Sam Weiss

Sam is internationally recognized for his discovery of neural stem cells. This discovery has dramatically altered the investigation of treatments for diseases such as stroke and multiple sclerosis. He is recent recipient of the prestigious Gairdner Award.  As Founding Director of the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, Sam leads research in neural stem cell biology with the ultimate goal to advance patient care, prevention, treatment and management of neurological and mental health conditions.

Reversing Stroke & MS

Sam Weiss’s monumental discovery of neural stem cells in 1992 led to the understanding that these stem cells continue to stimulate neural development throughout our lifetimes. With that knowledge, Sam had a hypothesis: if we could find ways to stimulate the generation of neurons using stem cells, we could potentially repair tissue damaged through spinal cord injuries and devastating diseases such as stroke and multiple sclerosis.

Sam’s ongoing work has made significant headway. He has shown that the hormone prolactin increases the production of new brain cells. As well, he’s found that new brain cells generated from stem cells can be specifically directed to the parts of the brain that have been damaged by stroke.

Testing of a new stroke therapy is underway. It uses a regimen of two drugs to stimulate the growth of brains cells lost to stroke and early lab results are extremely encouraging. Recovery of motor, visual and cognitive functioning is not only possible, it’s possibly right around the corner.