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Winner of The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1960


The prize was awarded jointly to Sir Frank MacFarlane Burnet and Sir Peter Brian Medawar for their discovery of acquired immunological tolerance.
     Sir Frank MacFarlane Burnet
     1899 - 1985 (born in Traralgon, Victoria, Australia)
     Walter and Eliza Hall Institute for Medical Research, Melbourne, Australia

Burnet, Sir Frank Macfarlane (03-09-1899 to 31-08-1985)
Category: Scientist


Frank Macfarlane Burnet was born in Traralgon, Victoria in 1899. The son of the local Colonial Bank Manager,Burnet earned a scholorship to Geelong College and went on to study medicine at the University of Melbourne, graduating in 1922.

His first appointment was as resident pathologist at the Royal Melbourne Hospital. In 1926 he travelled to London to work for the Lister Institute to study bacteriophage which was the launching pad for his lifetimes work in the field of virology. While in London Burnet completed a degree at the University of London.

Burnet was director of Melbourne's Walter and Eliza Hall Institute for 21 years from 1944. It was here that Burnet discovered that the immune system recognizes and attacks foreign invaders, however ignores the body's own tissue.

Burnet was recognised for his contribution to medicine and for his scientific research on viruses and immunology in a number of ways including being knighted in 1951 and receiving the Copley Medal in 1959. However Sir Frank Macfarlane Burnet became known world-wide in 1960 when he received the Nobel Prize for medicine for discovering acquired immunological tolerance.

He died at his son's home in Port Fairy on the last day of winter in 1985.