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Page updated 2 October 2015

Dr. D. Lorne Tyrrell


The Lorne Tyrrell Lectureship in Infection and Immunity

The Tyrrell Lectureship was established at the University of Alberta to honor Dr. Tyrrell's contributions as Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry and in appreciation of his strong support of the Immunology Network while he was Dean. The lectureship is intended for renowned scientists in the area of infection or immunity selected through a nomination process by the Immunology Network Faculty members. The award lecture is geared to the widest possible audience.

D. Lorne Tyrrell, OC, AOE, MD, PhD, FRCP, FRSC

Dr. Tyrrell was raised on a farm west of Edmonton. He obtained his BSc (’64) and his MD (’68) from the University of Alberta and a PhD (’72) from Queen’s University. He completed a speciality training in Internal Medicine in 1975 and subspecialty training in Infectious Diseases in 1976. This was followed by a MRC Centennial Fellowship at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. In 1978 he returned to the University of Alberta. In 1986, he began working with Dr. Morris Robins on a system to identify potent antivirals against hepatitis B virus (HBV) which infects about 400 million people worldwide. Through their work they discovered several potent antivirals against HBV and this resulted in a major collaboration with Glaxo Canada (now GlaxoSmithKline).

The collaboration led to the discovery that lamivudine had potent antiviral activity for HBV and today lamivudine is licensed worldwide as the first oral antiviral for the treatment of HBV infections. Lamivudine has been shown to decrease the development of cirrhosis or liver cancer in chronic HBV carriers. This work also reopened the option for resuming liver transplantation in patients with end-stage liver disease from HBV. Dr. Tyrrell also collaborated with Drs. D. Mercer and N. Kneteman to develop the first small animal model to support HCV replication. Dr. Tyrrell completed 10 years as the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Alberta in 2004. He currently holds the CIHR/GSK Chair in Virology at the University of Alberta. Dr. Tyrrell was the Chair of the Board of the Alberta Health Quality Council from 2004 - 2012. He is Chair of the Board of the Institute of Health Economics; Chair of the Gairdner Foundation and is a member of the Research Council of the Canadian Institute of Academic Research. Dr. Tyrrell has won numerous awards at the University of Alberta (Rutherford Undergraduate Teaching Award, J. Gordin Kaplan Research Awards, and the University Cup). He won the ASTech Award for Research in 1993 and the Gold Medal of the Canadian Liver Foundation in 2000.

Dr. Tyrrell was appointed to the Alberta Order of Excellence in 2000, an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2002, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2004. He was  awarded the F.N.G. Starr Award from the Canadian Medical Association in 2004, and the Principal Award of the Manning Foundation in 2005 for his work on the development of oral antivirals for the treatment of HBV.  Most recently, he was given a Distiguished University Professorship from the University of Alberta in 2010 and was inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame (3rd Albertan) in 2011.


Tyrrell Lectureship



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Previous Tyrrell Lectureships

January 30, 2019

Dr. Caetano Reis e Sousa

"Cells and pathways in immunity to cancer and infection"

September 21, 2017

Dr. Sonja Marie Best

"Beyond retroviruses: Restriction of flavivirus replication by TRIM5"

September 22, 2016

Dr. Louis Picker

"Cytomegalovirus Vectors: Exceptional Efficacy from Unconventional Cellular Immune Responses."

June 1, 2015

Dr. Charles Rice

"Hepatitis C: Where were were, where we are, and what's next"

May 21, 2014

Dr. Akiko Iwasaki,

"Antiviral immunity at mucosal surfaces"

November 5, 2012

Jonathan W. Yewdell, M.D., PhD

"Adventures in Immunology: Translating DRiPs"

March 24, 2011

Dr. David Woodland

"Regulation of T cell immunity to respiratory virus infections"

April 8 , 2009

Dr. Michael Gale Jr.
"Viral triggering and control of innate immunity during hepatitis C virus infection"
Click here to see the poster

February 14, 2008

Dr. Erik D.A. De Clercq
"New perspectives for the treatment of virus (i.e. HIV, HBV and HCV) infections"
Click here to see the poster

February 7, 2007

Dr. Rolf Zinkernagel
'On antiviral antibody responses'
Click here to see the poster

April 20, 2006

Dr. Byron Caughey
'Life and death with prions: Mad cow, wasting elk, and cannibals'
Click here to see the poster


Dr. Lorne Tyrrell
‘From the Farm to Big Pharma: Animal Models and New Drugs for Viral Hepatitis’


Dr. Peter Parham
‘Immunogenetics: The Importance of being Without Wildtype?’