University of Calgary

Dr. Samuel Weiss

About the Director 

Dr. Samuel Weiss is Professor and Alberta Innovates-Health Solutions (AIHS) Scientist in the Departments of Cell Biology & Anatomy and Pharmacology & Therapeutics at the University of Calgary Faculty of Medicine.  He is the inaugural Director of the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, whose mission is to translate innovative research and education into advances in neurological and mental health care.  In 1978, Dr. Weiss received his B.Sc. in Biochemistry at McGill University and in 1983 completed his Ph.D. in Chemistry (Specialization: Neurobiology) at the University of Calgary.  Following post‑doctoral fellowships (1983-1988), funded by AHFMR and the Medical Research Council of Canada (MRC), at the Centre de Pharmacologie-Endocrinologie, Montpellier, France, and at the University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington, Vermont. Dr. Weiss was appointed Assistant Professor and MRC Scholar at The University of Calgary in 1988.  

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 lead to new approaches for brain cell replacement and repair.  Dr. Weiss sits on numerous national and international peer review committees, has authored many publications, holds key patents in the neural stem cell field and has founded three biotechnology companies.  In 2002, Dr. Weiss was awarded the Fondation IPSEN (France) prize in Neuronal Plasticity, in 2004 he received the Canadian Federation of Biological Societies Presidents’ Award in Life Sciences Research, in 2008 he was named recipient of a Gairdner International Award "for his seminal discovery of adult neural stem cells in the mammalian brain and its importance in nerve cell regeneration", in 2009 he was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and in 2010 he received the CCNP Innovations in Neuropsychopharmacology Award.