Dr. Samuel Weiss
A number of years have passed since Dr. Samuel Weiss began to study the human brain. Currently a professor and an Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research (AHFMR) scientist in the departments of Cell Biology and Anatomy and Pharmacology and Therapeutics at the University of Calgary Faculty of Medicine, Weiss is also the co-founder and inaugural chair of the Genes and Development Research Group, also at the University of Calgary.
In 1985, Weiss, together with Dr. Fritz Sladeczek discovered the metabotropic glutamate receptor, which is now a significant target for pharmaceutical research and development dealing with neurological therapies.
Arguably the most important discovery of his career, in 1992, Weiss found natural stem cells in the brains of adult mammals. For the first time, it was proven that stem cells exist in all stages of development. After this discovery, Weiss sought to use gene and cell therapy to help stem cells to aid in the repair of damaged brain and spinal cord tissue. This type of research has increased the potential for recovery from a variety of damaged neural tissue through both trauma, such as a stroke, or neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinsons. The only drawback Weiss can see is how to grow the stem cells in sufficient quantities.
Weiss received his BSc in biochemistry from McGill University in Montreal and his PhD in neurobiology from the University of Calgary. His post-doctoral fellowships, completed between 1983 and 1988 were funded by the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research (AHFMR) and the Medical Research Council of Canada (MRC). He was appointed an assistant professor at the University of Calgary in 1988.
In addition to authoring many publications in his field, Weiss holds several patents in the neural stem cell field and has founded two biotechnology companies, Stem Cell Therapeutics Inc. and Neurospheres Holdings Ltd.
Alberta Innovation 2002 Growing Brain Cells
The Heritage Community Foundation is pleased to present this feature
video segment from the Alberta Innovation 2002 documentary courtesy of
Alberta Innovation and Science.
The research into adult stem cell growth done by Dr. Samuel Weiss and
his team opened up a new field of study into the potential of the human
brain to recover after injury. Since then, further significant
breakthroughs into brain research have been made.
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