Campus Life

Gairdner speaker event brings Dr. Samuel Weiss to campus

University of Lethbridge faculty and students, along with select southern Alberta high school students, will have the unique opportunity to experience a lecture by Gairdner International Award winner Dr. Samuel Weiss, Monday, Oct. 21.

The Gairdner Foundation Speaker Event will include a lecture for the area’s elite high school students, a lecture for U of L faculty and undergraduate students, as well as a host of interactive science activities designed to engage the visiting students as well as showcase the research activities taking place on campus.

Dr. Samuel Weiss won a 2008 Gairdner International Award.

“It is very exciting to be able to bring a Gairdner International Award winner to campus,” says University of Lethbridge President and Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Mike Mahon. “The fact that many people with our Canadian Centre for Behavioural Neuroscience also work closely with Dr. Weiss, makes it even more fitting.

“We’re also pleased to be able to allow high school students from throughout the area access to such a distinguished speaker, hopefully further inspiring their passion for science.”

Dr. Samuel Weiss is a Professor and Alberta Innovates – Health Solutions Scientist in the Department of Cell Biology & Anatomy at the University of Calgary Faculty of Medicine.

His lecture, The Stem Cells You Have in Your Brain: What Can They Do?, will be presented to high school students at 9:30 a.m., followed by a second lecture, Adult Neural Stem Cells: From Basic Science to Therapeutic Applications, at 11 a.m. for U of L faculty, undergraduate and graduate students. Both talks are in the University Theatre. High school students can sign up here.

Weiss 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.

“The Gairdner Foundation is very pleased that the University of Lethbridge has become the 22nd institution to participate in our annual National Program of Lectures,” says Dr. John Dirks, President and Scientific Director of the Gairdner Foundation. “During a recent visit to the campus, we were very impressed with the quality of teaching and research, and particularly with the opportunities for undergraduate students. This year, Sam Weiss will speak to high school students about his life in science. We look forward to a long and rewarding relationship with the U of L.”

In 2008, Weiss 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,” and in 2009 he was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

His current research focuses on human brain tumour stem cells and the development of new therapies for adult brain cancer.

Created in 1959 by James Arthur Gairdner, the Gairdner Foundation recognizes and rewards the achievements of medical researchers whose work contributes significantly to improving the quality of life. Over the past 53 years, a total of 313 Canada Gairdner International Awards have been presented to scientists from 15 countries, with 80 Canada Gairdner Laureates going on to win Nobel Prizes.

The Gairdner Foundation 2013 University Lectures are sponsored by the Government of Canada, the Government of Alberta, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, BMO Bank of Montreal, the University of Lethbridge, London Drugs and the Globe and Mail.

To register for the high school portion of the event, follow this link.