Benjamin (Ben) Weaver is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmacology. He also holds appointments in the Department of Physiology, the Hamon Center for Regenerative Science and Medicine, and the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center. Ben received his B.S. in Biochemistry (2001) and M.S. in Biology (2003) from WSU. He then received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (2009) from KU Medical Center under the supervision of Dr. Glen Andrews where his work established developmental and post-transcriptional regulation of mammalian zinc transporters. For post-doctoral training, he studied with Dr. Min Han with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) at the University of Colorado Boulder. Using C. elegans, Ben discovered a non-apoptotic function for CED-3 caspase in regulating stemness. He went on to show the caspase worked with a UBR-type E3 ligase to target LIN-28 pluripotency factor for proteolytic degradation.

In 2018, Ben established the Weaver lab at UT Southwestern in the Department of Pharmacology as an Endowed Scholar where he holds the title of Virginia Murchison Linthicum Scholar in Medical Research.

The Weaver lab studies gene-environment interactions. We are especially interested in how these cellular responses impact development, stress responses, aging, stemness and innate immunity. Our lab is cross-disciplinary combining cell imaging, genetics, proteomics, metabolomics and biochemical analyses. We use an array of models including C. elegans, mammalian cell culture, and in vitro models.

Research Interest

  • Aging and Immunosenescence
  • Aging and Metabolism
  • Aging and Neuronal Integrity
  • Aging and Stemness
  • Aging and Stress Responses
  • Cell Signaling
  • CRISPR-Mediated Mutagenesis and Genomic-Scale Screens
  • Development and Stem Cells
  • Innate Immunity
  • Lysosomes and Autophagy
  • Metabolism and Metabolomics
  • Proteomics
  • Stress Responses


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Proteolytic activation of fatty acid synthase signals pan-stress resolution.
Wei H, Weaver YM, Yang C, Zhang Y, Hu G, Karner CM, Sieber M, DeBerardinis RJ, Weaver BP, Nat Metab 2024 Jan 6 1 113-126
Modulating p38 MAPK signaling by proteostasis mechanisms supports tissue integrity during growth and aging.
Yuan W, Weaver YM, Earnest S, Taylor CA, Cobb MH, Weaver BP, Nat Commun 2023 Jul 14 1 4543
Non-Canonical Caspase Activity Antagonizes p38 MAPK Stress-Priming Function to Support Development.
Weaver BP, Weaver YM, Omi S, Yuan W, Ewbank JJ, Han M, Dev Cell 2020 05 53 3 358-369.e6
Tag team: Roles of miRNAs and Proteolytic Regulators in Ensuring Robust Gene Expression Dynamics.
Weaver BP, Han M Trends Genet. 2018 01 34 1 21-29
Coupled Caspase and N-End Rule Ligase Activities Allow Recognition and Degradation of Pluripotency Factor LIN-28 during Non-Apoptotic Development.
Weaver BP, Weaver YM, Mitani S, Han M Dev. Cell 2017 06 41 6 665-673.e6
Time to move the fat.
Weaver BP, Sewell AK, Han M Genes Dev. 2016 07 30 13 1481-2
CED-3 caspase acts with miRNAs to regulate non-apoptotic gene expression dynamics for robust development in C. elegans.
Weaver BP, Zabinsky R, Weaver YM, Lee ES, Xue D, Han M Elife 2014 Dec 3 e04265
Regulation of zinc-responsive Slc39a5 (Zip5) translation is mediated by conserved elements in the 3'-untranslated region.
Weaver BP, Andrews GK Biometals 2012 Apr 25 2 319-35
Zip4 (Slc39a4) expression is activated in hepatocellular carcinomas and functions to repress apoptosis, enhance cell cycle and increase migration.
Weaver BP, Zhang Y, Hiscox S, Guo GL, Apte U, Taylor KM, Sheline CT, Wang L, Andrews GK PLoS ONE 2010 Oct 5 10
The genetics of essential metal homeostasis during development.
Kambe T, Weaver BP, Andrews GK Genesis 2008 Apr 46 4 214-28

Honors & Awards

  • Endowed Scholar, UT Southwestern Medical Center
  • American Cancer Society Post-Doctoral Fellowship, CU Boulder
  • Joe R. Kimmel Award for Excellence in Biomedical Research, KU Medical Center

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • American Association for the Advancement of Science (2001)
  • American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (2018)
  • Associate Member, Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center, UT Southwestern Medical Center (2018)
  • Genetics Society of America (2016)
  • Hamon Center for Regenerative Science and Medicine (2022)