Department of Orthopaedic Surgery

Kurt R. Weiss, MD

  • Associate Professor
  • Director, Musculoskeletal Oncology Laboratory
  • Vice Chair of Translational Research

Education & Training

  • MD, Thomas Jefferson University Medical College, Philadelphia, PA
  • Residency: University of Pittsburgh Medical School, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Fellowship: University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario

Representative Publications

Refereed Articles

  1. Karen Schoedel, Virginia Miller, David Osei-Hwedieh, Rebecca Watters, Anette Duensing, Ivy John, Uma Chandran, Alexander Chang, Vishal Soman, Kurt Weiss. Differential expression of angiogenesis markers HSP70, HSP90, VEGF and pERK1/2 in both components of dedifferentiated chondrosarcomas. J Bone Oncol. 2021 Aug; 29: 100370. Published online 2021 May 18. doi: 10.1016/j.jbo.2021.100370 PMCID: PMC8167291. PMID: 34094840.
  2. Karen MD; Duensing, Anette MD; Watters, Rebecca J. PhD; Weiss, Kurt R. MD. Do Patient-Derived Spheroid Culture Models Have Relevance In Chondrosarcoma Research? Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research: May 19, 2020 - Volume Publish Ahead of Print - Issue - doi: 10.1097/CORR.0000000000001317
  3. Feiqi Lu, David Osei-Hwedieh, Jonathan B. Mandell, Alejandro Morales-Restrepo, Margaret L. Hankins, Jared A. Crasto, Ruichen Ma, Vu Dinh, Rebecca J. Watters, Kurt R. Weiss. Comparison of Cachectic and Non-Cachectic Sarcoma Patients Reveals an Important Role of Notch Signaling in Metastasis and Myogenesis. Am J Can Res. 2019, PMID 31497355.
  4. Jonathan B. Mandell, Feiqi Lu, Matthew Fisch, Jan H. Beumer, Jianxia Guo, Rebecca J. Watters, and Kurt R. Weiss. Combination Therapy with Disulfiram, Copper, and Doxorubicin for Osteosarcoma: In Vitro Support for a Novel Drug Repurposing Strategy. Sarcoma. Volume 2019, Article ID 1320201, 9 pages.
  5. Fourman MS, van Eck CF, Weiss KR, Goodman MA, McGough RL. Atypical Lipomatous Tumors: Does Our Inconsistent Terminology Have Patient Repercussions? Results of a Meta-Analysis. Am J Clin Oncol. 2019 May;42(5):487-492. doi: 10.1097/COC.0000000000000540. PMID 30932920.
  6. Basudan A, Priedigkeit N, Hartmaier RJ, Sokol ES, Bahreini A, Watters RJ, Boisen MM, Bhargava R, Weiss KR, Karsten MM, Denkert C, Blohmer JU, Leone JP, Hamilton RL, Brufsky AM, Elishaev E, Lucas PC, Lee AV, Oesterreich S. Frequent ESR1 and CDK Pathway Copy-Number Alterations In Metastatic Breast Cancer. Mol Cancer Res. 2019 Feb;17(2):457-468. doi: 10.1158/1541-7786.MCR-18-0946. Epub 2018 Oct 24.
  7. Adel Mahjoub, Alejandro Morales-Restrepo MD, Mitchell S. Fourman MD M.Phil, Jonathan B. Mandell BA, Feiqi Lu BA, Margaret L. Hankins MD, Rebecca J. Watters PhD, and Kurt R. Weiss MD Tumor Resection Guided by Intraoperative Indocyanine Green Dye Fluorescence Angiography Results in Negative Surgical Margins and Decreased Local Recurrence in an Orthotopic Mouse Model of Osteosarcoma. Ann Surg Oncol. 2019 Mar;26(3):894-898. doi: 10.1245/s10434-018-07114-9. Epub 2018 Dec 27. PMID 30588559.
  8. Crasto JA, Fourman MS, Morales-Restrepo A, Mahjoub A, Mandell JB, Ramnath K, Tebbets JC, Watters RJ, Weiss KR. Disulfiram reduces metastatic osteosarcoma tumor burden in an immunocompetent Balb/c or-thotopic mouse model. Oncotarget. 2018 Jul 10;9(53):30163-30172. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.25733. eCollection 2018 Jul 10. PMID: 30046395.
  9. Weiss KR, Zimel MN. Considerations for the Long Term Treatment of Pediatric Sarcoma Survivors. Indian J Orthop. 2018 Jan-Feb;52(1):77-80. doi: 10.4103/ortho.IJOrtho_248_17. PMID: 29416174 PMCID:PMC5791236 DOI: 10.4103/ortho.IJOrtho_248_17.
  10. Priedigkeit N, Watters RJ, Lucas PC, Basudan A, Bhargava R, Horne W, Kolls JK, Fang Z, Rosenzweig MQ, Brufsky AM, Weiss KR, Oesterreich S, Lee AV. Exome-capture RNA sequencing of decade-old breast cancers and matched decalcified bone metastases. JCI Insight. 2017 Sep 7;2(17). pii: 95703. doi: 10.1172/jci.insight.95703.

