Katherine N. Weilbaecher, MD was installed as the Oliver M. Langenberg distinguished Professor of the Science and Practice of Medicine on Wednesday, November 8, 2017 at the Eric P. Newman Education Center.
Dr. Weilbaecher is a Professor of Medicine and of Cell Biology and Physiology and of Pathology and Immunology at Washington University School of Medicine in the Division of Oncology.
Dr. Weilbaecher received her BA degree in Biology from Harvard-Radcliffe College, and her MD degree from Stanford School of Medicine, where she worked in the laboratories of Drs. Irving Weissman
and Karl Blume, to characterize and isolate human hematopoietic stem cells. She then completed her residency training in Internal Medicine at Stanford University Hospital and did her clinical fellowship training in Medical Oncology at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute at the Harvard Medical School, where she did a post-doctoral research fellowship with Dr. David Fisher, to understand the role of Microphthalmia Transcription Factor in osteoclast development. She joined the faculty at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis in 2000 as an Assistant Professor.
Dr. Weilbaecher is a practicing breast cancer medical oncologist and her research focuses on the molecular mechanisms of tumor cell metastasis to bone, through studying how the bone microenvironment can regulate tumor cell fate in bone (Soil) and how tumor cells (Seeds) can manipulate normal bone residing cells. Her lab has focused on molecular regulators of osteoclasts, osteoblasts and tumor cells such as 1) integrin beta 3 pathway genes 2) the bone “homing” molecules, CXCR4 and G-CSF and 3) HTLV1 viral oncogenes Tax and HBZ. She has developed several clinical trials to treat and/or prevent breast cancer bone metastasis that have directly translated from her laboratory.
Dr. Weilbaecher was elected to the American Society for Clinical Research and the American Association of Physicians, is a founding board member of the Cancer and Bone Society, and is the co-leader of the Breast Cancer Research program at the Siteman Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Dr. Weilbaecher takes great joy in working with patients and with students, residents, clinical fellows, and post-doctoral scientists. She was awarded the 2013 WUSM Academic Women’s Network Faculty Mentor award. Dr. Weilbaecher has numerous productive and impactful collaborations with scientists and physicians at Washington University.
Finally, she is the proud parent of Julia (21), Ellie (19), and Erik (15).