Ora A. Weisz, PhD, FAPS, FASCB

  • Professor of Medicine, Cell Biology, and Clinical and Translational Science
  • Vice Chair of Faculty Development, Department of Medicine
  • Associate Dean for Faculty Development, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
  • Assistant Vice Chancellor for Faculty Excellence, University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

Ora A. Weisz, PhD, is a tenured Professor in the Departments of Medicine, Cell Biology, and Clinical and Translational Science, and Associate Director of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Pittsburgh Center for Kidney Research. She also serves as Vice Chair of Faculty Development in the Department of Medicine, Associate Dean for Faculty Development in the School of Medicine, and Assistant Vice Chancellor for Faculty Excellence in the Schools of the Health Sciences. Her research program seeks to understand how genetic disorders and other diseases impact the development and function of the kidney proximal tubule. Weisz is a member of the Academy of Master Educators, has served in numerous leadership roles in graduate education, and is the recipient of the Distinguished Mentor Award in the School of Medicine and the University of Pittsburgh Postdoctoral Association Advocate Award. She is an elected member of the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars and a fellow of the American Physiological Society and the American Society of Cell Biology. Weisz has participated on numerous NIH study sections as a regular and ad hoc member and serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, Traffic, and the American Journal of Physiology- Cell Physiology and -Renal Physiology. She recently completed terms as an elected Council member for the American Society of Cell Biology and on the Board of Scientific Counselors for the NIH National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Currently she serves as on the American Physiological Society Publications Committee. In her administrative roles, Weisz directs orientation and mentoring programs for new tenure stream faculty members in the Health Sciences, promotes initiatives to recruit, promote, and retain a diverse faculty, and oversees the School of Medicine Faculty Advancement Awards, which provide competitive funding for faculty investigators challenged by significant extraprofessional responsibilities. 

Professional and Scientific Society Memberships

  • Yale Science and Engineering Association, 1984-1988
  • Sigma Xi, 1984-Present
  • American Society for Cell Biology, 1990-Present
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1995-Present
  • Association for Women in Science, 1997-2005
  • American Society of Nephrology, 2000-Present
  • American Physiological Society, 2004-Present
  • National Kidney Foundation, 2007-2011

Education & Training

  • BS, Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry/History, Yale University, 1984
  • PhD, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 1990
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 1990-1992
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 1992-1995

Selected Publications

Eshbach ML, Kaur A, Rbaibi Y, Tejero J, and Weisz OA (2017) Hemoglobin inhibits albumin uptake by proximal tubule cells: implications for sickle cell disease. Am J Physiol- Cell Physiol. 312:C733-C740. (featured as “Image of the Week” for AJP-Cell Physiology Social Media; highlighted in APSselect) PMID: 28615248; PMCID: PMC5494590.

Eshbach ML, Sethi R, Avula R, Lamb J, Hollingshead DJ, Finegold DN, Locker J, Chandran UR, and Weisz OA (2017) The transcriptome of the Didelphis virginiana opossum kidney OK proximal tubule cell line. Am J Physiol- Renal Physiol. 313:F585-F595. PMID: 28356267; PMCID: PMC5494590.

Long KR, Shipman KE, Rbaibi Y, Menshikova E, Ritov VB, Eshbach ML, Jiang Y, Jackson EK, Baty CJ, and Weisz OA (2017) Proximal tubule apical endocytosis is modulated by fluid shear stress via an mTOR-dependent pathway. Mol Biol Cell. 28:2508-2517. (highlighted by the Faculty of 1000). PMID: 28720662; PMCID: PMC5597323.

Bhattacharyya S, Jean-Alphonse F, Raghavan V, Vilardaga J-P, Carattino MD, and Weisz OA (2017) Cdc42 couples fluid shear stress to apical endocytosis in proximal tubule cells. Physiol Rep. 2017 Oct;5(19):e13460. doi: 10.14814/phy2.13460. PMID: 29038362; PMCID: PMC5641940.

Tomich AD, Klontz EH, Deredge D, Barnard JP, McElheny CL, Eshbach ML, Weisz OA, Patrick Wintrode P, Doi Y, Sundberg EJ and Sluis-Cremer N (2019) Small molecule inhibitor of FosA expands fosfomycin activity to multidrug-resistant Gram-negative pathogens. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. 63:e01524-18. doi: 10.1128/AAC.01524-18. PMID: 30642934

Ren Q, Gliozzi ML, Rittenhouse NL, Edmunds LR, Rbaibi Y, Locker JD, Poholek AC, Jurczak MJ, Baty CJ, and Weisz OA (2019) Shear stress and oxygen availability drive differential changes in OK proximal tubule cell metabolism and endocytosis. Traffic. 20:448-459. doi: 10.1111/tra.12648. PMCID: PMC7055529.

Gliozzi ML, Rbaibi Y, Long KR, Vitturi DA, and Weisz OA (2019) Hemoglobin alters vitamin carrier uptake and vitamin D metabolism in proximal tubule cells: implications for sickle cell disease. Am J Physiol- Cell Physiol. 317:C993-C1000. doi: 10.1152/ajpcell.00287.2019. PMID: 31509446; PMCID: PMC6879883.

Gliozzi ML, Espiritu E, Shipman KE, Rbaibi Y, Long KR, Roy N, Duncan AW, Lazzara MJ, Hukriede NA, Baty CJ, and Weisz OA(2020) Effects of proximal tubule shortening on protein excretion in a Lowe Syndrome model. J Am Soc Nephrol. 31:67-83. doi: https://doi.org/10.1681/ASN.2019020125.

Long KR, Rbaibi Y, Gliozzi ML, and Weisz OA (2020) Differential kidney proximal tubule cell responses to protein overload by albumin and its ligands. Am J Physiol- Renal Physiol. 318:F851–F859. doi:10.1152/ajprenal.00490.2019. PMID: 32068462

Ren Q, Weyer K, Rbaibi Y, Long KR, Tan RJ, Nielsen R, Christensen EI, Baty CJ, Kashlan OB, and Weisz OA (2020) Distinct functions of megalin and cubilin receptors in recovery of normal and nephrotic levels of filtered albumin. Am J Physiol- Renal Physiol.318:F1284-1294. doi: 10.1152/ajprenal.00030.2020. PMID: 32200668

Park HJ, Fan Z, Bai Y, Ren Q, Rbaibi Y, Long KR, Gliozzi ML, Rittenhouse N, Locker JD, Poholek AC, and Weisz OA. Transcriptional programs driving shear stress-induced differentiation of kidney proximal tubule cells in culture. Frontiers in Physiol. 11:587358. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2020.587358.

Full Publication List via NIH PubMed »

Research Grants

NIH P30DK079307, Pittsburgh Center for Kidney Research (Associate Director, 5% effort, PI: T. Kleyman), 2017-2023, $2,967,970.

NIH R01DK118726, Proximal tubule endocytosis in normal and nephrotic kidneys (PI, 30% effort), 2019-2023, $1,817,715.

NIH R01DK125049, Endocytic pathway dysfunction in Dent disease (PI, 35% effort), 2020-2025, $2,342,752.