Dr. John T. Weber ’92 earned his Bachelor of Science degree majoring in Biology and Psychology from Eastern Michigan University in 1992 and a Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Montana in 1995. He subsequently received a doctorate degree in Pharmacology and Toxicology from the Medical College of Virginia in 1999. John then conducted a Postdoctoral Fellowship at Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands, from 2000-2003 and was an Assistant Professor at Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam from 2003-2006. He joined the School of Pharmacy at Memorial University of Newfoundland in November 2006. Currently, he is an Associate Professor and the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and Research in the School of Pharmacy.
John has conducted research within the field of neurotrauma for 20 years, primarily using cellular models of traumatic neuronal injury. He has also conducted research in the field of repetitive mild brain injury and the potential link to neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. His work contributes to the growing body of evidence on concussion injuries and their potential long-term implications. Currently, he is investigating agents that can protect the brain from traumatic insults and the aging process, particularly substances derived from natural products such as species of berries native to Newfoundland and Labrador.
In addition to his work in the trauma field, John’s laboratory group conducts research on the physiology of the cerebellum, a part of the brain controlling movement. This includes studying the effects of ethanol on the adolescent brain as well as studies in an ataxic mouse model (an animal which has a mutation causing a dysfunction in movement). He has published over 35 peer-review articles and book chapters related to his research, and has presented his findings at several national and international scientific conferences. He has mentored several graduate and undergraduate students in his laboratory, and currently teaches in the areas of neuropharmacology, drug abuse and addiction, cellular and molecular neuroscience, and diseases of the nervous system.
John was featured on the national news in the Netherlands for research he published on repeated mild brain injury and in the Erasmus University newspaper. He was also featured in local and university newspapers the past few years regarding his research into the protective effects of berries and was interviewed by a local TV station and Canadian Broadcasting Corporation about his research on berries, the long-term effects of alcohol, and the effect of hallucinogenic drugs. In addition, he has also been serving as an expert witness for criminal and civil court cases based on his expertise in neuropharmacology and the impairing effects of drugs for several years.
John has been a volunteer for Eastern Edge Gallery, a local non-profit artist-run center, for many years and is currently the chair of the Board of Directors for this organization. He is part of a group that raises funds in order to bring Syrian refugees to the St. John’s, Newfoundland area. John also initiated a scholarship fund for graduate students in the School of Pharmacy and financially contributed to start a travel fund so students can travel to scientific meetings and present their research.