Biography of Dr. Samuel Weiss


Dr. Samuel Weiss is a professor in the departments of Cell Biology & Anatomy and Physiology & Pharmacology at the University of Calgary Cumming School Of Medicine. Dr. Weiss is the founder and, since 2004, has been the inaugural Director of the University of Calgary’s Hotchkiss Brain Institute, whose mission is to translate innovative research and education into advances in neurological and mental health care.

Two major discoveries are the hallmarks of Dr. Weiss' research career. In 1985, together with Dr. Fritz Sladeczek, Dr. Weiss discovered the metabotropic glutamate receptor - now a major target for pharmaceutical research and development for neurological disease therapies. In 1992, Dr. Weiss discovered neural stem cells in the brains of adult mammals. This research has led to new approaches for brain cell replacement and repair, as well as to novel, experimental therapeutic strategies for brain cancer.

In 2012, Dr. Weiss co-founded Campus Alberta Neuroscience, a Government of Alberta-sponsored partnership between the universities of Alberta, Calgary and Lethbridge, whose aim is to establish the province of Alberta as a centre of excellence in neuroscience research, education and clinical innovation on the international stage.

Dr. Weiss sits on or chairs numerous national and international scientific peer review committees, has authored many publications, holds key patents in the neural stem cell field and has founded three biotechnology companies. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Brain Canada and the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research.

Dr. Weiss has received several awards. In 2014, he was elected as a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. In 2010, he received the CCNP Innovations in Neuropsychopharmacology Award, and in 2009 he was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Dr. Weiss was named recipient of a Gairdner International Award in 2008 "for his seminal discovery of adult neural stem cells in the mammalian brain and its importance in nerve cell regeneration." He received the Canadian Federation of Biological Societies Presidents’ Award in Life Sciences Research in 2004, and in 2002, he was awarded the Fondation IPSEN (France) Prize in Neuronal Plasticity.

Dr. Weiss received his B.Sc. in Biochemistry at McGill University in 1978 and in 1983 completed his Ph.D. in Chemistry at the University of Calgary. He was then awarded post-doctoral fellowships (1983-1988) by the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research and the Medical Research Council of Canada, for studies at the Centre de Pharmacologie-Endocrinologie, Montpellier, France, and at the University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington, Vermont, respectively. In 1988, Dr. Weiss was appointed Assistant Professor and MRC Scholar at the University of Calgary.

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