Katherine Weilbaecher, MD

Katherine Weilbaecher, MD

Medical Oncologist

Primary Academic Title

Professor of Medicine, Division of Oncology, Section of Molecular Oncology, Washington University School of Medicine

Research Interest

Osteoclasts are central to the pathogenesis of skeletal metastases. Pharmacologic blockade of osteoclast function and development using bisphosphonates can result in decreases in bone metastases, fractures and bone pain. My laboratory studies the transcriptional regulation of osteoclast development to identify novel targets for therapeutic intervention in bone metastases from breast and prostate cancer. The Microphthalmia transcription factor (Mitf) and the related protein TFE3 are critical to osteoclast fusion and maturation. We study the signaling of Macrophage colony stimulating factor (M-CSF) and RANKL, two vital osteoclastogenic factors, with the Microphthalmia transcription factor family and its nuclear target genes. We are also developing animal models of bone metastases using osteopetrotic mouse mutants and other genetically targeted osteoclast mutants. Key words: Breast cancer, bone metastases, osteoclast development, beta 3 integrin signaling, microphthalmia transcription factor, RANKL signaling, osteolytic and osteoblastic bone metastases, bone marrow metastases.


  • 1992: MD, Stanford University, Stanford, Calif.


  • 1992 - 1994: Intern and resident, internal medicine, Stanford University Hospital, Stanford, Calif.
  • 1994 - 1998: Fellow, medical oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston
  • 1994 - 1998: Clinical fellow, internal medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston

Board Certification

  • 1995: American Board of Internal Medicine, Internal Medicine
  • 1997: American Board of Internal Medicine, Medical Oncology

Selected Research Publications

Chemotherapy and the Extra-Tumor Immune Microenvironment: EXTRA-TIME.
  • Phan TG, Weilbaecher KN, Aft R, Croucher PI , Chaffer CL
  • Cancer Discov 2024
p38MAPKα Stromal Reprogramming Sensitizes Metastatic Breast Cancer to Immunotherapy.
  • Faget DV, Luo X, Inkman MJ, [...] Weilbaecher KN, [...] Stewart SA
  • Cancer Discov 2023
Heparanase Blockade as a Novel Dual-Targeting Therapy for COVID-19.
  • Xiang J, Lu M, Shi M, [...] Weilbaecher KN
  • J Virol 2022
Organ-on-a-chip model of vascularized human bone marrow niches.
  • Glaser DE, Curtis MB, Sariano PA, [...] Weilbaecher K, [...] George SC
  • Biomaterials 2022
Genetic Counseling and Testing in African American Patients With Breast Cancer: A Nationwide Survey of US Breast Oncologists.
  • Ademuyiwa FO, Salyer P, Tao Y, [...] Weilbaecher K, [...] Bierut L
  • J Clin Oncol 2021
Disseminated tumour cells from the bone marrow of early breast cancer patients: Results from an international pooled analysis.
  • Hartkopf AD, Brucker SY, Taran FA, [...] Weilbaecher K, [...] Pantel K
  • Eur J Cancer 2021

View All Publications