1 - Frank Macfarlane Burnet

Date Range3 September 1899 - 31 August 1985
3 September 1899Born in Traralgon, a country town in eastern Victoria, Australia
1909Family moves to Terang in western Victoria
1909Burnet attended the local state primary schools in bothTraralgon and Terang
1909Attended Geelong College as a boarder gaining scholarships in his final year, including a residential scholarship at Ormond College, which enabled him to proceed to the University of Melbourne
1917 - 1922University of Melbourne, graduated MB,BS coming second in a class containing four other persons who later achieved fame in science and medicine, namely Sir Roy Cameron FRS, Professor R.A. Willis, Dame Jean Macnamara and Dame Kate Campbell
1922 - 1924Melbourne Hospital, resident medical officer working under the surgeons Sir Alan Newton and Sir Victor Hurley and the physician Dr R.R.(later Sir Richard) Stawell
1924University of Melbourne, MD
1924Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, Melbourne Hospital, pathological registrar and then senior resident pathologist under the influence and direction of Sir Neil Hamilton Fairley FRS and Dr Charles Kellaway (later Sir Charles Kellaway FRS)
1925Ship's surgeon in June while en route to England
1925 - 1927Lister Institute, London, assistant to the curator of the National Collection of Type Cultures allowing about two-thirds of his time for research
1925 - 1927Beit Fellowship Award allowing for full-time research on bacteriophages
1928 - 1931Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, bacteriologist carrying out investigations for the Royal Commission into the `Bundaberg disaster' and continuing studies on bacteriophage
1928University of London, Ph.D, under the supervision of Professor J.G. Ledingham
1928Invited to write a chapter on bacteriophages for the Medical Research Council's System of Bacteriology (London, 1930)
10 July 1928Married Edith Linda Marston Druce after his return to Australia
1932 - 1933National Institute of Medical Research, London, working under the direction of Sir Henry Dale on a project on animal virology, Burnet developed his work on the use of the chick embryo for the isolation and assay of animal viruses
1934 - 1943Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, Assistant Director, he rounded off his work on bacteriophage but continued his work on viruses particularly on psittacosis, a rickettsia that caused Q fever, poliovirus and his major interest influenza virus
1935Stewart Prize, British Medical Association
1942Royal Society of London, Fellow
1944Dunham Lectures, Harvard University
1944 - 1965Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, Director and University of Melbourne, Professor of Experimental Medicine
1944 - 1956Work concentrated on animal virology but in particular influenza virus and the phenomenon of haemagglutination
1946Obtained from the Government of Australia a special grant 20,000 to establish a group equipped to carry out biophysical research on viruses, including electrophoresis, ultracentrifugation, and later electron microscope studies
1946Honorary Doctor of Science - Cambridge
1947 - 1952Defence Research and Development Policy Committee (Commonwealth of Australia)
1947 - 1953National Health and Medical Research Council - Medical Research
1947 - 1953Advisory Committee (Commonwealth of Australia)
1947Royal Medal, Royal Society of London
1948Honorary Doctor of Science - University of Western Australia
1948Royal Australasian College of Physicians, Fellow
1950Holme Lecture, University College Hospital, London
1950New York Academy of Sciences, Honorary Member
1950American Public Health Association, Honorary Member
1950Wright Lecture, St Mary's Hospital, London
1950Moynihan Lecture, Royal College of Surgeons of England
1950Herter Lectures, Johns Hopkins University
1950Croonian Lecture, The Royal Society
1951 - 1956Burnet concentrated on the genetics of the influenza virus and demonstrated high frequency recombination
1951Knight Bachelor
1951Woodward Lecture, Yale University
