Dr. A.L. Chapman is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, and received his Ph.D. in Anatomy from the University of Nebraska. He came to the University of Kansas Medical Center in 1962 when he joined the Department of Anatomy, one of six basic science departments newly created on the Medical Center’s Campus at that time to consolidate all four years of the School of Medicine’s MD curriculum on one campus in Kansas City. Al rose through the faculty ranks in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, and during that time he spent a year sabbatical in cancer research at the National Institutes of Health.
Dr. Chapman moved into administration when selected to be the first KUMC Dean of Graduate Studies in 1982, then Dean of Graduate Studies and Research from 1985 to 1996, and finally Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean of Graduate Studies and Research from 1996 to 1999. In 1995, the Chancellor appointed him the Acting Executive Vice Chancellor for KUMC. During these years, Dr. Chapman also served as President of the University of Kansas Medical Center Research Institute from 1992-1999.
Throughout Dr. Chapman’s distinguished career, developing students and their research skills was always a priority, and the students were very aware of his sage commitment to their training. He mentored, coached, urged and prodded former Ph.D., M.D/Ph.D., M.S. students, summer research medical students, and postdoctoral fellows who are now distinguished researchers across the country and here at KUMC. ;His research involved identification of retroviruses in canine, murine and human cells in vitro. Dr. Chapman directed and caringly taught the Medical and the Graduate Histology/Cell Biology Course (1962-1983). He also established and directed the Electron Microscopy Research Center (1973-1991), a prominent research and teaching resource for the benefit of anyone at the medical center.
Dr. Chapman’s desire and commitment to ease the frustrating burden of conducting research within a massive state bureaucracy was so strong, he conceived and almost single-handedly nurtured and mentored the establishment of the KUMC Research Institute (RI) in 1992. The RI has streamlined research purchases, re-invested funds in faculty research helping to leverage additional growth in NIH and other external funding, donated three acres to the University for the Landon Center on Aging, and leased five additional acres for university use, established a bioscience business incubator, as well as a technology transfer and a clinical trials office. During this time, Dr. Chapman was a highly respected representative of the University to numerous community, city, regional and national organizations - many dedicated to the transfer of biomedical technology to the private sector. As well, he was an advocate for and instrumental in the formation of biomedical companies derived from KUMC faculty research.
Dr. Al Chapman retired from the University of Kansas Medical Center in June, 1999, and was honored by the University with the awarded title of Professor Emeritus of Anatomy and Cell Biology and Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs Emeritus. He and his wife Pat moved back to his home roots in Anderson, Missouri (farm became a “Centennial Farm” in 2008), and he continues to run an Angus cow/calf operation, harvest a vineyard, and enjoys a little wine on his deck. Always the academician, Al now serves on the Board of Trustees of Crowder College and the Board of Directors of the Ozark Tri-County Health Care Consortium.The Annual A.L. Chapman Keynote Research Lecture series was established by the Executive Vice Chancellor of KUMC for the 2000 SRF to honor Dr. Chapman’s passion and dedication to students, faculty, and quality research.