Frank Macfarlane Burnet Biography
(Australian Physician and Winner of the 1960 Nobel Prize in Medicine)
Birthday: September 3, 1899 (Virgo)
Born In: Traralgon, Australia
Deemed to be the greatest scientist produced by Australia, Frank Macfarlane Burnet gave sixty years of his life to human science, discovering and researching human infectious diseases. Starting off with microbiology, he branched out into the fields of bacteriology, followed by virology and immunology. He pioneered in the study of autoimmune conditions, where a disease is caused by the immune system attacking the body’s own tissues, and application of ecological principles to viral diseases. His initial experiments and work paved way for developments in various medical areas, such as vaccines, tissue transplantation, and monoclonal antibody and associated therapies. This scientific genius gained recognition globally with several Australian and international awards to his credit, most importantly the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. His work on virus growing processes in hen’s eggs still serves as the basis for producing vaccines for influenza in the modern times. His contributions to Australian science won him the title of the first Australian of the Year. Apart from making great discoveries and performing experiments, he also wrote a large number of books and delivered lectures on various problem areas of human biology and human affairs, cancer and ageing.