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Scott T. Weiss, MD

Professor of Medicine
Harvard Medical School

Associate Physician
Brigham and Women's Hospital

Research Interests

The overall research goal for our group has been to find the environmental and genetic causes for and the natural history of asthma and chronic obstructive lung disease (COLD). It is well known that only a small number of cigarette smokers go on to develop chronic airflow obstruction. What remains unclear are the genetic, and environmental characteristics that operate throughout the life cycle to produce respiratory symptoms, respiratory morbidity, and ultimately mortality from these disorders. Part of the tactic taken by our research group has been to develop a series of overlapping longitudinal follow-up studies that include cohorts of individuals from birth until old age. Active research is ongoing, delving into passive smoking, allergen exposure, respiratory illness, nutrition, atopy, airways responsiveness, parasite infection, occupation, and air pollution and their effects on respiratory symptoms, pulmonary function, and mortality. In addition to these traditional epidemiologic projects, an innovative program in asthma and COLD genetics has also been developed. Several fine mapping projects are ongoing. Finally, the health policy implications of chronic respiratory disorders are also a research interest of the laboratory, specifically evaluation of the National Asthma Education Guidelines. Our research is based at the Channing Laboratory and the Harvard School of Public Health and utilizes over 6 different populations of research subjects, ranging in size from 500 to 10,000. Collaborators range from China to The Netherlands and include epidemiologists, geneticists, physicians, statisticians, and physiologists.

Selected Publications

Silverman EK, Chapman HA, Drazen JM, Weiss ST, Rosner BA, Campbell EJ,O'Donnell W, Reilly JJ, Ginns L, Mentzer S, Wain J, Speizer FE. Genetic epidemiology of severe, early-onset COPD: risk to relatives for airflow obstruction and chronic bronchitis. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 1998 Jun;157(6 Pt 1):1770-8. [abstract]

Burchard EG, Silverman EK, Rosenwasser, LJ, Borish, L, Yandava C, Pillari A, Weiss ST, Hasday J, Lilly CM, Ford JG, Drazen JM. Association between a sequence variant in the IL-4 gene promoter and FEV1 in asthma. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 1999 Sep;160(3):919-22. [abstract]

Camargo Jr CA, Weiss ST, Zhang S, Willett WC, Speizer FE. Prospective study of body mass index, weight change, and risk of adult-onset asthma in women. Arch Intern Med. 1999 Nov 22;159(21):2582-8. [abstract]

Jansen DF, Rijcken B, Schouten JP, Kraan J, Weiss ST, Timens W, Postma DS. The relationship of skin test positivity, high serum total IgE levels, and peripheral blood eosinophilia with symptomatic and asymptomatic hyperresponsiveness. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 1999 Mar;159(3):924-31. [abstract]

Finn PW, Boudreau JO, He H, Wang Y, Chapman MD, Carey V, Burge HA, Weiss ST, Perkins DL, Gold DR. Children at risk for asthma: home allergen levels, lymphocyte proliferation, and wheeze. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2000 May;105(5):933-42. [abstract]

Hospers JJ, Schouten JP, Weiss ST, Postma DS, Rijcken B. Eosinophilia is associated with increased all-cause mortality after a follow-up of 30 years in a general population sample. Epidemiology. 2000 May;11(3):261-8. [abstract]

Weiss ST, Van Natta, M, Zeiger, RS. Childhood Asthma Management Program (CAMP) Research Group. Relationship between increased airway responsiveness and asthma severity among children in the childhood asthma management program (CAMP). Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2000 Jul;162(1):50-6. [abstract]

Silverman EK, Weiss ST, Drazen JM, Chapman HA, Carey V, Campbell EJ, Denish P, Silverman RA, Celedon J, Reilly JJ, Ginns L, Speizer FE. Gender differences in severe, early-onset chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2000 Dec;162(6):2152-8. [abstract]