Professor Anthony Weiss is a world-leader in tropoelastin biomaterials. He work is focused on the elasticity of the human body and his laboratory at the University of Sydney is a premier research centre for elastin-based biomaterials.
Elastin is the body’s natural elastic material. Our bodies make precise copies of tropoelastin, the same natural component of elastin that is found in a newborn’s skin and blood vessels. Professor Weiss says the body uses this precise replica of tropoelastin to make human elastic materials that can be used to augment and repair human tissues.
“Our tissues need to be elastic to support life. Blood vessels need to respond elastically to every heartbeat for over two billion heartbeats in a lifetime. Our skin needs to be elastic to allow us to flex and bend. The lung expands and contracts with every breath. This is all due to elastin.”
Professor Weiss is an inventor with eighteen awarded international patents. His key breakthroughs include the ability to make replacement body parts, such as replacement blood vessels and skin repair with 21st century naturally elastic biomaterials.
A Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biotechnology, Weiss was the Chair of SMB Proteomics and Biotechnology at the University of Sydney. His national appointments include a position on the Australian Biotechnology Advisory Council, National Enabling Technology Strategy Advisory Council, and Biological Sciences and Biotechnology, Australian Research Council College of Experts where he was national Chair.
Anthony Weiss on the new centre:
“The new centre is very interested in how we can treat the diseases that often arise in people with diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease. Replacing blood vessels, repairing the heart and fixing damaged skin in patients.
“The opportunities are incredible. Our bodies assemble tropoelastin in different ways to help make diverse elastic tissues – and we have cracked the code. That means we can make tubes, sheet, sponges and other elastic biomaterials to help repair parts of our body that are affected through trauma, disease and age.
“The new centre has the incredible potential to serve as an engine to drive the world’s best fundamental and applied research. If we ‘do it right’, sparks fly at the interface between research fields, where the smartest ideas transcend traditional boundaries and allow us to make the most exciting discoveries.
“The centre has the extraordinary potential to have this amazing blend of bright people coupled with a can-do approach.
“This is not only a rare opportunity for the University of Sydney and Australia, it’s a gift globally: the centre has the opportunity to become a world-class research location that works on very important health issues. And it draws, as it should, from the well of outstanding basic research.“