Dr. Naweed Syed (FRCP Edin)

Professor, Chief Scientist Creative Destruction Lab Peak Scholar Cumming School of Medicine University of Calgary

Dr. Naweed Syed is Professor and Scientific Director of the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary. He was also the Postdoctoral Program Director – Office of the Vice President (Research) from 2012 – 2016 and a special advisor to the Vice President Research and a Chief Scientist at the Constructive Destructive Lab (Global) and is the Peak Scholar at the University of Calgary.

Dr. Syed obtained his Master’s degree from the University of Karachi, Pakistan in 1984, and PhD in neurophysiology from the University of Leeds, UK (1988).  After a three year postdoctoral training at the University of Calgary (1988-1991), he was subsequently appointed as an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Medicine. Dr. Syed has served as a Department Head for Cell Biology and Anatomy for 10 years and was the Research Director for the Hotchkiss Brain Institute. Dr. Syed led several major research and academic initiatives for the University – ranging from Biomedical Engineering to Genome Sequencing etc.

Dr. Syed has been the recipient of many international and national awards including: Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship (USA), Parker B. Francis Fellowship (USA), Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research Scholar, Senior Scholar and Scientist Awards, Canadian Institute for Health Research (CIHR) Investigator Award and the Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh. In 2016, Dr. Syed was awarded the Tamgha-e-Imtiaz (Medal of Excellence – the highest civilian award for research and innovation) from the Government of Pakistan. He has also been identified and recognized amongst 150 Canadian Innovations/ Innovators in lieu of Canada’s 150 Birthday this year. Dr. Syed is also the recipient of Canada-150 Medal by the Senate of Canada.

Dr. Syed’s team was the first to develop a bionic hybrid which enabled direct dialogue between the brain cells and the silicon chip. This study was highlighted in Time Magazine and on the Discovery Channel, Global and Mail etc.  Dr. Syed has published extensively (over 140 papers) in peer-reviewed scientific journals including Nature, Science, Neuron and the Journal of Neuroscience. He holds multiple research grants from the Canadian Institute of Health Research and the Natural Science and Engineering Council of Canada.  He has also been a co-PI on CIHR and CFI team grants.  Dr. Syed also serves on several national and international grant panels and is a member of several scientific advisory boards. Dr. Syed has trained over 57 PhD and MSc students and 20 postdoctoral scholars and has given several hundred invited lectures around the world.

In addition to being the first scientist to have connected brain cells with a semi-conductor chip which has applications for brain-control prosthetic devices – to managing depression, epilepsy and other neurological disorders. He was also the first scientist to perform single cell brain cell transplant in living animals. He was also the first scientist to reconstruct respiratory network in cell culture and these two studies were declared as the breakthrough of the decade of the brain.

Latest updates

March 15, 2020 update – Bay River College Calgary Campus.