Shimon Weiss received his PhD from the Technion in Electrical Engineering in 1989. After a one year post doctorate at AT&T Bell Laboratories, where he worked on ultrafast phenomena in semiconducting devices, he joined Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory as a staff scientist in 1990, where he continued to work on solid state spectroscopy. In 1994 he re-directed his interest to single molecule biophysics. In 2001 he joined UCLA Chemistry and Physiology departments and the California NanoSystems Institute.
The Weiss lab has been working on ultrasensitive single molecule spectroscopy methods for over 15 years. They were the first to introduce the single molecule FRET method and together with the Alivisatos group the first to introduced quantum dots to biological imaging. They have also developed a variety of novel detectors for advanced imaging and spectroscopy, a novel superresolution imaging method dubbed SOFI, and novel optical imaging tools for single cell physiology.