Department of Medicine
Faculty Profiles by Division

Division of Renal-Electrolyte

Faculty Profiles

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photo Ora A. Weisz, PhD

Professor of Medicine

Professor of Cell Biology

Vice Chair of Faculty Development, Dept. of Medicine

Associate Dean for Faculty Development, School of Medicine

Assistant Vice Chancellor for Faculty Excellence, Health Sciences


Phone: 412-383-8891

Office: S978.1 Scaife Hall
3550 Terrace Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
Phone: 412-383-8891
Administrative Assistant:
Linda Riner
Phone: 412-648-2563
Education and Training
B.S.,, Yale University, 1984
Ph.D., Johns Hopkins Medical School, 1990
Postdoctoral Fellow, Johns Hopkins Medical School, 1995
Research Interest
Research in the Weisz lab focuses broadly on understanding how membrane traffic in proximal tubule cells responds to physiologic cues to maintain kidney function. Her team is unraveling the mechanisms by which newly synthesized proteins are sorted and delivered to the appropriate plasma membrane domains of differentiated kidney cells. Additionally, she has been generating new in vitro and ex vivo systems, including disease models, with which to unravel how proximal tubule cells in the kidney alter their endocytic and ion transport capacity in response to changes in tubular flow and the accompanying fluid shear stress. Her studies have direct implications for the understanding and treatment of genetic and other disorders that result in tubular proteinuria and eventually lead to kidney failure, including Lowe syndrome and sickle cell disease.
For my complete bibliography, Click Here.
Selected Publications:
Youker RT, Bruns JR, Costa SA, Rbaibi Y, Lanni F, Kashlan OB, Teng H, Weisz OA. Multiple motifs regulate apical sorting of p75 via a mechanism that involves dimerization and higher-order oligomerization. Mol. Biol. Cell. 2013; 24: 1996.
Szalinski CM, Guerriero CJ, Ruiz WB, Docter BE, Rbaibi Y, Pastor-Soler NM, Apodaca G, Puthenveedu M, Weisz OA. PIP5KIß selectively modulates apical endocytosis in polarized renal epithelial cells. Plos One. 2012; 8: e53790.
Mo D, Ihrke G, Costa SA, Brilli L, Labilloy A, Halfter W, Ciancolo Cosentino C, Hukriede NA, Weisz OA. Apical targeting and endocytosis of the sialomucin endolyn are essential for establishment of zebrafish pronephric kidney function. J Cell Sci. 2012; 125: 5546.
Rbaibi Y, Cui S, Mo D, Carattino M, Rohatgi R, Satlin LM, Szalinski CM, Swanhart LM, Folsch H et al. OCRL1 modulates cilia length in renal epithelial cells. Traffic. 2012; 13: 1295.
Mattila PE, Youker RT, Mo D, Bruns JR, Cresawn KO, Hughey RP, Ihrke G, Weisz OA. Multiple biosynthetic trafficking routes for apically secreted proteins in MDCK cells. Traffic. 2012; 13: 433.
Weisz, O. A., Rodriguez-Boulan, E. Apical trafficking in epithelial cells: signals, clusters and motors. J. Cell Sci. 2009; 122: 4253-4266.
Miedel, M.T., Rbaibi, Y., Guerriero, C.J., Colletti, G., Weixel, K.M., Weisz, O.A., Kiselyov, K. Membrane traffic and turnover in TRP-ML1 deficient cells: A revised model for Mucolipidosis Type IV pathogenesis. J. Exp. Med. 2008; 205: 1477-1490.
Guerriero, C.J., Lai, Y., Weisz, O.A. Differential sorting and Golgi export requirements for raft-associated and raft-independent apical proteins along the biosynthetic pathway. J. Biol. Chem. 2008; 283: 18040-18047.
Cresawn, K.O., Potter, B.A., Oztan, A., Guerriero, C.J., Ihrke, G., Goldenring, J.R., Apodaca, G., Weisz, O.A. Differential involvement of endocytic compartments in the biosynthetic traffic of apical proteins. EMBO J. 2007; 26: 3737-3748.
Sponsored Research/Activities
Title: Integrated Perfusion and Confocal Imaging System
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding Agency: National Institute of Health
Grant Number: S10 OD021627
Start Year: 2016
End Year: 2017
Title: Flow-Stimulated Endocytosis in the Proximal Tubule
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding Agency: National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive, & Kidney Disease
Grant Number: R01 DK101484
Start Year: 2014
End Year: 2018
Title: Apical Protein Sorting in Renal Epithelial Cells
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding Agency: National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive, & Kidney Disease
Grant Number: R01 DK100357
Start Year: 2014
End Year: 2018
Title: Role of OCRL1 in Flow Sensing by Proximal Tubule Cells
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding Agency: Lowe Syndrome Assoc. Inc.
Start Year: 2014
End Year: 2015
Title: Pittsburgh Center for Kidney Research - Core A
Role: Co-Investigator
Funding Agency: National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive, & Kidney Disease
Grant Number: P30 DK079307
Start Year: 2013
End Year: 2018
Notable Achievements
President, The Johns Hopkins Postdoctoral Associatoion, 1994-1995
Member at large, School of Medicine Executive Committee, 2008-2011
Editorial Board, Physiological Reviews, 2009-
Academy of Master Educators, 2009-
Fellow, Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine, 2010-2011
Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars, 2014
Distinguished Mentor Award, School of Medicine, 2014
Board of Scientific Counselors, NIH NHLBI, 2014-
University of Pittsburgh Postdoctoral Association Advocate Award, 2015
Council, American Society of Cell Biology, 2016-