History of the Cadham Provincial Laboratory

Dr. Gordon BellThe Cadham Provincial Laboratory (CPL) has served Manitobans as their public health laboratory spanning three centuries.

The Laboratory originated in 1897 when Dr. Gordon Bell was appointed as the Provincial Bacteriologist, and the first Director of the lab.  It was first known as the Board of Health Laboratory.

The 'Provincial Laboratory' was initially located in the Manitoba Medical College, at Kate and McDermot, where Dr. Bell also served as Professor of Bacteriology and Pathology. The CPL has maintained a close association and proximity with the University of Manitoba ever since. The chief emphasis of the Board of Health Laboratory was in providing a service for the identification of patients and carriers of infectious diseases. Water and milk testing was also done.

Fred T. Cadham Public Health Laboratory

Dr. Fred T. CadhamThe Cadham name was derived from Dr. Fred T. Cadham, who succeeded Dr. Bell following his death in 1923 as both the Director of the Provincial Laboratory and Professor of Bacteriology and Hygiene.

He relinquished the latter post upon his retirement in 1947, when the Laboratory was called the Fred. T. Cadham Public Health Laboratory. This was changed in 1980 to CPL.

In 1976, Dr. J. C. Wilt was appointed Director of the Division of Laboratory and Imaging Services for Manitoba. This included the Cadham Provincial Laboratory and Laboratory and X-Ray services in 74 rural hospitals.

With the establishment of Regional Health Authorities, the Division was disbanded in 1995, and the CPL once more became an entity by itself under the direction of the late Dr. Trevor Williams.


CPL Directorship Years
Dr. Gordon Bell 1897-1923
Dr. Fred T. Cadham 1923-47
Dr. R. G. Cadham 1947
Dr. J. C. Colbeck 1948-49
Dr. G. B. Leyton 1950-53
Dr. L. P. Lansdown (Asst. Dir.) 1953-54
Dr. J. J. Prag 1954-55
Dr. L. P. Lansdown 1955-65
Dr. J. G. Fox 1965-76
Dr. J. C. Wilt 1976-84
Dr. G. W. Hammond 1984-95
Dr. T. Williams 1995-00
Dr. P. Van Caeseele 2000-

In 1963 the Virology section of the University joined the laboratory.

In 1968 the Laboratory at the Brandon Hospital for Mental Diseases came under the labs administrative control till 1974 when it became the Westman Regional Laboratory, as well during the 1960’s Provincial Newborn Screening for inherited metabolic diseases was added to the lab services. The best known of these diseases to the general public was phenyl ketonuria (PKU).

Dr. Paul Van CaeseeleOn June 30, 2000, a farewell reception was held in honour of Dr. Trevor Williams’ nearly 24 years of dedicated service to Cadham Provincial Laboratory.

In July of 2000, Dr. Paul Van Caeseele was appointed Assistant Director. Dr. Van Caeseele was born and raised in Winnipeg, and completed his five-year residency in Medical Microbiology in June 2000.

The Cadham Provincial Laboratory provides a range of diagnostic, reference and consultative services to Manitoba and beyond.

In addition, Cadham Provincial Laboratory staff conduct relevant research projects and provide education to health care practitioners within our expertise.


Cadham Provincial Laboratory
750 William Avenue
Winnipeg MB  R3E 3J7
E-mail:  cadham@gov.mb.ca
Phone:  204-945-6123
Fax:      204-786-4770