George Connell Chair 1965-1970, U. of T. President 1984-1990

George Connell
Chair 1965-1970,
U. of T. President 1984-1990

George Edward Connell (June 20, 1930 – March 13, 2015) studied haptoglobulin chemistry in this department during the 1950s and 60s and served as Departmental Chair (1965-70). He later served as president of Western University (1977-84), the University of Toronto (1984-1990) and played a pivotal role in the Krever Inquiry into the tainted blood scandal in 1993. He was an Officer of the Order of Canada and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

In  1991 the George Connell Seminar Series was established and Gordon Dixon gave the inaugural lecture.

After a distinguished career as an academic scientist, chairman of the Department of Biochemistry and Vice President of Research and Planning at the University of Toronto, George Connell went on to render further great service as President of the University of Western Ontario and then of the University of Toronto. Through the years he has maintained a close interest in, and affection for, his old university department and this is now publicly acknowledged by the creation of an endowment to support ‘T he George Connell Biochemistry Lectureship’ which has been made possible by the generous donations of many patrons and friends. The Lectureship will celebrate George’s leadership and outstanding contributions to the University of Toronto. Through this agency the Department of Biochemistry will invite distinguished scientists to deliver public lectures, seminars and consultations on the campus, thereby enhancing the academic programmes and providing stimulation for the scientific endeavour.


For the 25th Anniversary of the George Connell Seminar Series the Department of Biochemistry will be holding a special event featuring a lecture by Stephen Scherer. More information on this event can be found here.


List of future and past lecturers:


  • Wolfgang Baumeister (University of Munich)
  • Judith Frydman (Stanford University)
  • Anne Ephrussi (EMBL)
  • Andreas Martin (UC Berkeley)
  • Kit Pogliano (UCSD)


  • Stephen Scherer (University of Toronto)
  • Sue Jaspersen (Stowers Institute)
  • Susan Buchanan (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)
  • Joseph Mougous (University of Washington)
  • David Sabatini (Whitehead Institute, MIT)
  • Bill Martin (Universität Düsseldorf)


  • Gia Voeltz (University of Colorado)
  • Cole Haynes (Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center)
  • Anindy Dutta (University of Virginia)
  • Nikolaus Grigorieff (Janelia Farms)
  • Ramanujan Hegde (LMB, Cambridge University)
  • Michael Terns (University of Georgia)


  • Ryan Gregory (University of Guelph)
  • Jean-Phillipe Julien (SickKids)
  • Karim Mekhail (University of Toronto)
  • Chris Nicchitta (Duke University)
  • Andre Hoeltz (CalTech)
  • Alex Ensminger (University of Toronto)


  • Gregg Gundersen (Columbia University)
  • Mark Lemmon (University of Pennsylvania)
  • Tom Devers (NIH)
  • Dirk Goerlich (Max Planck Göttingen)
  • Per Westermark (Uppsala University)
  • Blake Hill (Medical College of Wisconsin)
  • Jim Wilhelm (University of California, San Diego)
  • Ivan Dikic (Goethe University School of Medicine)


  • Krzysztof Palczewski (Case Western Reserve University)
  • Michael Sheets (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
  • Matthew Freeman (MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Oxford University)


  • Piers Nash (University of Chicago)
  • Reed Wickner (NIH)
  • Aristidis Moustakas (Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research)
  • Orson Moe (UT Southwestern Medical Center)
  • Tom Dever (NIH)
  • Harm Kampinga (University of Groningen)
  • Richard Morimoto (Northwestern University)


  • Dennis Burton (The Scripps Research Institute)
  • Melissa Moore (University of Massachusetts Medical School)
  • Michael Rape (University of California at Berkeley)
  • John Walker (MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit)
  • Bhushan Nagar (McGill University)
  • Marius Wernig (Stanford University)


  • Kathy Borden (Université de Montréal)
  • Jonathan Weissman (UCSF)
  • David Allis (Rockefeller University)
  • Roy Long (Medical College of Wisconsin)
  • Bert van den Berg (University of Massachusetts Medical School)
  • Bill Weis (Stanford University)
  • Natalie Strynadka (UBC)
  • Martin Schmeing (McGill University)
  • Jacques Archambault (McGill University)
  • Annette Beck-Sickinger (Leipzig University)


  • Traci Hall (NIH)
  • James Bardwell (University of Michigan)
  • Doug Cyr (UNC Chapel Hill)


  • Naomi Morrissette (UC Irvine)
  • Peter Tieleman (University of Calgary)


  • Michel Bouvier (Université de Montréal)
  • Raphael Kopan (Washington University)
  • Michael Rosen (UT Southwestern Medical Center)
  • Jessica Tyler (University of Colorado)


  • Andrew Miranker (Yale University)
  • Frances Sharom (University of Guelph)
  • Raymund Wellinger (Université de Sherbrooke)
  • Erik Zuiderweg (University of Michigan)
  • Chris Counter (Duke University)
  • Susan Forsburg (USC)
  • Rodney Rothstein (Columbia University)


  • George Brush (Wayne State University)
  • Frank Ferrone (Drexel University)
  • Joaquin Ortega (McMaster University)
  • Susan Marqusee (UC Berkeley)
  • Peter McPherson (McGill University)
  • Stephen Michnick (Université de Montréal)


  • Neil Cashman (University of Toronto)
  • Jeff Esko (UCSD)
  • Miguel Valvano (Western University)
  • Jerry Workman (Stowers Institute)
  • Ann Chambers (Western University)
  • Yusuf Hannun (Medical University of South Carolina)
  • Richard Hynes (MIT)
  • Ronald Kaback (UCLA)
  • Overall Christopher (UBC)
  • Richard Wozniak (University of Alberta)


  • Jiyan Ma (Ohio State University)
  • Richard Rachubinski (University of Alberta)
  • Ray Truant (McMaster University)
  • John Orlowski (McGill University)
  • Eduardo Perozo (University of Virginia)
  • Helen Saibil (Birkbeck College)


  • Marc Ekker (Ottawa Health Research Institute)
  • Joel Huberman (Roswell Park Cancer Center)
  • Michael Maurizi (NCI)
  • Jim Wilhelm (Carnegie Institute)
  • Ian Macara (university of Virginia)
  • Dick Mosser (Univeresity of Guelph)
  • Justin Nodwell (McMaster University)
  • Gabriel Nunez (University of Michigan)


  • John Aitchison (Institute for System Biology)
  • Joachim Frank (Columbia University)
  • Mark Hochstrasser (Yale University)


  • David Allis (University of Virginia)
  • Richard Pagano (Mayo Clinic)
  • Mark Surette (Wake Forest University)
  • Jeffrey Brodsky (University of Pittsburgh)
  • Barbara Imperiali (MIT)
  • Carolyn Machamer (John Hopkins)
  • Sanjay Pimplikar (Case Western Reserve University)


  • Joseph Noel (Scripps Institute)
  • Vettai Ananthanarayanan (McMaster University)
  • Harold A. Scheraga (Cornell University)
  • Brian Golding (McMaster University)
  • Anthony Weil (Vanderbilt University)


  • Keith Moffat (University of Chicago)


  • Jacques Pouyssegur (University of Nice)
  • Shoukat Dedhar (University of Toronto)


  • Arthur Horwich (Yale University)


  • Dennis Vance (University of Alberta)


  • Julie Forman-Kay (Hospital for Sick Children)


  • Gordon Dixon (University of Calgary)