Thomas Weimbs, an Associate Professor in the Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology Department since 2007, has a lab at UCSB focuses on uncovering the underlying mechanisms of Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease (ADPKD), a common genetic disease for which a cure still remains elusive. He is a leading expert in biomedical research.

Weimbs’s says that his passion for research stems from the exhilaration he experiences from discovering something new.

“I like to do something that has never been done before and discover something that has been unknown,” said Weimbs. “Since all the continents on Earth have already been discovered and since I am not the perfect person for space flight, I am focusing on biomedical research because there are still many open questions. Many discoveries are yet to be made.”

His time here at UCSB has been fruitful, and a number of publications in top tier journals have come from his lab in the past few years. Weimbs hopes that he will continue to experience great success in the years to come.

“We have already discovered numerous mechanisms that are involved in the pathogenesis of polycystic kidney disease, and we are still working on additional ones,” Weimbs said, “The emerging picture is getting ever more complicated and we hope to be able to pinpoint exactly which pathway is critical for explaining the disease process. Knowing this would help to devise a treatment strategy to attack the root of the problem.”

Although UCSB lacks a medical school, Weimbs is convinced that the biomedical research coming out of UCSB is among the best in the world. Along with other members of the MCDB, Physics and Chemistry departments, Weimbs works hard to keep those expectations high.

“Despite the fact that UCSB has no medical school there is very significant biomedical research being conducted here,” said Weimbs. “Much of this research is centered in the MCDB Department, but there are also numerous other outstanding labs in many other disciplines. People in the local community are often surprised to hear that there is a strong biomedical research effort at UCSB and we need to do a better job of spreading the word.”

Weimbs is also proud of the passion for science that UCSB undergraduates have shown. He is confident that excellent research will follow as long as students continue to work hard.

“We have an enthusiastic crowd of undergrads in the biology disciplines that are eager to volunteer on research projects in the labs,” said Weimbs. “Many of them can be productive members of our team and go on to become successful scientists.”