1951Dyer Award Lecture, US National Institutes of Health
1952Lasker Award, American Public Health Association
1952 - 1969World Health Organization, Expert Advisory Panels on Virus Diseases and on Immunology
1953Royal College of Physicians (Edinburgh), Fellow
1953Royal College of Physicians (London), Fellow
1953 - 1957International Association of Microbiological Societies, President
1954Von Behring Prize for 1952, University of Marburg
1954James Cook Medal, Royal Society of New South Wales
1954US National Academy of Sciences, Foreign Associate
1954Australian Academy of Science, Foundation Fellow, President 1965-69
1954CIBA Foundation Lecture, London
1954Litchfield Lecture, Oxford University
1954Price Lecture, Royal College of Physicians (Edinburgh)
1955 - 1959Radiation Advisory Committee (Commonwealth of Australia), Chairman
1956Wyckoff Lecture, New York University
1957Honorary Doctor of Science - New Zealand
1957Royal Swedish Academy of Science, Foreign Member
1957Australian and New Zealand Association for the Advancement of Science,President
1957 - 1964Nuffield Foundation, Australian Advisory Committee
1957 - 1965A revolutionary change is made in the direction the work at Institute with the work on virology abandoned and interest shifted to immunology and the theories of antibody production
1958Galen Medal, Worshipful Society of Apothecaries of London
1958American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Foreign Member
1958Order of Merit
1958Honorary Doctor of Medicine: Hahnemann Medical College, Philadelphia
1958Cutter Lecture, Harvard University
1958Abraham Flexner Lectures, Vanderbilt University
1959Matthew Flinders Lecture, Australian Academy of Science
1959 - 1963World Health Organization Medical Research Advisory Committee
1959Copley Medal, Royal Society of London
1959Croonian Lectures, Royal College of Physicians (London)
1960Royal Society of New Zealand, Honorary Member
1960Nobel Lecture, Royal Swedish Academy of Science
1960American Philosophical Society, Foreign Member
1960Burnet formulates what he regards to be his major contribution to science, the clonal selection theory of antibody production
1960Schorstein Lecture, London Hospital
1960Herzstein Medical Lectures, Stanford University
1960Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine
1960Honorary Doctor of Science - Harvard
1960Honorary Doctor of Science - London
1961American Association of Immunologists, Honorary Member
1961Honorary Doctor of Science - Sydney
1961Second Order of the Rising Sun (with Double Rays)
1961Association of American Physicians, Honorary Member
1962 - 1969Papua New Guinea Medical Research Advisory Committee (Territory of Papua and New Guinea), Chairman
1962Mueller Medal, Australian and New Zealand Association for the Advancement of Science
1962Jephcott Lecture, Royal Society of Medicine
1962New York University Medal
1962Chouke Lecture, College of Physicians of Philadelphia
1962Honorary Doctor of Laws: Melbourne
1963James Spence Medal, British Paediatric Association
1963American College of Physicians, Honorary Fellow
1963 - 1969Queen Elizabeth II Fellowships Committee (Commonwealth of Australia), Chairman
1963Eli Lilly Lecture, American College of Physicians
1963Aschoff Lecture, Freiburg, Germany
1963CIBA Foundation Study Group: The Immunologically Competent Cell, in honour of Sir Macfarlane Burnet
1964Sommer Memorial Lectures, Portland, Oregon
1964Marcy Lecture, University of Pittsburgh
1965CIBA Symposium: The Thymus, in honour of Sir Macfarlane Burnet, Melbourne
1965 - 1974Britannica Australia Awards General Council
1965 - 1974Britannica Australia Awards Medical Committee, Chairman
July 1965Australian Journal of Experimental Biology and Medical Sciences, Frank Macfarlane Burnet Commemoration Issue
1966 - 1977Burnet produced thirteen books during this period on immunology, human biology, ageing and cancer, as well as a fourth edition of his first book
1966Harben Lectures, Royal Institute of Public Health and Hygiene
1966 - 1977University of Melbourne, School of Microbiology, Professor Emeritus with rooms and a secretary
