Robin Weiss

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Robert Anthony "Robin" Weiss (born 20 February 1940[1]) is a British molecular biologist,[2] Professor of Viral Oncology at University College London[3] and a member of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics.[4]


His research has focussed on retroviruses, initially as a means of understanding T-cell leukemia and other cancers, which may be caused by retroviruses. A break-through discovery in 1971 was that the retroviral genome in chickens follows the rules of Mendelian inheritance.[5] Later his work moved on to HIV, also a retrovirus, and made several new important discoveries, most notably identifying CD4 on lymphocytes as the binding receptor for HIV.[5]


Before becoming professor at UCL, Weiss was Director at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, from 1980 until 1989, after which he continued as Director of Research for a further nine years.[6]

Until 2005, Weiss was Editor-in-Chief of the British Journal of Cancer. His successor, A. L. Harris, states that Weiss showed "clear vision in developing the British Journal of Cancer into [a] multidisciplinary journal with a focus on research that aims to deliver benefits to cancer patients."[7]

Awards and recognition[edit]

In 1977, Weiss was elected a member of the European Molecular Biology Organization.[8] He became a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1997, and in 1999 he became an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians.[8]

In November 2001, the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences awarded Weiss the M. W. Beijerinck Prize for Virology, noting especially his work on retroviruses.[9] In the same year, he delivered the Leeuwenhoek Lecture.[10]

In 2007, Imperial College London awarded Weiss the Ernst Chain Prize, noting that he "has pioneered our understanding of HIV and AIDS, particularly on the identification of CD4 as the HIV receptor and on the analysis of neutralizing antibodies to the virus" [11]

Weiss was elected as Honorary Member of the Microbiology Society in 2009.[12] He is a member of the European Academy of Microbiology (EAM).[13] He was elected to the American Philosophical Society in 2018.[14]


  1. ^ "Birthdays", The Guardian, p. 39, 20 Feb 2014
  2. ^ Lee, H (2000). The Medical Millennium: 1000 Pioneers Who Have Contributed to the Development of Medicine Over the Last 1000 Years. Informa Health Care. pp. 107. ISBN 978-1-85070-466-9.
  3. ^ "Division of Infection & Immunity: Robin A. Weiss". University College London. Archived from the original on 2007-08-27.
  4. ^ "Nuffield Council on Bioethics, Council Members". Retrieved April 21, 2017.
  5. ^ a b Arlene Judith Klotzko. "Robin Weiss: Relentless retrovirus researcher". The Scientist 2002, 16(21):60.
  6. ^ "Leaving a legacy to the ICR". The Institute of Cancer Research.
  7. ^ Harris, A. L. (2005). "Editorial". British Journal of Cancer. 92 (1): 1–2. doi:10.1038/sj.bjc.6602356. PMC 2361724.
  8. ^ a b "Biodata: Dr Robin Weiss". National University of Singapore. Archived from the original on 2009-01-20.
  9. ^ "Beijerinck Prize for Virology awarded to Robin Weiss". Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. November 2001. Archived from the original on 2008-09-06.
  10. ^ "Recent Leeuwenhoek Lectures". The Royal Society. Retrieved March 9, 2011.
  11. ^ "Blocking the docking of HIV". Imperial College London.
  12. ^ "Honorary Membership". Microbiology Society.
  13. ^ "Members of the European Academy of Microbiology (EAM)".
  14. ^ "Election of New Members at the 2018 Spring Meeting | American Philosophical Society".