Division of Hematology & Thromboembolism

Jeffrey Weitz

M.D. F.R.C.P.(C), F.A.C.P

Professor, Division of Hematology and Thromboembolism, Department of Medicine

Executive Director, Thrombosis & Atherosclerosis Research Institute

 

 

Biography

Dr. Weitz is a Professor of Medicine and Biochemistry at McMaster University and Director of the Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre. Board certified in Internal Medicine, Hematology and Medical Oncology, Dr. Weitz now focuses his clinical work in the area of thrombosis. He is the recipient of a Career Investigator Award from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and holds an Endowed Chair in Cardiovascular Research at McMaster University, which is funded by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario. He also holds the Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Thrombosis. Dr. Weitz received the Medal in Medicine from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in 1991, the Distinguished Scientist Award from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario in 1999, and the Research Achievement Award from the Canadian Cardiovascular Society in 2006. He is a member of the American Federation of Medical Research, the American Society for Clinical Investigation, and the Association of American Physicians and gave the Davidson Lecture at the University of Edinburgh in 2000. Dr. Weitz directs a well-funded research laboratory that focuses on the biochemistry of blood coagulation and fibrinolysis as it applies to venous and arterial thrombosis. A former Vice-President of Research for the Heart and Stroke Foundation, member of the Board of Directors of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario, Chair of the Scientific Review Committee for the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, member of the Executive Council on Thrombosis of the American Heart Foundation, and Chair of the Council on Vascular Biology for the American Society of Hematology, Dr. Weitz has published over 250 peer-reviewed papers and 30 textbook chapters on thrombosis or fibrinolysis.

By focusing on the basic mechanisms by which anticoagulants (blood thinners) and thrombolytic agents (clot digesting drugs) work, Dr. Weitz has opened new avenues of investigation. His demonstration that thrombin bound to fibrin is resistant to inactivation by available anticoagulants stimulated the development of new drugs, some of which are already being used in clinical practice. Through other research, Dr. Weitz has provided an explanation for the puzzling clinical observation that the clot digesting drug, tissue-type plasminogen activator or t-PA, produces more bleeding than was originally anticipated. This work has paved the way for new drugs that may be safer than t-PA.

Dr. Weitz is involved in clinical trials examining optimal methods for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of clotting disorders. He also is an active participant in the education of medical students, residents, and postdoctoral fellows. In addition, he coordinates a graduate course in medical sciences and his laboratory is a fertile training ground for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in medical sciences and bioengineering.

Selected Publications

  1. Dougan H, Weitz JI, Stafford AR, Gillespie KD, Klement P, Hobbs JB, Lyster DM. Evaluation of DNA aptamers directed to thrombin as potential thrombus imaging agents. Nuclear Medicine and Biology 30(1):61-72, 2003.
  2. O’Donnell M, Weitz JI. Thromboprophylaxis in surgical patients. Canadian Journal of Surgery 46(2):129-135, 2003.
  3. Weitz JI. A novel approach to thrombin inhibition. Thrombosis Research 109 (Suppl. 1);S17-S22, 2003.
  4. Klement P, Carlsson S, Rak J, Liao P, Vlasin P, Stafford A, Johnston M, Weitz JI. The benefit-to-risk profile of melagatran is superior to that of hirudin in a rabbit arterial thrombosis prevention and bleeding model. Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis 1:587-594, 2003.
  5. Weitz JI. Heparan sulfate: Antithrombotic or not? Journal of Clinical Investigation (Editorial) 111(7):952-954, 2003.
  6. Bates SM, Kearon C, Crowther M, Linkins L, O’Donnell M, Douketis J, Lee AYY, Weitz JI, Johnston M, Ginsberg JS. A diagnostic strategy involving a quantitative latex D-dimer assay reliably excludes deep vein thrombosis. Annals of Internal Medicine 138(10):787-794, 2003.
  7. Weitz JI, Bates ER. Direct thrombin inhibitors in cardiac disease. Cardiovasc. Toxicol. 3(1):13-25, 2003.
  8. Pospisil CH, Stafford AR, Fredenburgh JC, Weitz JI. Evidence that both exosites on thrombin participate in its high affinity interaction with fibrin. Journal of Biological Chemistry 278(24):21584-21591, 2003.
  9. Paredes N, Wang A, Berry LR, Smith LJ, Stafford AR, Weitz JI, Chan AKC. Mechanisms responsible for catalysis of the inhibition of factor Xa or thrombin by antithrombin using a covalent antithrombin-heparin complex. Journal of Biological Chemistry 278(26):23398-23409, 2003.
  10. Weitz JI, Crowther MA. New anticoagulants: Current status and future potential. American Journal of Cardiovascular Drugs 3(3):201-209, 2003.