ESP Biography

BOB WEINBERG, Biomedical Scientist from medicine to biotechnolog

Major: Biology B.S. 1976

College/Employer: M.I.T.

Year of Graduation: 1976

Picture of Bob Weinberg

Brief Biographical Sketch:

I first came to MIT in 1971 to study biology. After getting my B.S. degree, I spent several years in biochemical and immunological research.

I then attended an osteopathic medical school, and did postgraduate training in Pathology, where I studied disease processes by performing autopsies on the deceased and also examined tissues from their organs under the microscope.

After performing dozens of autopsies and examining thousands of tissue specimens, I began to miss live patients who could speak. Then I did some training in Internal Medicine, and proceeded to spend about 16 years in clinical medicine treating patients in clinics and the Emergency Room.

Many breakthroughs were occurring in medicine, genetics, cell biology and molecular biology, and I wanted to become involved with the design and engineering of medical devices to advance medical care and diagnosis.

So I attended the New England School of Law, where I concentrated in Intellectual Property and Patent Law. I then spent some time reviewing PCT applications for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office as a Biotechnology Specialist.

I have now returned to the research bench at MIT, where I am investigating the beneficial health effects of phytochemical polyphenol compounds in the Biomaterials Science and Engineering Lab.

While doing this research, we have found some chemical compounds which hold great promise for the treatment and prevention of Alzheimer's disease. I am currently exploring the uses of specific phenolic compounds in preventing the beta-sheet folding and aggregation of beta-amyloid

Past Classes

  (Clicking a class title will bring you to the course's section of the corresponding course catalog)

E7276: Biomedical engineering of Neurobiological Prostheses - The artificial eye, ear and hand/leg in HSSP Summer 2013 (Jul. 07, 2013)
Enormous strides have been made in the past 2 decades on the biomedical engineering of prostheses to replace human organs which are diseased or injured from trauma. We will explore some of the advancements and progress in artificial limbs for amputees, artificial eyes for the blind, and artificial ears for the deaf. The basic engineering principles will be shown and some demonstrated with working models.

S7277: Introduction to Modern Physics: Relativity and Quantum Mechanics in HSSP Summer 2013 (Jul. 07, 2013)
We will explore the foundations of Modern Physics beginning with an exploration of Einstein's Special Relativity, continuing onward with General Relativity, and then an introductory exploration of Quantum Mechanics.

S6023: Biotechnology in the 21st Century in HSSP Summer 2012 (Jul. 08, 2012)
Interested in learning more about the basic techniques of modern biotechnology such as DNA-RNA manipulations, DNA recombination, use of plasmids and viruses as vectors to introduce xenogenic DNA into microbial species? From the basics of biotechnology, we will explore the future potential in medicine and bioengineering. Much of the course will involve molecular biology and molecular genetics, but we will also explore some topics in modern bioengineering such as artificial organs, and improved sensorial prostheses such as artificial hearing and vision devices.

S5334: The Genetics Revolution facilitated by Biotechnology in Splash! 2011 (Nov. 19 - 20, 2011)
Our knowledge of genetics has exploded over the past couple of decades due to innovations in DNA technology and enzyme manipulation. The new genetics allows scientists to modify the genes of animals, plants and man. Gene therapy is being tested - to cure disease by curing the "bad" gene. New varieties of animals and plants are being made in the laboratory. Some of these new organisms are patented for ownership. The visions of Aldous Huxley in "Brave New World" will shortly be upon us. We will delve into the DNA technology in survey, and then examine some of the ethical and legal aspects of genetic manipulation.

C3907: Artificial Intelligence: When will THEY be smarter than us? in Splash! 2010 (Nov. 20 - 21, 2010)
From its early beginnings a half century ago, giant leaps have been made in the field of artificial intelligence (AI). Early programs often mimicked the thought processes of their programmer. Whether it was a computer playing chess against a person, a computer holding a conversation with a person via the CRT screen, or a program attempting to diagnose psychological problems, it was usually fairly easy to figure out that a computer was at work. Now Expert Systems can solve complex engineering and scientific problems much faster than the average engineer or scientist. Robotics has made great advances in the manufacturing field. Virtual Reality has allowed the players to enter exotic and faraway places. And whether talking about surrogate robots or robotic androids, we all are familiar with the idea of machine becoming friend and ally to man, as well as companion and advisor. This course will make a survey of AI over the past century, and take a glimpse at where it is going. The inventor Ray Kurzweil and the computer whiz Mitch Kapoor made a $20 million dollar bet whether robotic intelligence will surpass human intelligence in the next 20 years. Who will win?