Books, and Book Chapters

  1. Annals Of Joint (AOJ) Special Edition On Osteosarcoma (Editor) 2020.
  2. Orthopaedic Knowledge Update 4 (Section Editor). American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, 2021.
  3. Osteosarcoma- Biology, Behavior, and Mechanisms. Kanya Honoki and Kurt Richard Weiss (eds).  InTech, Rijeka, Croatia, April, 2017. 
  4. Mahjoub A, Crasto J, Mandell J, Fourman MS, Agarwal R, and Weiss KR. The Use of Molecular Pathway Inhibitors in the Treatment of Osteosarcoma.  IN:  Osteosarcoma- Biology, Behavior, and Mechanisms. Kanya Honoki and Kurt Richard Weiss (eds). InTech, Rijeka, Croatia, April 2017, pp. 33-51.
  5. McManus MM, Weiss KR, Hughes DP. Understanding the role of Notch in osteosarcoma. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2014; 804:67-92. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-04843-7_4. Review. PubMed PMID: 24924169.
  6. Weiss KR, McGough RL III, and Goodman, MA. Amputations. Orthopaedic Knowledge Update: Tumor 3. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, 2014.
  7. McGough RL, Laudermilch D, MD, and Weiss KR. Orthopaedic Infections-Basic Principles of Pathogenesis, Diagnosis, and Treatment. Current Orthopaedic Diagnosis and Treatment 5th edition, 2014.
  8. Weiss KR, Bhumbra R, Ferguson PC, O’Sullivan B, and Wunder JS. Chapter 126-Radiation in Soft Tissue Sarcoma: Pre- or post-operative. Evidence Based Orthopedics. Blackwell, 2012. Bhandari (ed).
  9. Kontakis GM, Tossounidis T, Weiss K, Pape HC, Giannoudis PV. Fat embolism: special situations bilateral femoral fractures and pathologic femoral fractures.Injury. 2006 Oct; 37 Suppl 4:S19-24. Review. Erratum in: Injury. 2007 Oct;38(10):1224. PubMed PMID: 16990057.
  10. Liu TS, Weiss KR, Fu FH, Huard J. Gene therapy and tissue engineering in orthopaedic surgery. Instr Course Lect. 2006; 55:597-611. Review. PubMed PMID: 16958493.
  11. Weiss KR, Huard J, Liu T, Fu F. Chapter 16- Gene Therapy in the Treatment Of Knee Disorders.  Surgery of the Knee, Fourth Edition.  Insall and Scott (ed).        
  12. Zelle BA, Weiss KR, Fu FH.  Pathogenesis of Soft Tissue and Bone Repair.  In: Lisa Maxey and Jim Magnusson (eds) Rehabilitation for the Postsurgical Orthopaedic Patient. 2nd edition, Elsevier, Philadelphia, PA.
  13. Liu TT, MD PhD, Weiss KR, Fu FH, MD, and Huard J.  Instructional Course Lecture #55: Gene Therapy and Tissue Engineering In Orthopaedic Surgery.  American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Rosemont, Illinois.

View a list of Dr. Weiss’ publications here


Research Interests

Dr. Weiss directs the Department’s Musculoskeletal Oncology Laboratory, a basic science laboratory dedicated to the study of sarcomas--cancerous tumors that arise in the musculoskeletal tissues. His mission is to help develop a world-class translational sarcoma research program at the University of Pittsburgh. As a bone cancer survivor himself, Dr. Weiss brings passion and enthusiasm to the laboratory, clinic, and operating room. Through the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, he is also a proud collaborator with scientists who are trying to understand how other forms of cancer spread to and destroy the bone.  

Dr. Weiss has received many accolades which include: 


Pittsburgh Magazine Top Doctor
Allegheny County Medical Society R Richard E. Deitrick Humanity in Medicine Award


Co-Chair, MSTS Virtual Annual Meeting
Session Moderator, 2020 CTOS Virtual Annual Meeting
UPMC Hillman Cancer Center Hillman Fellow for Innovative Cancer Research
Pittsburgh Magazine Best Doctor


UPMC Advanced Faculty Leadership Academy
Visiting Professor, Ruijin Hospital Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Shanghai, China
Visiting Professor, Colorado State University Voss Animal Cancer Center
Session Moderator, 2019 Musculoskeletal Tumor Society Meeting, Portland, Oregon
Session Moderator, 2019 Connective Tissue Oncology Society Meeting, Tokyo, Japan
Pittsburgh Magazine Best Doctor


