April 26, 2022

Get inspired during Lecture of a Lifetime 2022 with Dr. Samuel Weiss

Register now to attend May 10 event, in person or online
Dr. Samuel Weiss is pictures in a white lab coat, with his name written on the image. Lecture of a Lifetime is written in the bottom corner.

Sustaining a career that includes making two major scientific discoveries, winning a Gairdner Award, founding the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, and a foray into health policy requires fuel — lots of it — and Dr. Samuel Weiss, PhD’83, knows how to find it.

From being dragged back to school by his mom for the third year of his undergrad in 1977, to being encouraged to bring his knowledge and expertise to Ottawa last year by Canada’s minister of mental health and addictions, Weiss says there was one driving force at play in every stage of his career: Inspiration.

Weiss will explore how inspiration and authenticity helped him turn challenges into opportunities during the Lecture of a Lifetime 2022, titled Inspired Science: The Art of a Breakthrough.

Weiss’s lecture, presented by UCalgary Chancellor Deborah Yedlin and Senate, will inspire listeners to examine the driving forces propelling their own careers, and perhaps reflect on who inspired them to get where they are today.

“Inspiration is fuel. Science is not easy and, if you’re not inspired, you’re going to give it up,” says Weiss, a professor in the Cumming School of Medicine and scientific director for the Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR-INMHA).

Inspiration is not hierarchal; perhaps some of my greatest inspiration comes from my students and fellows. The uniqueness they bring, the thirst and the hunger, it’s all fuel.

Reflecting on his career, Weiss says being inspired and determined was what helped him push through the low points such as counting his lab’s remaining test tubes as he ran out of grant money, to find new heights such as discovering neural stem cells, the breakthrough that would eventually win him the Gairdner in 2008.

Despite the many career highs behind him, Weiss still has his sights set on the future. During his lecture, he will speak to his current work with the CIHR-INMHA, which is focused on early mental health intervention for youth and addressing inequities in mental health and substance-use health services.

“We are so excited to hear from Dr. Weiss, on his research journey and the impact his work has had – and will continue to have – in the field of neuroscience and in particular, on mental health,” says Yedlin. “Dr. Weiss’s work exemplifies how research undertaken at UCalgary transforms lives around the world.”

Lecture of a Lifetime will take place on May 10, beginning at 5:30 p.m. The lecture is open to all, and attendees can register to attend in-person at MacEwan Hall or watch it online. In-person attendees will have the opportunity to view a special post-program panel discussion between Weiss and several of his colleagues and students.

Learn more about Lecture of a Lifetime 2022 and register now to save your spot.

Presented by the UCalgary Chancellor and Senate since 2008, Lecture of a Lifetime is a dynamic demonstration of academic talent and achievement, celebrating a distinguished career of learning, exploration and discovery. Nominations for the 2023 lecturer are now open! If you know a great candidate, submit a nomination package now.