Life Science and Bioengineering Center 4022
+1 (508) 8315000 x5196
Affiliated Department or Office
BS Biology Marquette University 1965
PhD Botany & Plant Pathology Michigan State University 1974

Prof. Weathers is an internationally recognized expert on Artemisia annua and artemisinin, having worked with the plant and its phytochemicals including the antimalarial drug, artemisinin, for >25 years. She is a Fellow of AAAS and SIVB, won many awards, given many national and international presentations, reviews manuscripts for many journals and proposals for many national and international funding agencies. She is an Associate Editor for multiple journals. Her lab was the first to genetically transform A. annua. Of her > 130 peer-reviewed papers, about a third focus on bioreactors and another third on artemisinin or A. annua and now also including A. afra. She also has 3 patents (2 more pending). As of January 2022, her Google H index was 46 with nearly 6,500 citations and an i10 index of 96. She spearheaded the edible A. annua concept for treating malaria and other diseases and has led research to date on the project to establish proof-of-concept. She has supervised >20 MS and 16 PhD students and more than 80 undergraduate projects with about half of all theses and projects related to artemisinin/Artemisia. For >30 yrs she has managed a multidisciplinary research lab that may consist of a mix of visiting scientists, postdocs, graduate and undergraduate students in engineering, biology, and biochemistry. She has hosted Fulbright Fellows and visiting international students in her lab. Besides teaching 2-4 courses a year, she has obtained significant funding from NIH, NSF, NASA, USDA, and the private sector for her research and students. She has also consulted to the Biotechnology Industry since the mid-1980s. 

Her administrative and service experience spans academia, international activities and Boards, and the private sector. She has run two small businesses and consulted to the Biotechnology Industry. As one of several examples, she was Chair of the CFK International Board of Directors where she helped CFK establish itself as a recognized NGO in Uganda, win scholarships from Tullow Oil (Ireland) for Makerere University students, and advised, helped organize and spoke at the November 2012 International CFK meeting in Monyonyo, Uganda. She stepped down from Chair in 2012 to better pursue the edible Artemisia project. She has traveled to Africa four times, twice to Uganda. In academia during an extended sabbatical leave (2006-08) as Professor of Metabolic Engineering she was named the inaugural Judd Hill Chair of Agricultural Biotechnology at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, AR. At ASU she was Director of their new Molecular Bioscience Ph.D. program, which she helped to initiate, organize, and run; she also helped recruit PhD students. As a member of the Society for In Vitro Biology (SIVB) she served on many committees and Chaired Student Awards since 2000. She served on the SIVB Board of Directors for six years having been thrice reelected as Public Policy Chair. As part of her Public Policy interests, she worked on a number of political campaigns, lobbied Congress to improve vote security, organized volunteers for voter outreach (canvassing and phoning) and organized local poll checking on Election Day. 

Professional Highlights & Honors
Distinguished Service Award, 2021
Society for In Vitro Biology
Faculty Champion nomination, 2021
WPI Student Athletic Advisory Committee
Journal Highlight: Wang Y., Dominko T., Weathers P..J., Using Decellularized Grafted Leaves as Tissue Engineering Scaffolds for Mannalian Cells. In Vitro Cell and Developomental Biology Plant 56: 765-774, 2021
In Vitro Report
Kalenian Award in Entrepreneurship at WPI, 2019
Distinguished Service Award, 2019
Society for In Vitro Biology
Nominated for WPI Trustees Outstanding Academic Advisor, 2019
Official recognition for "developing a plant-based therapy for drug-resistant malaria", 2017
Massachusetts House of Representatives
Kalenian Award in Entrepreneurship, 2015
Fellow, AAAS, 2014
American Association of the Advancement of Science
Distinguished Service Award, 2014
Society for In Vitro Biology
Distinguished Service Award, 2012
Society for In Vitro Biology
Outstanding Senior Faculty Researcher Award, 2011
WPI Sigma Xi
WPI President's Circle, 2009
Fellow, 2009
Society for In Vitro Biology
Who's Who Among Executives and Professionals, Honors Edition, 2008

Democracy in Action Award, 2007
Middlesex & Worcester Democratic Coalition
Who's Who in America, 2006

Who's Who in American Education, 2005

Who's Who of American Woman, 2005


WPI researchers work to rid local lakes of harmful cyanobacteria

Pamela Weathers, professor of biology and biotechnology, and Pratap Rao, associate professor of mechanical and materials engineering, were interviewed by the Worcester Telegram & Gazette about the impact of algal blooms on local bodies of water. Rao and a team of graduate and undergraduate students received a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency to create 3D-printed floating structures designed to mimic natural objects that serve as photocatalysts, which have been shown to break down cyanobacteria and associated toxins.

Boston 25
Boston 25 Morning News at 7AM

Boston 25 News reported on WPI biology professor Pamela Weathers being part of a team of researchers finding that extracts from leaves of the medicinal herb known as sweet wormwood inhibit the replication of COVID-19 and two of its variants. (7:36:31 mark)