Pittsburgh Magazine Top Doc
Visiting Professor, Temple University Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine
Keynote Speaker, Veterinary Society of Surgical Oncology


Listed in Pittsburgh Business Times Best Doctors, 2017
Invited Seminar Speaker, Indiana University, Wells Center for Pediatric Research
Paul Lipscomb Invited Lecturer, University of California at Davis, Department of  Orthopaedic Surgery


North Hills High School Distinguished Alumnus
Pittsburgh Magazine 2016 Top Doc
Selected for American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Leadership Fellows Program
Appointed to Connective Tissue Oncology Society (CTOS) Board of Directors


Invited Faculty, ORS/OREF/AAOS New Investigator Workshop
Winner, 2015 Pittsburgh Business Times “Health Care Heroes” Award
NIH Center for Scientific Review Early Career Reviewer Program
Visiting Professor/Judge, West Virginia University Resident Research Symposium
Invited Faculty, ORS/OREF/AAOS New Investigator Workshop
Basic Science Section Moderator, 2015 Combined Meeting of the Musculoskeletal Tumor Society (MSTS) and International Society of Limb Salvage (ISOLS)
Symposium Moderator, 2015 Connective Tissue Oncology Society (CTOS) Meeting


UPCI Junior Scholar Award


Dr. Weiss is a Founding Member of the Musculoskeletal Oncology Research Initiative (MORI), Pittsburgh Cure Sarcoma (PCS), the Pittsburgh Sarcoma Research Collaborative (PSaRC), and the Pittsburgh Center for Bone and Mineral Research (PCBMR). He is a peer reviewer for multiple journals including the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, BioMed Central Cancer, Sarcoma, Cancer Research, International Journal of Cancer, and others. He is a former member of the NIH’s Center for Scientific Review Early Career Reviewer program. He has served on multiple National Cancer Institute Study Sections. He is a member of the Musculoskeletal Tumor Society (MSTS) for which he serves as Chair of the Research Committee and the Connective Tissue Oncology Society (CTOS), for which he has served on the Board of Directors.

Research Grants


Exploring Aldehyde Dehydrogenase and Androgen Receptor Actions to OutSmart Osteosarcoma Metastases
Supporting Agency: Make It Better (MIB) Foundation
Dates of Project: 4/1/21-3/31/22

Shining a Light on Soft Tissue Sarcoma Surgical Margins with Indocyanine Green Fluorescence Angiography
Supporting Agency: Connective Tissue Oncology Society (CTOS)
Dates of Project: 1/1/2022-12/31/2023

Developing the Pittsburgh Sarcoma Research Collaborative (PSaRC) (Weiss PI)
Supporting Agency:  University of Pittsburgh Chancellor’s Seed Grant Foundation
Dates of Project: June 2018-June 2020

Experimental Development of the Musculoskeletal Oncology Sarcoma Tissue Bank (Weiss PI)
Supporting Agency:  Shadyside Hospital Foundation
Dates of Project: July 1, 2019-June 30, 2021

Mechanisms of Sarcoma and Aging Associated Cachexia (Weiss Co-PI)
Supporting Agency:  Aging Institute/University of Pittsburgh Center for Behavioral Health and Smart Technology Seed Grant Program
Dates of Project: May 1, 2016-June 30, 2019


The mechanisms Of Sarcoma-Associated Cachexia (Weiss PI)
Supporting Agency:  National Cancer Institute (R21 Award R21CA199472)
Dates of Project: April 2017-March 2019

Exploring Sarcoma Metastatic Potential (Weiss PI)
Supporting Agency:  National Cancer Institute (K08 Career Development Award K08CA177927-01)
Dates of Project: October 2013-October 2018

Exploring Sarcoma Metastatic Potential (Weiss PI)
Supporting Agency:  Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF) Mentored Clinician-Scientist Grant
Dates of Project:  July 2016-August 2017

Using In Vivo Fluorescence Angiography to Evaluate the Impact of Small Molecule Anti-Metastatic Inhibitors of Osteosarcoma in an Immunocompetent Mouse Model (Weiss PI)
Supporting Agency:  Sarcoma Foundation Of America
Dates of Project: June 2016-May 2017

Investigation of Novel Anti-Metastatic Therapy For Osteosarcoma (Weiss PI)
Supporting Agency:  Sarcoma Foundation Of America
Dates of Project: July 2013-July 2015

Evaluation of Novel Inhibitors for Osteosarcoma Treatment (Weiss PI)
Supporting Agency:  Shadyside Hospital Foundation
Dates of Project: August 2012-August 2013

Developing the Musculoskeletal Oncology Tumor Registry and Tissue Bank (Weiss Co-I)
Supporting Agency:  Shadyside Hospital Foundation
Dates of Project: August 2012-August 2013