2023 A. Jean de Grandpré Distinguished Speaker Series: Dr. Andrew Pelling - “Harnessing Curiosity, Failure and Serendipity to Drive Discovery and innovation”

Wednesday, September 27, 2023 18:00to19:00

This year we welcome Andrew Pelling, a lifelong Scientist full professor at the University of Ottawa and founder of multiple start up companies. His highly experimental ‘Pelling Lab for Augmented Biology’ has trail blazed by developing speculative living technologies of the future with the potential to redefine the limits of biology and medicine. The Lab is well known for its discovery that plants can be harnessed to create medical-grade biomaterials for engineering and regenerating human tissues. Andrew’s work in this area gained considerable international recognition after delivering his first TED talk on growing human ears out of apples. To date, the Pelling Lab has spun out five companies in the technology, biotechnology and medical fields, translating their discoveries into real world products and solutions. Andrew also serves as co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Spiderwort, a company translating the fundamental discoveries from his Lab in the area of plant-based biomaterials. As CSO, Andrew leads Spiderwort’s research program which addresses a variety of tissue engineering applications and unmet medical needs. Andrew also plays a key role in guiding the translation of Spiderwort’s products through the clinical and regulatory landscapes.

As an award-winning scientist, Andrew has published his research in some of the world’s most prestigious journals and has been well recognized by his peers. He is the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including being elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology, Member of the College of the Royal Society of Canada, a Canada Research Chair and a TED Senior Fellow. Andrew’s leadership and experience are highly sought-after and he has delivered hundreds of keynotes and served in a variety of advisory roles for community, industry and government organizations.

The presentation will be moderated by Anja Geitmann, Dean and Associate Vice-Principal (Macdonald) Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

Note: This presentation will be an online event using Zoom.


Register from Aug. 31 to Sep. 25, 2023 


Anna Duff
Email: anna.duff [at] mcgill.ca

The A. Jean de Grandpré Distinguished Speaker Series is named in honour of McGill’s Chancellor Emeritus, the late M. de Grandpré, who served as Chancellor from 1984-1991. He was a long-standing member of the McGill Board of Governors and one of Canada’s pre-eminent and most distinguished business leaders. An astute and visionary administrator, he brought these skills, together with his wisdom, clarity of thought, and persuasive logic, to the highest levels of leadership at McGill University.

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