Samuel Weiss, PhD
Professor and Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research (AHFMR) Scientist
Departments of Cell Biology & Anatomy and Pharmacology & Therapeutics
University of Calgary Faculty of Medicine
Dr. Samuel Weiss is Professor and Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research (AHFMR) Scientist in the Departments of Cell Biology & Anatomy and Pharmacology & Therapeutics at the University of Calgary Faculty of Medicine. 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 obtained a B.Sc. in Biochemistry at McGill University and a Ph.D. in 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, Weiss was appointed Assistant Professor and MRC Scholar at The University of Calgary in 1988.
Dr. Weiss sits on numerous national and international peer review committees, has authored many publications, holds several key patents in the neural stem cell field and has founded two biotechnology companies. Dr. Weiss has most recently begun to focus on neural gene discovery through functional genomics and its potential for pharmaceutical target development for brain repair. He is co-founder and inaugural chair of the Genes & Development Research Group at the University of Calgary Faculty of Medicine.
Dr. Weiss' presentation at the Dedication Symposium is entitled: Forebrain Neural Stem Cell Plasticity and Function. Adult forebrain neural stem cell numbers and functions serve to repopulate structures such as the olfactory bulb and corpus callosum. Recent studies in our lab suggest that maintaining these neural stem cells and directing their differentiation to neural and glial lineages involves cytokine signalling that directly regulates neural commitment genes. This information may be the basis for novel self-repair approaches to maintain structure and function in the aging or injured brain.