A speaker stands in front of a crowded lecture hall and refers to a presentation projected on a large screen

The Chappel Memorial Lecture Series

The prestigious Chappel Memorial Lecture series invites internationally renowned scientists from human and veterinary medicine and the biomedical sciences to present their work to the University of Guelph community.

Clifford Chappel stands in front of an exhibit at the OVC Awards in 2003

About the Chappel Memorial Lecture Series

The Chappel Memorial Lecture Series was established in 1987 through an endowment from Ontario Veterinary College graduate Dr. Clifford Chappel and his wife in memory of his father Herbert James Chappel. Held annually since 1988, the Chappel Memorial Lecture Series has hosted numerous internationally known scientists who have inspired University of Guelph graduate students, faculty, and staff to achieve the highest possible goals in basic or applied research and to motivate undergraduate students to consider alternate career paths and become leaders in their profession.

About Dr. Clifford Chappel

Now retired in Oakville, Ontario, Dr. Clifford Chappel had an exemplary career in medical research.

Growing up in Guelph, he graduated from OVC as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) in 1950, and subsequently earned his PhD in Investigative Medicine at McGill University in Montréal. 

He launched his career as Director of Biological Research at Ayerst Research Laboratories, where he developed Atravet, the first tranquilizer and preanesthetic designed for veterinary use. Later, working at his own private research firm, Dr. Chappel developed the first animal model for Type 1 diabetes --- “BB” rats. His largest private venture, Bio-Research Laboratories, and two other companies that he founded, remain in operation today.

But Dr. Chappel’s most remarkable achievements have been in identifying and, in some cases, stopping the harm to public health caused by dangerous pharmaceutical, environmental, and biochemical agents. For example, he discovered the damage to cardiac function resulting from the asthma medication isoproterenol. It was later withdrawn from the market. Similarly, he was the first to notice the risk posed to heart health by hormones adrenaline and noradrenaline. This research was foundational to a colleague’s Nobel Prize-winning synthesis of atenolol and propranolol for the treatment of angina.

Dr. Chappel correctly identified the brewing industry’s use of cobalt salts as the cause of dozens of cardiac deaths among the beer-drinking public in Québec alone. Eventually, the use of cobalt in foods or pharmaceuticals would be banned worldwide. Most recently, he discovered that the lead paint used on corrugated steel roofs in the Caribbean was poisoning children whose families relied on eavestroughs and cisterns for potable water. As a result of this investigation, the paint company eliminated lead from its product.

A quiet hero, Dr. Chappel has used his gifts not only to improve life but to save countless lives.


Lekh Juneja

Nutritional Foods Division, Taiyo Kagaku Co. Ltd. Japan



Freda Miller

Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University and Hospital for Sick Children



Ingrid Sarelius

Pharmacology and Physiology and Biomedical Engineering, University of Rochester


John Solaro

Professor and Head, Physiology and Biophysics, University of Illinois at Chicago


Robert S. Kerbel

Senior Scientist, Molecular and Cellular Biology Research, Canada Research Chair in 

Molecular Medicine, Sunnybrook and Women’s College Health Sciences Centre, University of Toronto 


Stephen G. Matthews

Professor of Physiology, Obstetrics and Gynecology & Medicine, University of Toronto 


Colin McKerlie

Associate Professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Researcher, Hospital for 

Sick Children, Scientist, Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, Mount Sinai Hospital, and Interim Director, The Toronto Centre for Phenogenomics 


Peter H. Backx

Senior Scientist, Division of Cellular and Molecular Biology, Toronto General Research Institute, University of Toronto 


Edward Robinson

Matilda R. Wilson Professor of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, Veterinary Medical Center, Michigan State University 


Kenneth R. Chien

Director, Massachusetts General Hospital Cardiovascular Research Center, and Professor, Department of Cell Biology, Harvard Medical School 


Dr. Michel G. Bergeron

Director and Founder, Centre de Recherche en Infectiologie, Université Laval 


Lorne Tyrrell

Founding Director, Li Ka Shing Institute of Virology and Professor of Medicine, Biochemistry and Medical Microbiology and Immunology, University of Alberta 


Dr. Daria Mochly-Rosen

Professor in Chemical and Systems Biology, George D. Smith Professor in Translational Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine 


Dr. Gerry Wright

Director, Michael G.DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease and Research Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences 


Dr. Peter Walls

Division of Biomolecular Sciences in the Faculty of Pharmacy and in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology in the Faculty of Medicine



Dr. Gary Nabel

Chief Scientific Officer, Sanofi Global Research and Development 


Rocky Tuan

Distinguished Professor, Departments of Bioengineering and Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, University of Pittsburgh 


Dr. Mina Bissell

Distinguished Scientist, Biological Systems and Engineering Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley 


Dr. John Hogenesch

Ohio Eminent Scholar & Professor of Pediatrics at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in the Divisions of Human Genetics and Immunobiology

2020 [Cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic]

Dr. Gary Kobinger

Professor & Director, Infectious Disease Research Centre at Université Laval, Associate Professor at University of Manitoba, and Adjunct Professor at University of Pennsylvania



Dr. Michael Surette

Professor and Canada Research Chair Interdisciplinary Microbiome Research in the Department of Medicine and Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences at McMaster University


Dr. Laszlo Radvanyi

President and Scientific Director of the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research  


Dr. Charu Kaushic

Scientific Director of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)-Institute of Infection and Immunity and Full Professor in the Department of Medicine, McMaster University


Dr. Peter J. Hansen

Distinguished professor and L.E. “Red” Larson Professor in the Department of Animal Sciences, University of Florida


Harry Rubin

University of California Berkley



John Gurdon

Cambridge, England

1990 Julia Levy

Quadra Logic Technology


Victor Ling

Ontario Cancer Institute and University of Toronto Research 


Victor McKusick

Johns Hopkins



Francis Roe

Cambridge, England


Carl Djerassi

Stanford University, California



Michael Hayden

University of British Columbia Research 


Randolph Nesse

University of Michigan

1997 No lecture held


James Cross

Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute and Mount Sinai Hospital 


Irwin Fridovich

Duke University Medical Center, North Carolina



Louis Guillette

University of Florida