.

Daniel K. Ludwig established the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research in 1971. His legacy includes this trust and a similar trust for the benefit of six institutions in the United States, including Stanford, that he considered preeminent in the field of cancer research.

Ludwig was born in 1897 and left school in the eighth grade to work in the shipping business. He went on to pioneer the development of today's supertankers and ship-financing techniques. He owned and operated more than 60 ocean-going vessels at the height of his career. His fund was established at his death in 1992.