Chappelle is the recipient of 14 U.S. patents and was recently recognized as one of the 100 most distinguished African American scientists and engineers of the 20th Century.
He started with NASA in 1966 in support of NASA's manned space flight initiatives. He pioneered the development of the ingredients ubiquitous in all cellular material. Later, he developed techniques that are still widely used for the detection of bacteria in urine, blood, spinal fluids, drinking water and foods.
In 1977, Chappelle turned his research efforts toward the remote sensing of vegetation health through laser-induced fluorescence (LIF). Working with scientists at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, he advanced the development of LIF as a sensitive means of detecting plant stress.
Chappelle received a bachelor's of science degree in biochemistry from University of California at Berkley. He earned his master's of science degree, also in biochemistry, from University of Washington in Seattle and performed post-graduate work at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif.
Chappelle is a member of the American Chemical Society, the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, the American Society of Photobiology, the American Society of Microbiology, and the American Society of Black Chemists. Throughout his career, he has continued to mentor talented minority high school and college students in his laboratories.
image and information provided by NASA