Daughter, father team up for medical research

Daughter, father team up for medical research
Dr. Danielle Weiss and Beau at the Encinitas complex of her medical practice. Weiss, an endocrinologist, will work her father, gastroenterologist Dr. Joseph Weiss, on a study of metabolism and digestion. Photo by Christina Macone-Greene

Dr. Danielle Weiss followed in her parents’ footsteps when choosing the medical field for her professional career. Her mother, Dr. Nancy Weiss, is a reproductive endocrinologist and her father, Dr. Joseph Weiss, a gastroenterologist.

Danielle Weiss was raised in Rancho Santa Fe, and her parents still live in the Ranch. She’s quick to point out that while her parents were incredibly supportive of her career path, they never pushed her into medicine — they wanted her to keep her options open throughout college.

“For a while, I thought I would be Shamu’s trainer, and then I thought about being an architect,” she said. “Then in college, I was taking pre-med courses and really enjoyed it realizing that the apple didn’t fall too far from the tree.”

Dr. Joseph Weiss

Danielle Weiss attended medical school at NYU, did her residency at Scripps Mercy, and did her fellowship in her chosen field of endocrinology at Stanford. While Weiss enjoyed other areas of medicine such as pediatrics and cardiology, she was pulled toward endocrinology.

“I saw a lot of things that I could make a big, big difference in people’s lives in endocrinology which includes hormones, diabetes, thyroid, menopause, metabolic bone health and weight management,” she said, adding that hormones play a role in everything.

Her medical practice is based in Encinitas, and on most work days, her little dog Beau accompanies her and visits with her patients.

What fulfills Danielle Weiss most are the partnerships developed with her patients. It’s about listening to their story and coming up with a health care plan. Weiss encourages her patients to be intuitive with their bodies and to be proactive with their health and wellness.

“It’s a wonderful feeling to see patients become empowered and passionate about their health when they take control and make some big improvements,” she said.

Another area of her work she enjoys is the science and research — how all things are interconnected. It’s her passion for research which triggered the partnership with her father to conduct a study in 2019 named Center for Metabolism & Digestion.

Joseph Weiss is thrilled to be working with his daughter on this project. He explained they are both passionate about sharing their knowledge and experience to help others reach the full potential of their own health and well-being.

“We both volunteer and offer community health lectures, write articles and books and serve on the clinical faculty at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine,” he said. “As both a parent and as a fellow physician, I am of course very proud of Danielle and her many professional and personal accomplishments. Her choosing a professional path that combines her compassion for people, and helping them achieve optimal well-being, is very rewarding on many levels.”

He added that the art and science of medicine are evolving rapidly and accelerating. For him, technological advances and breakthroughs are opening new understandings like the critical role of the microbiome.

He pointed out that microbiome is the microbes that live on and within the human organism.  Genomics and epigenetics will also be a focus.

“These advances explain why so many diet and weight-loss programs failed in the past, and offer new insights into managing weight, metabolism, diet, nutrition, diabetes, hormones, inflammation, and other common and chronic health concerns,” he said.

While Danielle Weiss is looking forward to teaming up with her father on this comprehensive research study, she also wants to remind people they have the opportunity to make significant health decisions. She said it’s essential for everyone to slow down and ensure they are getting enough sleep, eating whole foods and less processed foods, having some form of movement and exercise, and implementing stress management such as slow breathing. 

“While we have great technology, there are so many excellent health care choices we can make that are at our fingertips,” she said.

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