Lorne Tyrrell Lectureship in Infection & 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. D. Lorne Tyrrell
Dr. D. Lorne Tyrrell

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.

Past Tyrrell Lectureships

2022 Dr. Sonya MacParland
Behind the Mask: Mapping the Human Liver Microenvironment in Health and Disease
2019 Dr. Caetano Reis e Sousa
Cells and pathways in immunity to cancer and infection
2017 Dr. Sonja Marie Best
Beyond retroviruses: Restriction of flavivirus replication by TRIM5
2016 Dr. Louis Picker
Cytomegalovirus vectors: Exceptional efficacy from unconventional cellular immune responses
2015 Dr. Charles Rice
Hepatitis C: Where we were, where we are, and what's next
2014 Dr. Akiko Iwasaki
Antiviral immunity at mucosal surfaces
2012 Jonathan W. Yewdell
Adventures in immunology: Translating DRiPs
2011 Dr. David Woodland
Regulation of T cell immunity to respiratory virus infections
2009 Dr. Michael Gale Jr.
Viral triggering and control of innate immunity during hepatitis C virus infection
2008 Dr. Erik D.A. De Clercq
New perspectives for the treatment of virus (i.e. HIV, HBV and HCV) infections
2007 Dr. Rolf Zinkernagel
On antiviral antibody responses
2006 Dr. Byron Caughey
Life and death with prions: Mad cow, wasting elk, and cannibals
2005 Dr. Peter Parham
Immunogenetics: The importance of being without wildtype?
2004 Dr. Lorne Tyrrell
From the farm to Big Pharma: Animal models and new drugs for viral hepatitis