1966Naming of Nuffield-Burnet Laboratories, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute
1966 - 1970La Trobe University Council
1966 - 1969The Commonwealth Foundation, Chairman
1967Noranda Lecture, Expo' 67, Montreal
1967Cameron Lecture, College of Pathologists, London
1967Honorary Doctor of Science - New South Wales
1968Royal College of Surgeons (England), Fellow
1968Honorary Doctor of Science - Oxford
1968Honorary Doctor of Science - Monash University
1969Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire
1969Burnet Lecture and Medal, Australian Academy of Science, established
November 1969Australasian Annals of Medicine, Burnet Symposium Issue
1970Royal Society of Edinburgh, Honorary Fellow
1971International Epidemiological Association, Honorary Member
1971First International Congress of Immunology Award
1973Distinguished Service Award, International Association of Allergy
1973Sir Douglas Robb Lectures, University of Auckland
10 November 1973Death of his wife, Linda of lymphoid leukemia
1974American Academy of Allergy, Honorary Fellow
1974Honorary Doctor of Science - Newcastle
1975The Hebrew University of Jerusalem Jubilee Medal
1975MacArthur Postgraduate Lecture, University of Edinburgh
1976Married Hazel Jenkin
1976Emil von Behring Commemorative Medal
1977Sir Macfarlane Burnet Lecture, Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases, established
1977International Congress of Immunology, President
1977Elizabeth II Jubilee Medal
1978 - 1985Retired to his home where he produced two more books and numerous articles on general problems such as the future of Australia
1978Aharon Katzir-Katachalsky Memorial Lectures, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel
1978Knight of the Order of Australia
1979Walter and Eliza Hall Institute Annual Review 1978-79. A Tribute to Sir Macfarlane Burnet
1980William S. Paley Lecture, New York Hospital - Cornell Medical Center, New York
1981Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Fellow
1981Australian of the Year
1982 - 1983Australian Advisory Council of Elders, Patron
1984Honorary Doctor of Medical Science: Medical University of South Carolina
1984Operated on for cancer of the rectum
31 August 1985Died at his son's home at Port Fairy, near where he spent his boyhood
5 September 1985A State Funeral was held by the Government of Australia at the Toorak Uniting Church, Melbourne.
6 September 1985After a private family service, he was laid to rest at Tower Hill Cemetery, near Port Fairy
1986Naming of Macfarlane Burnet Centre for Medical Research, Fairfield Hospital, Melbourne
1986Burnet Memorial Oration, Australian Society of Immunology, established
1986Naming of Burnet Clinical Research Unit of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute
Series1  Personal - Biographical 1899 - 1999
2  Diaries and Notebooks 1880 - 1985
3  Nobel Laureate Files 1954 - 1985
4  Publications by F. M. Burnet 1942 - 1988
5  Book Manuscripts with Publishing Correspondence and Reviews 1939 - 1986
6  Draft Manuscripts with Correspondence and Working Papers 1924 - 1985
7  Correspondence - Subject Files 1943 - 1985
8  Walter and Eliza Hall Institute Files 1915 - 1985
9  Working Papers - Subject Files 1913 - 1985?
10  X-Disease, Kuru and Gajdusek Files 1923 - 1980
11  Index Cards 1950? - 1989
12  Scrapbooks 1926 - 1985
13  Drawings and Watercolours 1921 - 1972
14  Photographs 1800 - 1984?
15  Projection Slides 1932 - 1979
16  Audio and Video Cassettes 1925 - 1989
18  Oral History Interviews conducted by Christopher Sexton - Audio CD copies 1901 - 1986
19  Appendices 1907 - 1989

Published by the Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre on AustehcWeb, November, 2001
With support from The Jack Brockhoff Foundation, The E.B. Myer Charitable Fund and The University of Melbourne
Listed by Gavan McCarthy, Oscar Manhal, Lisa O'Sullivan and Rachel Tropea with Tim Sherratt
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Updated 14 May 2008

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