Lynne C. Weaver


Scientist Emeritus

Why I Became a Scientist

I completed my training in veterinary medicine in the late 1960’s and soon realized that I wished to follow up a stimulating exposure to medical research that I had had as a student. I quickly became part of a team in a large (human) hospital studying the development of cardiovascular control reflexes in newborn piglets. This experience led me to further my research training and I entered a PhD program in Pharmacology. My research career always has addressed understanding and ameliorating medical problems, a focus now known as translational research. My training made it easy to ask questions in animal models that were transferable to human health.

Research Summary

I am now retired from active research in my own laboratory but continue to collaborate and consult with my Robarts colleagues Greg Dekaban and Arthur Brown.  For almost 25 years we have studied the early, damaging inflammatory response to spinal cord injury in rats, mice and humans, showing an extensive role for inflammation early after injury. We developed a treatment that blocks the entry of destructive cells into the injured spinal cord. It is an antibody against part of the integrin CD11d/CD18 that is key to white blood cell migration into and within injured tissues.  This novel anti-inflam­matory treatment improves neurological functions in rats and mice after SCI.  Extending this work to traumatic brain injury in rats and mice, we found that our treatment also greatly improved neurological outcomes after this injury. This protective effect after spinal cord or brain injury is due blockade of damaging oxidative processes. 

A key finding that has become the focus of our current work is the systemic inflammatory response to neurotrauma that damages the rest of the body, with particular impact on the lungs. This systemic inflammation causes hemorrhage in the lungs, destruction of alveoli and fluid accumulation. It is a major cause of death in the early days after severe trauma.  Our anti-CD11d antibody greatly prevents this lung injury.  We are continuing this line of investigation to see if the antibody also the protects lungs from the acute respiratory distress syndrome that can result from any serious trauma to the body, or after direct lung infections by viruses and bacteria or after insults like inhalation of smoke or other noxious substances. We now have a humanized anti-CD11d antibody that can be developed for clinical use. We are addressing questions that will guide us to the most likely lung condition in humans that could be relieved by treatment with our antibody.  One very timely condition is the SARs COV2 infection (COVID-19).  We are also seeking funding to complete the steps toward a Phase II Proof of Concept clinical trial in humans.

Research Questions

  • Our Robarts Team will undertake a study exploring the potential of the CD11d antibody to treat the lung inflammatory response in a hamster model of COVID-19 infection.
  • We have an ongoing collaboration that will test the effectiveness of anti-CD11d treatment to decrease the lung inflammation in a rat model of multi-system trauma.
  • We are developing a collaboration with a Canadian investigator who studies treatments in rodent models of various lung diseases. Our hypothesis is that our anti-CD11d treatment would greatly reduce the exacerbation of inflammation that can be triggered by acute insults in animal models of chronic lung disease.


  • Baccalaureate BS Michigan State University (1966)
  • Doctoral DVM Michigan State University (1968)
  • PhD Michigan State University (1975)


  • Internship in Veterinary Medicine, Animal Medical Center, New York, NY (1968-1969)
  • Research Associate, Michigan State University, Lansing, MI (1971-1973)


  • Phi Zeta (1968)
  • Phi Kappa Phi (1968)
  • NIH Postdoctoral Fellowship (1972-1975)
  • National Institutes of Health Research Career Development Award (1978-1983)
  • Michigan State University Distinguished Faculty Award (1986)
  • Barbara Turnbull Challenge Project for Spinal Cord Injury Research (2001)
  • Director, New Emerging Team in Spinal Cord Injury, (CIHR Award) (2003-2008)
  • FORE Visiting Scholar: The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis (2004-2005)


View all PubMed publications

Contact Info

Phone: 519-432-9435